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Sreejesh becomes second Indian to win World Games Athlete of the Year Award

Veteran India hockey goalkeeper PR Srejeesh on Monday won the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year for his 2021 performances, becoming only the second Indian to receive the accolade.

In 2020, Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal became the first Indian to win the honour for her performances in 2019.

Sreejesh beat competition from sports climber Alberto Gins Lopez of Spain and Italy’s wushu player Michele Giordano for the award.

“I’m very honoured to win this award. First of all, a big thank you to FIH for nominating me for this award, and secondly thanks to all the Indian hockey lovers around the world, who voted for me,” Sreejesh said in a statement.

Sreejesh, a former India hockey captain and part of the Tokyo Olympics-bronze medal-winning side, received 1,27,647 votes, whereas Lopez and Giordane accumulated 67,428 and 52,046 votes respectively.

Sreejesh was the only Indian nominated and was recommended by the International Hockey Federation (FIH).

In the FIH Stars Awards in October, Sreejesh was named the goalkeeper of the year for 2021.

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