Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], August 2 (ANI): Wishing good luck to Indian men's and women's hockey teams for the Olympics semi-finals, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday congratulated them for their performance in Tokyo and hoped they will come back with medals.
The Chief Minister also recalled Odisha's contribution to Indian hockey saying that the state has organised all the major tournaments including the Hockey World Cup in 2018 and "Bhubaneshwar has become home ground for our teams".
The Chief Minister told ANI that both the men's and women's teams have made India proud. Indian women's hockey team created history by reaching the Olympics semifinal for the first time while the men's team reached the semifinal after over forty years.
The Chief Minister said that the teams have displayed spectacular hockey skills.
He said Odisha has been partnering with Hockey India over the past few years and the objective has been to bring back the glory of Indian hockey.
He said the best days of Indian hockey "are ahead of us" and the state would continue to support Indian hockey.
"Congratulations to the India hockey teams. The boys and girls have made us all proud at the Tokyo Olympics. We have seen some spectacular hockey skills by our teams. Odisha has been partnering with Hockey India over the past few years. Our objective has been to bring back the glory of Indian hockey. Odisha has organised all the major tournaments including the Hockey World Cup in 2018. Bhubaneshwar has become home ground for our teams. I am happy that all the efforts have started bearing fruit and we have seen some great results in this Olympics," the Chief Minister told ANI.
"I think the best days of Indian hockey are ahead of us. We would continue to support Indian hockey and cheer for our teams. I wish good luck for our teams in the upcoming semi-finals. I hope and pray that they come back with medals. Jai Hind," he added.
The Indian women's hockey defeated the world number two Australia 1-0 on Monday morning at Tokyo Olympics. The men's team had reached the semifinal on Sunday.
Odisha government has been the sponsor of the Indian Hockey team, both men and women since 2018.
Odisha, in partnership with Hockey India, has conducted major hockey tournaments in Bhubaneswar including the Men's World Cup, World League, Pro-League and Olympic qualifiers.
The Odisha Cabinet had also approved the "State Level Sports Infrastructure Development Project" for the development of sports infrastructure at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar, and International Hockey Stadium, Rourkela last month.
The project, with an estimated outlay of Rs 356.38 crore, is meant for the development of infrastructure at Kalinga Stadium and the construction of a new hockey stadium at Rourkela to conduct FIH Men's World Cup Hockey 2023. (ANI)