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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Finally, reason to cheer for Walmiki

MUMBAI: Mid-way through India’s Olympic hockey qualifying campaign in New Delhi, talented 22-year-old, Yuvraj Walmiki sustained a Grade Two hamstring injury and had to miss the rest of the tournament. Subsequently, Walmiki spent a few months in rehab and then travelled to Malaysia to play in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup where India finished third. But even as Valmiki hoped to get a berth in India’s Olympics squad, he failed to impress the people concerned. He was declared unfit and was left out.

Yuvraj Walmiki

After spending nearly six months in wilderness, Valmiki finally has something to look forward to. The man who has been plying his trade for Germany’s second division club, TGF Frankenthal, for the past two seasons, has been invited for a third stint.Walmiki, who began training a fortnight ago at Churchgate’s Mumbai Hockey Association’s (MHA) newly-laid turf, will be travelling to Germany for a two-month stint to play for his club in the second division Bundesliga League on Monday night.”I have played in Germany for two seasons and have enjoyed the experience. We have a tournament in Holland next week after which I will return to participate in the German second division league,” Walmiki said.He seemed more than thrilled to be back playing competitive hockey and his main agenda for the German trip is to play there and get back as a strong contender and make a good comeback in the Indian national team.”My main objective is to get used to the European defense pattern. I want to utilise all that I have picked up in terms of skills, fitness and game sense once I’m back in the national camp and play in international tournaments.”Talking about missing the Olympics, Walmiki said, “I was extremely disheartened that I couldn’t make it. But the fact that I was dropped because of injury and not form, was some consolation. Nevertheless, I will work harder and try and make the cut for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.BHA elections successfully held: The 77th Annual General Meeting of the members of the Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd (MHA) was held at MHA’s registered office in Churchgate on Saturday. Mangha Singh Bakshi was elected president of the MHA unopposed, while Ram Singh Rathor (129 votes) was elected as honorary secretary.The committee: President: Mangha Singh Bakshi; Vice-presidents: Bal Malkit Singh Gurdip Singh Chandhoak; Honorary Secretary: Ram Singh Rathor; Honorary Treasurer: Bal Govind Chokhani; Members: Puran Singh, Darryl D’Souza, Mayur Pandey, Mir Ranjan Negi, Vernon Lobo, HC Sawhney, Rajinder Singh Parmar, Mukhwinder Singh Gill, MP Agrawal.

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