Odisha government appoints Olympic bronze medalist hockey player Birendra Lakra as DSP

The Odisha government on Thursday appointed Olympic bronze medalist and former hockey star Birendra Lakra as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in Odisha Police.

The Odisha star defender was part of the Indian team that won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics. The national team won the long-awaited medal at the Olympics after a long hiatus of 41 years. Apart from the Olympics, Birendra was also part of the Indian team that won medals in mega hockey events like Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Asian Cup and Champions Trophy.

The 31-year-old former hockey star from Sundargarh district was part of the Indian team that won the yellow metal at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Lakra was part of the national team that won bronze in Jakarta in 2018.

Lakra had scored the first goal in India’s victory in the final game of the Olympic hockey qualifier against France. He played a key role in India’s participation in the semi-finals of the 2012 Champions Trophy. India edged Belgium by a solitary goal which was produced from the pass given by Lakra to the striker . India reached the Champions Trophy semi-finals for the first time in eight years.

Lakra was one of the most valuable players in the Indian team. He announced his retirement from the national team last September.

“Heartfelt congratulations to Birendra Lakra on joining as DSP in Odisha Police. It is a great pleasure to have the Odisha Police Olympian who brought glory to Odisha and India,” Odisha Police tweeted.

Catherine J. Martinez