Kothajit Singh Khadangbam is a midfielder and is one of the brightest stars in the Indian National Hockey circuit. His goal was India’s first field goal of Rio Olympics 2016. A very calm and composed player who always manages to make his stick talk rather his mouth was born on 17th August 1992 to Khadangbam Dhananjoy Singh and Khadangbam Ongbi Prabhabati Devi who also played hockey for Manipur.
He is the third hockey Olympian after P. Nilakomol and Ksh. Thoiba from the state of Manipur, known for producing a disproportionate number of international-standard sportspersons. Kothajit is among the four sons who all play hockey. His eldest brother Dhaneshwor Singh is a hockey player of Assam Regiment hockey team, Rinenkumar represents Services Hockey team while his elder brother Jayanta also plays hockey with the ONGC hockey team. He started playing hockey when he was six years old where he stands lower than the ordinary hockey stick and improved his hockey skills in his initial years while turning out for the Posterior Hockey Academy Manipur, which he started representing since the age of 14.
Kothajit has always had a very positive outlook in regard to the team, very cooperative with his coaches knowing that it is all for their improvement and continues to do his best. He never stopped giving his best though the progress was slow and steady. Kothajit’s quick passing , his endurance and tackles are his effective assets which sets him apart from thr rest of the players.
The dedicated midfielder who began as a forward moved to the Sports Authority of India centre in Lucknow in 2009 to improve his skills in the game of hockey with a dream to participate in international level championships. He made a big impression at the 34th National Games in Ranchi in 2011 before going on to make his senior international debut during the five-match Test series in early 2012. But despite performing well in the London Olympics qualifiers in New Delhi and his play in the 2012 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, he was only a standby for the London Olympics.
Kothajit Singh was disappointed when he could not make it to the final squad of 16 but was picked in the side only as a standby for the London Olympics 2012. But all that soon faded as he became the vice-captain of the Indian junior team for the 2nd Sultan of Johor Cup in Malaysia. He also earned his place in the senior team for the two tournaments in Australia Lanco International Super Series and the Champions Trophy.
He was a part of the win against China in the 2nd Asian Champions Trophy. On 10th November, 2013, in the men’s Hockey Asian Champions Trophy, India defeated Oman by 5 goals, with a score of 6-1. He was a member of the silver-medal winning Indian team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. He was also a member of the silver-medal winning Indian team at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Kothajit Singh Khadangbam was a prominent member of India’s gold-medal winning hockey team at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. He was India’s only goal-scorer in regular time, which ended 1-1 against silver medalist Pakistan. India won 4-2 in a penalty shootout. His position and style was to play in the midfield.
The Indian Team began fiercely especially in the first half where the first goal if the match came from Kothajit Singh in the 6th minute of the game. He converted a penalty corner into a goal and that initiated their game of victory.
Kothajit Singh, who was a part of the Men’s team, went to Madrid to play two friendly matches against Spain before heading for the Rio Olympics. His brilliant performances in the concluded Champions Trophy had been appreciated. He has come up through great unstable moments but is currently making every moment count..