Vivek Sagar Prasad on FIH award: Huge motivation to work harder

A 17-year-old Prasad had made his debut in 2018 in the 4-Nations Hockey Tournament; he was the second-youngest debutant, after Sandeep Singh, for India.

Hockey prodigy Vivek Sagar Prasad in action   -  Getty Images


Two years ago, when 17-year-old Vivek Sagar Prasad had the opportunity to represent the Indian Men's Hockey Team in the 4-Nations Tournament in New Zealand, he became the second-youngest men's player to represent the senior team, only behind former drag-flicker Sandeep Singh.

On Monday, Prasad received the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 award. “I think there is no better feeling than representing your country at the highest level. When I was younger, I would be more interested in badminton and chess, but as things turned out, I slowly shifted to hockey, and I can't thank my family, coaches and friends enough for what they have done for me.

“This is such a good feeling, and I want to thank everyone who voted for me. This award is a huge recognition, and I just want to make sure that I keep working hard, maintain my focus, and bring laurels for the country," said Vivek, during his team's national camp in Bhubaneswar ahead of two FIH Hockey Pro League matches against World No. 2 Australia.

Asked what his reaction was when he heard about the news, Vivek said, "Initially when the nominations were declared, I was in my room after training, and Manpreet bhai  was the first person who informed me. I thought he was kidding, but then he showed me the official FIH website, so I was really happy. When the actual winner was to be announced, our chief coach had called everyone for a team meeting before dinner, so I thought it would be a routine team meeting, but there I was given a fantastic surprise by my coaches, team-mates and Hockey India.”

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