Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

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

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

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

Lakra had scored the first goal in India’s victory in the final game of the Olympic Hockey qualifying tournament against France. He played a key role in taking India into the semifinals of 2012 Champions Trophy. India pipped Belgium by a solitary goal that was produced from the pass given by Lakra to the forward. India reached the semifinals of the Champions Trophy for the first time in eight years.

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

“Heartiest congratulations to Birendra Lakra for joining as DSP in Odisha Police. It’s a matter of immense pleasure to have the Olympian in Odisha Police who brought glory to Odisha and India,” tweeted the Odisha Police.