Tokyo Olympics: 8 Debutants In India's Women Hockey Team
Tokyo Olympics: India named eight debutants in the 16-member squad for the quadrennial games.
- Selected squad has just one goalkeeper
- Tokyo Olympics will be India women's 3rd appearance in quadrennial games
- Rani Rampal will lead the Indian side
India on Thursday named eight Olympic debutants and as many veterans in its 16-member women's hockey squad for the Tokyo Games to be held from July 23 to August 8. The squad is a perfect mix of youth and experience and includes as many as eight players who had represented India in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The eight Olympic debutants include drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, Udita, Nisha, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami, the first player hailing from Mizoram in the team. Tete had led the Indian team at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires to a silver medal performance.
Eight experienced players, who were part of the last Olympics, include skipper Rani, goalkeeper Savita, Deep Grace Ekka, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur, and Vandana Katariya.
These eight players have amassed a total experience of 1,492 caps between them. The selected squad has just one goalkeeper in Savita, four defenders, six midfielders, and five forwards.
This will be the Indian women's hockey team's third appearance at the Olympic Games and their second consecutive outing, with previous appearances coming in 1980 and 2016.
Since Rio 2016, the women's team has been on a steady rise and won the Asian Champions Trophy that same year, the 2017 Asia Cup, and a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games. They also created history by entering the quarterfinals of the 2018 Women's World Cup for the first time.
"This team has worked very hard over the last few years and has made progress consistently. There is a good mix of experienced players and new talent, which is excellent," Indian women's hockey team chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said.
"We look forward to taking on the best in the world in Tokyo. This is a team with a lot of potentials and drives which we hope to channelise our energies to give our best performance."
Hockey India president Gyanendro Ningombam wished the selected players success and hoped for a fine show in Tokyo.
"Over the past few years, leading up to this edition of the Olympics, the women's team has worked very hard to achieve their current form. I am confident that this team will give a tough competition to any opponent. I wish them all the very best for their preparation and performance," he said.
The Indian women's hockey team made history in the 2016 Rio Games when it qualified for the Olympics after 36 long years. The squad is currently preparing for the Games at the ongoing national camp at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre here.
Defenders:Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur, Udita.
Midfielders:Nisha, Neha, Sushila Chanu Purkhrambam, Monika, Navjot Kaur, Salima Tete.
Forwards: Rani Rampal, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya, Sharmila Devi.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)