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Hockey

Tokyo Olympics: India's leading goalscorer Harmanpreet Singh attributes his power to driving tractor

Harmanpreet Singh has so far netted five goals for India through his powerful drag flicks at the Tokyo Olympics.

Harmanpreet Singh at Tokyo Olympics
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Harmanpreet Singh at Tokyo Olympics (Source: Reuters)

By

Abhijit Nair

Updated: 2021-08-03T12:06:48+05:30

The Indian men's hockey team created history during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when they qualified for the semifinals of the quadrennial event for the first time in 49 years.

Though the semifinal did not go their way as they fell to a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Belgium and have now been forced into the bronze medal match, the Indians have performed exceedingly well in Tokyo.

It has been a complete team effort so far, with as many as 11 different players chipping in with goals at various junctures of their campaign.

But, one name which has stood out amongst the goal scorers in that of Harmanpreet Singh. Just 25-year-old, Harmanpreet has so far netted five goals for India through his powerful drag flicks and will have an opportunity to add more to his tally during the bronze medal match.

Born to an agrarian family in the year 1996, Harmanpreet started off his hockey career with a dream of becoming a forward but fate had something else planned. It was after he joined the Surjeet Academy as a 15-year-old in 2011 that he started playing in the backline on the advice of his coach.

Harmanpreet Singh at Tokyo Olympics (Source: Reuters)

That decision to switch positions worked wonders for Harmanpreet, and he is today established as India's most powerful drag-flicker and one of the best defenders in the country.

While all of us have seen Harmanpreet's finding the back of the net with his powerful flicks, did you know how he developed it?

By driving a tractor. What?

Yes, Harmanpreet used to love his father's tractor in the field as a teenager, and he attributes his powerful drag flicks to the times he would struggle to change the rusty gears of the tractor.

Having first driven a tractor at the age of 10 years under his father's supervision, his constant battle to strengthen his arm to change the gear of the tractor helped him in hockey years later.

Harmanpreet Singh made his senior international debut as a 20-year-old in 2016 and has since represented India in more than 100 matches and has slotted in close to 80 goals for the country.


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