Hockey
Savita Punia best goalkeeper for third time in a row, Hardik Singh is player of the year

Savita Punia best goalkeeper for third time in a row, Hardik Singh is player of the year

India's hockey players Hardik Singh and Savita Punia bagged prestigious FIH awards on Tuesday.

The Indian hockey players made the nation proud after winning two prestigious awards from the International Hockey Federation on Tuesday. While midfielder Hardik Singh emerged as the FIH Player of the Year, Savita Punia won the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award. The votes were decided by an expert panel, the national associations – represented by their respective national teams’ captains and coaches – fans, and media.

Xan de Waard of the Netherlands also went on to win the FIH Player of the Year award. Along with Punia, the Dutch goalkeeper Pirmin Blaak also won the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award. On the other hand, Teresa Lima (ESP) and Gaspard Xavier (FRA) won the FIH Rising Stars award.

Coming on to the next category, China women’s head coach, Aussie Alyson Annan, and Germany men’s head coach, André Henning won the FIH Coaches of the Year awards. Lastly, Ayanna McClean (Trinidad and Tobago) and Ben Göntgen (Germany) won the FIH Umpires of the Year award.

Over the last few years, Hardik has become one of the most important members of the Indian team and is the current vice-captain as well. “When you’ve got a great team, they make your game better and life easier. I am grateful for all those who have voted for me and thankful to the entire team and Hockey India for helping me reach this stage,” said Hardik, quoted as saying by Sportstar.

Interestingly, this is Savita’s third, best goalkeeper of the Year award, claiming the prize in 2021 and 2022 as well. She said: “Thankful to all my teammates and support staff who have helped me grow as an individual. This award will motivate me to work harder and get more success for our country. Lastly, thankful to all those who voted for me.”

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