Hundreds of people, including media professionals, have flocked to the village of Kizhakkambalam in Kerala’s Ernakulam district since the early hours of August 5. Their goal — PR Sreejesh’s residence, goalkeeper, and former captain of India’s men’s hockey team, which defeated Germany to win the country an Olympic bronze medal. All of those who arrived in Sreejesh’s hometown were led to his house via the ‘Olympic Sreejesh Road,’ which was named after the state’s great hockey player. After India’s hockey team won a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games, the Kerala government reportedly honored Sreejesh by naming the bypass road that runs alongside his house in Kizhakkambalam after him. India won the gold medal in the Incheon Asian Games match against Pakistan, winning 4-2 goals and clinching a direct berth for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
On Thursday, as Sreejesh blocked Germany’s final hit, setting the door for India’s historic victory by winning an Olympic medal in hockey after 41 years, people who had been holding their breath in front of the television at Sreejesh’s house burst out laughing. Everyone was on the edge of their seats as Sreejesh successfully fended off goals from Germany. India defeated Germany 5-4. Germany was awarded a penalty in the final seconds, after which Sreejesh blocked the opponent’s shot, allowing India to win.
In the footage from his home, his family, friends, and others were shown celebrating the occasion by handing out candy and lighting firecrackers. An Indian hockey team previously won an Olympic gold medal in 1980. PR Sreejesh is competing in the Olympics for the third time as a member of the Indian hockey team.
— ANI (@ANI) August 5, 2021
“This is a proud time for me. We are delighted that he was a member of India’s team. We were tense till the very last second because anything may happen at any time. But we triumphed. “We are grateful to everyone,” Sreejesh’s father, Raveendran, told Manorama News. Aneeshya, Sreejesh’s wife, also expressed her joy to the media. “It was his deepest desire to earn an Olympic medal for his country. “We are quite proud of the Indian team for putting in their best effort,” she said.
For many years, Sreejesh has been a pillar of India’s hockey team. He is the first Kerala hockey player to receive the Arjuna Award, India’s highest sports honor. Sreejesh made his Indian junior hockey debut in 2006 at the South Asian Games in Colombo. He was named ‘Goalkeeper of the Tournament’ at the 2008 Junior Asia Cup. In that match, India earned a gold medal. Following that, he put up outstanding performances for his country in a number of significant matches, including the 2014 Asian Games and the Hockey World League.