Imphal: Sushila Chanu of Manipur has been listed in the Indian Women’s Hockey squad for Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.
With final preparations underway for the much-awaited Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Hockey India on Thursday announced the final list of players selected to represent the Indian Women’s Hockey Team at the summer showdown in Tokyo.
Manipur Hockey expresses happiness over the selection of Manipuri woman Hockey player Sushila Chanu Pulchrambam (midfielder) in the squad for national women Hockey team for Olympic Games 2020. Manipur Hockey congratulates all the players in the team and wishes all the best performance in the international event, Manipur Hockey general secretary Seram Neken said.
Sushila Chanu, a former captain of Indian national team, has a total of 150 international caps to her credit. Born in Thangmeiband, Imphal, Sushila Chanu began playing hockey at the age of eleven, and was soon selected for the national camp.
Chanu rose to prominence in 2013, when she led the junior women’s team to a bronze medal finish at the Women’s Hockey Junior World Cup at Mönchengladbach. She then made her debut in the senior national team, and was part of the squad that won the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games held at Incheon.
Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “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 at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games 2020.”
The final squad includes eight stalwarts in Rani, Savita, Deep Grace Ekka, Sushila Charm Pukhrambam, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Navjot Kaur and Vandana Katariya; who have had the experience of representing India at the historic appearance of the Indian women’s team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games after a gap of 36 years. These eight players have amassed a mammoth total of 1,492 caps between them for Team India and will be tasked with leading the charge for Team India in their quest for Olympic glory. 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.
Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, “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.”
The eight Olympic debutants include drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Udita, Nisha, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Sharmila Devi, Lalremsiami – who is the first player hailing from Mizoram in the team and Salima Tete – who led the Indian team at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games at Buenos Aires to a silver medal performance, also joins the team destined for Tokyo.
The Women’s Team, which made history in Rio in 2016 after making an Olympic appearance after a 36-year-long wait, will now be looking to make its mark in the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. This team took the disconcerting news of the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics in its stride and used the additional year to solidify their preparation for the Summer Games, as they bid to become the first Indian Women’s Hockey team to win an Olympic medal. The team has left no stone unturned in their preparation for the year’s showpiece event, with challenging tours to Germany and Argentina in the early part of 2021 proving to be an ideal preparation against world class competition. A high intensity National Camp following the international tours 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 with the games taking place from July 23 to August 6 in Tokyo.
The selected players are Savita as goalkeeper; Deep Grace Ekka, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur and Udita as defenders; Nisha, Neha, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Monika, Navjot Kaur and Salima Tete as midfielders; and Rani, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Vandana Katariya and Sharmila Devi as forwards.