rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Mumbai gives hockey heroes Walmiki, Lobo rousing reception

Mumbai gives hockey heroes Walmiki, Lobo rousing reception

Last updated on: September 14, 2011 20:26 IST

Mumbai gives hockey heroes Walmiki, Lobo rousing reception

     Next

Next
Laxmi Negi

The hoopla at Mumbai's domestic airport was quite unusual for the welcome of a hockey player. Especially, one who had just started his international career.

But if that player is a local hero, and returning triumphant after his first international tournament, the celebrations had to be grand.

- India beat Pakistan to win Asian Champions hockey

Flag-waving supporters blocked the exit gates at the airport and television crews went berserk as Yuvraj Walmiki and coach Clarence Lobo, both Mumbaikars, walked out of the domestic terminal on Wednesday.


Image: Yuvraj Walmiki with former India stars Mir Ranjan Negi and Dhanraj Pillay at Mumbai's domestic airport
Photographs: Laxmi Negi
     Next

Walmiki scored three goals in the Asian Champions Trophy

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Walmiki scored three goals in the just-concluded Asia Champions Trophy in Ordos, China, and was instrumental in the team's 4-2 victory over Pakistan in the final, scoring in the penalty shoot-out.

There was the lezim dance and beating of drums, and sweets and bouquets of flowers were presented by dignitaries of the local hockey association.

Not used to such rousing reception, the midfielder appeared a little astonished and was lost for a few moments. But the smiles were back as soon as he saw his parents waving to him.


Image: Walmiki with his mother

Prev     Next

'Inspired to win more laurels for the country'

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The weight of the garlands did immerse the diminutive midfielder but he managed to sneak his neck out of the flowery arrangement and express his delight.

"I am overwhelmed by such a grand welcome. Though I knew something was planned, I did not imagine that at such a stature they were planned," he said.

 "It only inspires me to win more laurels for the country," he added.


Image: Yuvraj Walmiki

Prev     Next

'Walmiki is an inspiration to up-and-coming hockey players'

Prev     More
Prev

More

But before he could finishing replying to the newpersons gathered, Walmiki was carried on their backs of his supporters and well-wishers.

For some people at the airport, it was like a Ganpati procession with all the singing and dancing.

Former India hockey stars Dhanraj Pillay and Mir Ranjan Negi were also present to welcome Walmiki and Lobo. Having always being supportive of Walmiki, Dhanraj was all praise for the 21-year-old Air India player.

Former India hockey stars Dhanraj Pillay and Mir Ranjan Negi were also present to welcome Walmiki and Lobo. Having always being supportive of Walmiki, Dhanraj was all praise for the 21-year-old Air India player.

"I am glad that his efforts are appreciated. This is just the beginning for him; he has a long way to go," said Pillay.

Negi, a former India goalkeeper, said Walmiki should serve as an inspiration to youngsters.

"The whole nation is talking about Yuvraj Walmiki today. He has earned this adulation. Coming from a humble background, he is an inspiration to up-and-coming hockey players."


Image: Walmiki with Dhanraj Pillay and coach Clarence Lobo

Prev     More