PR Sreejesh has been named World Games Athlete of the Year for 2021 after helping India to an Olympic bronze medal ©Getty Images

Indian hockey player PR Sreejesh has been named World Games Athlete of the Year for 2021.

The goalkeeper came out on top in the online vote and is the second Indian hockey star to win the honour in the last three years.

Rani Rampal, captain of the women's team, collected the prize for 2019.

Sreejesh was this time around rewarded for an impressive 2021 which included winning a bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

It was the first Olympic medal won by India's men for 41 years, and Sreejesh also won the International Hockey Federation's prize for the best men's goalkeeper of 2021.

Sreejesh amassed 127,647 votes in the International World Games Association (IWGA) poll, almost double that of second-placed Alberto Ginés López.

The Spaniard became the first-ever Olympic sport climbing gold medallist in 2021, but had to settle for silver honours in this contest.

Italian wushu fighter Michele Giordano was third.

"I'm very honoured to win this award," Sreejesh said. 

"First of all, a big thank you to FIH for nominating me for this award, and secondly thanks to all the Indian hockey lovers around the world who voted for me. 

"By getting nominated I did my part, but the rest was done by the fans and hockey lovers. 

"So definitely this award goes to them, and I think they deserve this award more than me. 

"It's a big moment for Indian hockey as well because everyone in the hockey community, all the hockey federations around the world voted for me, so it's great to see that support from the hockey family."

The IWGA reports that more than 500,000 votes were cast in all.