Sreejesh and Savitha voted FIH Men’s and Women’s Goalkeepers of the Year

Both Sreejesh and Savitha were instrumental in leading their teams to a medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Both Sreejesh and Savitha were instrumental in leading their teams to a medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

India’s PR Sreejesh and Savita Punia were named the FIH Men’s and Women’s Goalkeeper of the Year for the second consecutive year on Wednesday, following their strong performances under the bar.

In his 16th year as a full international for India, Sreejesh once again proved his worth to the team, playing in all 16 games of the FIH Hockey Pro League as India finished third.

He also played in all six games India won a silver medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

“The longevity of PR Sreejesh’s career continues to defy logic as the 34-year-old Indian shot-stopper continues to raise his game over the years,” FIH said in a statement on Sreejesh, who also won the award last time. the year

While Sreejesh got a total of 39.9 points in the voting, Belgium’s Loic van Doren (26.3 points) and Netherlands’ Primin Block (23.2 points) stood next. Votes were cast online by experts (40%), teams (20%), fans (20%) and media (20%).

Sreejesh is the third player to win the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award. David Harte (Ireland), who previously won the award in 2015 and 2016, and Vincent Vanache (Belgium), who won three times in a row from 2017 to 2019, previously achieved the same feat.

This season, Sreejesh also completed 250 international appearances, becoming the eighth Indian and the only goalkeeper to achieve the feat.

“There is no doubt that this is a special award because hockey fans are voting for us. It’s a big honor for me and a testament to everyone’s hard work,” said Sreejesh, who is currently at the SAI Center in Bangalore, along with his teammates at the national camp for the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League.

“Winning awards, no matter what stage you’re at in your career, is always motivating. This award will definitely motivate me to improve and do well in the all important year when we will play the FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023. 32-year-old Savita topped the voting with 37.6 points. Argentinian legend Belen Succi scored the second highest points with 26.4 points, followed by Australian star Jocelyn Bartom (16 points).

‘Big Surprise’ for Savita

Savitha became the third athlete to win the Goalkeeper of the Year (Women) in consecutive years since the award’s inception in 2014.

“It’s definitely a big surprise and a lot of fun. I’m sure a lot of Indian hockey fans voted for us and I’m thankful to each and every one of them,” said Savita, who is currently playing for Haryana in the national games in Gujarat.

Savita was instrumental in leading India to a podium finish in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2021-22, in their maiden campaign, where she made an impressive 57 saves in 14 games played.

Her form improved at the FIH Hockey Women’s World Cup as she pulled off some stunning saves as India held gold medalists England to a draw in the pool stages. She also had an impressive performance in the cross-over match against Spain, making seven saves to the amazement of the onlookers.

Savita then inspired the team Bronze medal at 2022 CWG in Birmingham, ending India’s 16-year podium drought at the Games. She had a brilliant game in the bronze medal match against New Zealand, including several match-winning saves in the shoot-out.

“Savitha has been outstanding in defending the Indian goal, often surprising the opposition with her ability to make saves from impossible situations. No wonder she received almost twice as many votes from her peers around the world as anyone else nominated in the Best Goalkeeper category at the FIH Hockey Stars Awards,” said the FIH.

“Savitha’s success stems from her goalkeeping prowess, but her impact on the team is even bigger as she is not only the backbone of India’s defense but also plays a key role in leading the team by taking over the captaincy from the talismanic Rani. Rampal had missed most of the previous year due to injury.

On Tuesday, Indian forward Mumtaz Khan was named the FIH Women’s Rising Star of the Year for her stellar role in the country’s campaign at the Junior World Cup in South Africa earlier this year.

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