UAE: Rs10 million cash prize for Indian hockey star

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who praised the goalkeeper’s spectacular performance.

UAE-based businessman Dr Shamsheer Vayalil has announced a cash prize of Rs10 million (nearly Dh500,000) for Indian hockey star PR Sreejesh, who played a key role in India securing a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which concluded on Sunday.

The Keralite goalkeeper pulled off a series of stunning saves in the match against Germany that helped India win an Olympic hockey medal after 41 years.


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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among those who praised Sreejesh’s spectacular performance throughout the tournament, even in the last few seconds, to earn India a historic feat.

Dr Shamsheer, chairman and managing director of VPS Healthcare, lauding the achievement, said: “Through his outstanding performance at the Olympics, Sreejesh has brought joy to Indians around the world. As a fellow Malayali, I take tremendous pride in his achievement. Thanks to his efforts, the interest in hockey has been renewed. His performance, along with that of the entire Indian hockey team, will serve as encouragement for hundreds of youths in the country.”

Sreejesh was pleasantly surprised when Dr Shamsheer personally called him.

“Dr Shamsheer has congratulated the entire team for this great achievement and offered his support to us. The announcement of the Rs10 million reward caught me by surprise. A reward for winning a medal in the Olympics is delightful news and I feel very fortunate to be the recipient,” said Sreejesh.


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Sreejesh, who returns to India today after the successful Tokyo campaign, will be presented with the cash prize at a special function in Kochi.

Dr Shamsheer added: “This cash prize is a token of our appreciation for all the hard work that Sreejesh has put in over the years. His spectacular performance in this Olympics will be cherished by people for years to come. I am sure that he will serve as inspiration for the next generation of sportspersons from the state.”


Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.

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