India swept the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) annual awards on Wednesday with five players and head coaches of both the men’s and women’s teams claiming the top honours across different categories. After a historic bronze medal-winning feat for the Indian men’s team as well as the outstanding performance of the women’s team, which reached the last four in Tokyo, Indian athletes and coaches dominated the FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2020-21. Gurjit Kaur (Women) and Harmanpreet Singh (Men) fetched Player of the Year honour in their respective categories.
Savita Punia (Best Goalkeeper, Women), PR Sreejesh (Best Goalkeeper, Men), Sharmila Devi (Best Rising Star, Women) and Vivek Prasad (Best Rising Star, Men), as well as the coaches of India’s women’s team Sjoerd Marijne and men’s team chief coach Graham Reid, also grabbed the highest number of votes to finish on top.
While Reid is still with the team, Marijne’s tenure ended after the Tokyo Games.
Votes from National Associations – represented by their respective national captains and coaches – counted for 50% of the overall result, while fans and players (25%), as well as media (25%), made the other half of the votes.
In all, 79 National Associations voted (Africa: 11 out of 25 Member Associations; Asia: 29 out of 33; Europe: 19 out of 42; Oceania: 3 out of 8; Pan America: 17 out of 30), said a statement from FIH.
“And with a record number of almost 300,000 fans casting their votes, fan participation in the FIH Hockey Stars Awards has been exceptional,” it added.