In a glittering function held at Bhubaneswar, Union Minister of Petroleum & Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday felicitated renowned hockey player of Odisha Birendra Lakra for his outstanding contribution in India’s Gold Medal victory at the recent Incheon Asian Games.
India won the Gold medal at the Asian Games after a gap of 16 years. The victory was even sweeter as it came against arch rivals Pakistan whom India had lost earlier in the group stage. And, Lakra’s goal in penalty shoot-out was praiseworthy.
Lakra is from village Lachhada under Bonai subdivision of Sundergarh District, Odisha. He is the most versatile player in the Indian hockey team as he is capable of playing at any position but he stands like a rock of Gibraltar in the Indian team’s defence.
Originally a product of the Rourkela Steel plant’s SAIL Hockey Academy, Lakra was first included in the Indian Junior team for the Singapore tour in 2007. There has been no looking back since then as he went on to represent India in various International events including the World Cup of Hockey, Champions Trophy, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and also at the London Olympics in 2012.
At present, Lakra is employed with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) as Assistant Manager.
On the occasion, the minister applauded Birendra Lakra for his great performance and mentioned that even coming from a remote place like Sundergarh, Mr. Lakra has brought accolades not only to Odisha but to the entire nation through his outstanding performance in the field of Sports.