Sports

Indian women hockey players we don’t know about

They are fierce, strong and capable of putting India on the world map

Hockey is the National Sport of India and is not just played by men. The women’s national field hockey team is nicknamed Nabhvarna. And the women have done a great job representing India on the international field and won various tournaments. Currently, the women’s hockey team is ranked 7th in the F.I.H. World Rankings and touted as the best team in Asia. From winning the gold at the 1982 Asian Games, 2002 Commonwealth Games to emerging victorious at the Women’s Asia Cup twice, the women’s hockey team has many accolades to their hat. However, we still are unaware of its team members. So here are a few ace women hockey players that we need to know about.

Deep Grace Ekka

Hailing from a village in the Sudargarh district of Odisha, Deep comes from a family of hockey players. Since her father, uncle, and elder brother were local hockey goalkeepers, it was thus inevitable that Deep Grace Ekka would take up goalkeeping. From 12, Ekka kept acing her goalkeeping skills until her brother and uncle directed her towards being a defender. While she had the complete support of her family, it was the village that didn’t play a hindrance in her dream. However, even that didn’t let her spirit deter her from what she wanted to do.

Savita Punia

The goalkeeper of the Indian Women’s Hockey team, Savita Punia, is touted to be the reason behind India’s win against Australia that helped them qualify for their first-ever Olympics semi-final. Inspired to take up the sport by her grandfather, Punia travelled around 30 km every day to the training centre in Sirsa. Punia is also known as the Great Wall of India, all thanks to her phenomenal and outstanding performance in the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Sushila Chanu

Hailing from Imphal, Manipur, Sushila Chanu was the skipper in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Being one of the most experienced players – having started to play at the age of 11 – her skill and knack of positioning on the field came in handy in giving the Australians trouble to score a goal in the quarter-finals of Tokyo 2020.

Rani Rampal

The Captain of the Indian field hockey team, Rampal, has been playing hockey since 15. And was the youngest player in the national team to have participated in the 2010 World Cup. A well-known striker often doubling up as mid-fielder, Rampal has to her credit 212 international matches with 134 goals and plays forward.

The other stalwart of the Indian Women’s Hockey team is Navjot Kaur, Gurjit Kaur, Monika Malik, Reena Khokhar, Sharmila Devi, Nikki Pradhan, Nisha Warsi, Vandana Katariya, Udita Duhan, Namita Toppo, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Salima Tete, and Neha Goyal.

Nirtika Pandita

A follower of Master Oogway, living by his words of Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, which is why it is called the ‘Present’, I am trying to master the art of now. Keeping that in the center I am combining my professional prowess as a writer and nerves of a gastronaut to conquer the Saha world.
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