Thu, 24 Jun 2021

New Delhi [India], Aug 18 (ANI): Hockey India congratulated defender Kothajit Singh Khadangbam for featuring in his 200th international match on Sunday.

He achieved this milestone when India played against New Zealand in their second Olympic Test Event match at the Oi Hockey Stadium in Tokyo.

Manipur-born defender donned the blue jersey for the senior men's team, the first time in 2012. Since then, Kothajit has regularly been featuring in international tournaments for the Indian team.

With 200 matches under his belt, the defender comes with oodles of experience and displays a character of calm when under pressure.

Kothajit, who turned 27 on Saturday, was part of India's silver medal-winning team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and also won the gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. It was during this match that Kothajit scored a brilliant equalizer in the final against Pakistan that took the match into a penalty shootout.

The Indian stalwart was also part of the contingent that took part in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

After not being a part of the team which went for the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang, he was entrusted with the task at the Asian Champions Trophy 2018 in Muscat, Oman.

Having justified his selection, Kothajit also found a place in the Indian team for the prestigious Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneswar where the team went down fighting in the quarter-final to the Netherlands.

"I'm extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to represent the nation for over seven years now. It has been a long journey, and all the years playing for the country have been very memorable. To be wearing my country's colours for the 200th time today means a lot to me," Kothajit said.

"New friends have been made in the dressing room through the years, and I'm thankful to the support staff and my teammates for supporting me all these years. I hope to keep representing my country whenever it is required of me. It is an important phase for the team as we look to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games," he added.

Congratulating Kothajit on completing 200 International Caps, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India, said: "On behalf of Hockey India, I would like to congratulate Kothajit on completing 200 international caps for the country. He is an inspiration to many young players across India, especially from the Northeast. He is one of the finest defenders in the country and to play for India for all these years is a great achievement." (ANI)

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