Hockey India announced a 16-member women’s squad for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020, which is only one month away. This will be only the third appearance for the Indian Women’s Hockey team at the Olympics.
Previously, Indian women’s hockey team had participated at the Olympics in 1980 and 2016 Rio Olympics. In Rio they women’s team created a buzz by qualifying for the Games after 36 years. However, they were not successful in claiming any medals that time.
Since Rio 2016, the team has experienced the highs of winning the 2016 Asian Champions Trophy, 2017 Asia Cup, the Silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games. Also, they made it to the Quarter Finals of the 2018 Women’s World Cup for the first time in history.
Therefore the Hockey India ensured that they will be needing a good mixture of experience and youth to make history in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The Indian Women’s Hockey team includes 8 veteran from Rio Olympics and 8 debutants.
Rani, Savita, Deep Grace Ekka, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur and Vandana Katariya are those veteran players. They had the taste of any Olympic experience, which will be crucial to make history this time around.
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The 8 debutantes includes drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Udita, Nisha, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami and Salima Tete. Lalremsiami is the first player hailing from Mizoram in the Indian Women’s Hockey team. Also, Salima Tete will be crucial for the team who had led the Indian team at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires. Salima was very much influential for India grabbing the silver medal in 2018.
“This team has worked very hard over the last few years and has made progress consistently. There’s a good mix of experienced players and new talent, which is excellent. We look forward to taking on the best in the world in Tokyo. This is a team with a lot of potential and drive which we hope to channelise to our best performance yet.”Sjoerd Marijne, Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s Chief Coach
The team has left no stone unturned in their preparation for the year’s Olympic game. They already had some challenging tours to Germany and Argentina in the early part of 2021. Then there was a high-intensity National Camp following the international tours. This has put the team in good stead ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The team continues preparations at the ongoing camp at SAI Centre Bengaluru. The Tokyo Olympics 2020 will start from 23rd July to 6th August in Tokyo.
Full squad for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 announced by Hockey India
Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur, Udita
Midfielders: Nisha, Neha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete
Forwards: Rani, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Sharmila Devi