Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India], December 5 (ANI): Curtains came down on another fantastic hockey event in Bhubaneswar when the FIH Odisha Hockey men's Junior World Cup 2021 ended on Sunday with Argentina lifting the title at the iconic Kalinga Hockey Stadium.
This was the first major international hockey tournament held in India after the COVID-19 pandemic halted all events in March 2020.
With hockey returning to its hub in Bhubaneswar which has hosted several international tournaments including the FIH Men's World Cup in 2018, the officials of both Hockey India and Odisha State Government ensured safe playing environment was provided for players from 16 top countries as well as officials from various nations.
Lauding the efforts of the organisers, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said, "Firstly, I congratulate the winners of the prestigious FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Junior World Cup 2021. I also extend greetings to all the participating teams who played in the true spirit of the game.
"I also congratulate the hosts Hockey India and the officials of Odisha State Government who ensured this event was a big success and they established all the Covid-related protocols to ensure a safe playing environment was provided to these young and rising stars of world hockey."
"This was the first big international hockey tournament being held in India after the Covid-19 pandemic which halted all sporting events in March 2020 and I am very proud that we have witnessed successful completion despite several challenges including cyclone Jawad," the Odisha CM added.
The FIH President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra presented a replica of the Junior World Cup trophy to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as a gesture of deep appreciation for all the support extended by the Odisha State Government to host this prestigious event for rising stars of world hockey.
He also presented a replica of the Junior World Cup to the Honourable Minister Sports and Youth Services Tusharkanti Behera as well as Vishal Dev, IAS, Secretary, Department of Finance, Odisha State Government and Vineel Krishna, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Government of Odisha.
Thanking all the officials from Odisha State Government who worked round-the-clock to make this event a grand success, Gyanendro Ningombam, President Hockey India said, "It was absolutely delightful to see hockey return to its favourite hub-- Bhubaneswar, Odisha which has now become synonymous with world hockey for its incredible infrastructure as well as the hockey-loving people of the state.
"We are very fortunate to have unparalleled support from the Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik as well all the officials involved in making this event a big success. There were several challenges that were overcome to host this tournament in a safe manner.
"I extend my deepest gratitude to Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Naveen Patnaik as well as all the officials from the Odisha State Government for their efforts in making this a grand success," Gyanendro added. (ANI)