~ The 21-year-old midfielder credits his senior teammates for the nominations for FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2020-21 ~

New Delhi, 24 August 2021: After scripting history at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, the Indian hockey contingent has made the shortlist of all the categories of FIH Hockey Stars Awards 2020-21. One of the six nominated players is Indian Men's Hockey Team midfielder Vivek Sagar Prasad, who is shortlisted for the FIH Rising Star of the Year Awards 2020-21. This is the second time he has been nominated for the prestigious honour after winning the FIH Rising Star of the Year Award 2019-2020.

Having won the FIH Rising Star of the Year Award last year and being nominated yet again after a stupendous performance in Tokyo Olympics, Vivek expressed, "I never imagined this would happen again. It's a surreal feeling to have been nominated for the second time in the same category (FIH Rising Star of the Year Awards). I got to know this late in the night when I saw texts from my friends congratulating me for this. To be honest, it's really overwhelming".

The 21-year-old midfielder added, "However, it's the result of teamwork and the support of senior players. Since my debut, senior players have been the biggest source of my motivation. They have helped me play my natural game without any fear and pressure, and that is the biggest reason behind why I could win the 2019 FIH Rising Star of the Year Award and also stand a chance to win the accolade for the second time."

The young gun was instrumental in the Indian Men's hockey team's Bronze Medal-winning feat at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. While speaking about the feeling of becoming an Olympic medalist at the age of 21, Vivek expressed, "It hasn't really sunk in yet. I still can't believe I was part of the Olympic medal-winning team. It's a dream of every athlete, and I am really blessed to be able to live this dream at the age of 21."

"However, we also need to realise that this is just the beginning, and there's still a lot of room for improvement. We have raised the bar, and we have to do even better. There will be more challenges ahead, and we need to be fully prepared for whatever comes our way," he concluded.

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