After a long wait of 36 years, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team will finally return to the Olympics in the Rio 2016 after having achieved a top five finish at the 2014-15 Women’s FIH Hockey World League semi finals. The International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed their qualification in the Summer Olympics.
To motivate the Women’s Hockey Team for the Rio Olympics, Hockey India has released a video that stars former men’s captain Sardara Singh and present women’s players Deepika Thakur and Rani Rampal. Taking a cue from Chak De! India, a video was released with a motive to show that the women’s team can match up to and even surpass the men’s team.
During their last run in the 1980 Moscow Olympics thirty six years ago, Indian Women’s Hockey team had won a bronze medal, finishing in the 4th position. Incidentally, that was the only time when the Indian Women’s Hockey Team had managed to qualify for the Olympics.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team, led by Sushila Chanu, played against USA and Canada and won both the matches. When they’ll hit the field next, they’ll be playing against Japan on 7th August at the Olympic Hockey Center in Deodoro, Rio de Janeiro, again under the captaincy of Sushila Chanu. She’ll be assisted by Deepika Thakur as the team’s vice captain.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team’s chief coach, Neil Hawgood says that they have picked up the team that was best prepared mentally and physically. The team will leave for the USA today to play three practice games against Canada and two against USA, before reaching Rio on 29th July.
Team Squad: Sushila Chanu (Captain and Defender), Navjot Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Savita, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Deepika (vice-captain), Namita Toppo, Renuka Yadav, Sunita Lakra, Rani, Preeti Dubey, Lilima Minz.