Indian Women’s Team
Indian eves gear up for what promises to be a thrilling competition for the National Women’s Hockey team at the Olympics ~
With final preparations underway for the much-awaited Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, Hockey India has announced the final list of players selected to represent the Indian Women’s Hockey Team at the summer showdown in Tokyo. The 16-member squad strikes the perfect balance between continuity from the Rio Olympics 2016, and adopting a fresh approach for Tokyo. Eight experienced veterans have been named in the squad, while eight new players have been handed the chance to make their Olympic debut for Team India.
Speaking on the team selection, 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.”
Congratulating the selected squad, 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 Chanu 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. The Indian Women’s Hockey team have seen a steady rise over the past few years, clinching Olympic qualification for a historic second consecutive occasion on the back of their consistent performances in qualifying events. 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 and making it to the Quarter Finals of the 2018 Women’s World Cup for the first time in history.
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 23rd July to 6th August in Tokyo.
COMPLETE LIST OF SELECTED PLAYERS:
- DEEP GRACE EKKA
- NIKKI PRADHAN
- GURJIT KAUR
- SUSHILA CHANU PUKHRAMBAM
- NAVJOT KAUR
- SALIMA TETE
- NAVNEET KAUR
- VANDANA KATARIYA
- SHARMILA DEVI
Indian Men’s Team
~ Continuing the strong form, the team is vying for a podium finish ~
Hockey India has announced the much anticipated 16-member men’s hockey team to represent the country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games 2020. With as many as ten Olympic debutants in the squad, the team is fuelled with a fresh approach basis intense training and preparation at the ongoing national camp being held at SAI Centre Bengaluru.
Continuing with their third stint goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and midfielder Manpreet Singh will bring in critical experience to the team alongside other Olympic veterans Harmanpreet Singh, Rupinder Pal Singh, and Surender Kumar. After missing the previous Olympics in 2016 due to a major knee injury, Birendra Lakra gets a befitting opportunity to be part of the squad for Tokyo 2020. Additionally, joining the team are Amit Rohidas, Hardik Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta Sharma, Sumit and debutant forwards, Shamsher Singh, Mandeep Singh, Dilpreet Singh, Gurjant Singh and Lalit Kumar Upadhyay.
Speaking on the team selection, Chief Coach Graham Reid said, “It has not been an easy process to make the final selection of 16 players as there is a lot of quality and ambition in this group of players. The performance levels of all the athletes are at an optimum level and more importantly, they work well together. They know what it means to represent the country at the Olympics. We are now focussed on training with the same intensity and our goal is to put forward our best performance as a collective unit in Tokyo.”
Congratulating the selected squad, Hockey India President Gyanendro Ningombam said, “The Indian Men’s Hockey Team has a rich legacy of Olympic performances to follow, and I feel this time, more than ever the team is in a position to revisit its glory days to emerge as a top medal contender. The recent performance against Olympic Champions Argentina at the FIH Pro League shows they are headed in the right direction. I wish them all the best.”
The Indian Men’s Hockey Team has had a rich history in the Olympics. The side has won a whopping 11 Olympic Medals which includes 8 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze Medals. However, it has been 41 years since the Indian team last won an Olympic Medal and therefore the current Indian Men’s Hockey Team is very determined to change the course of history in Tokyo. The current team has won the 2016 & 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, 2017 Asia Cup Gold and 2019 World Series as well over the last few years.
As a part of Olympics preparations, the men’s team travelled to Europe and Argentina as part of their preparations. Having put up a good show against teams like Germany, Great Britain and reigning Olympic Champions Argentina on the tours, the World No.4 side is pumped up for the Tokyo Olympics. The Indian team also got a chance to return to high-level competition like FIH Pro League, where they defeated Argentina in both the matches and set the tone for the Olympics.
The Indian Men’s Team are grouped in Pool A along with reigning Olympic Champions Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and hosts Japan. The tournament takes place from 23rd July to 5th August in Tokyo.
COMPLETE LIST OF SELECTED PLAYERS:
- P R SREEJESH
- HARMANPREET SINGH
- RUPINDER PAL SINGH
- SURENDER KUMAR
- AMIT ROHIDAS
- BIRENDRA LAKRA
- HARDIK SINGH
- MANPREET SINGH
- VIVEK SAGAR PRASAD
- NILAKANTA SHARMA
- SHAMSHER SINGH
- DILPREET SINGH
- GURJANT SINGH
- LALIT KUMAR UPADHYAY
- MANDEEP SINGH