Bangkok (14 Dec, 2016): Defending champions Japan lead a field of former champions in India and Korea into the 4th Women Under-18 Asia Cup which begins on Friday until December 22 at the Bangkok Hockey Stadium.
India, the inaugural champions in 2001, are drawn in Group A with Malaysia, China and Chinese Taipei while Korea, the 2009 champions when the event was held in Shanghai, China, have for company in Group B Japan, Thailand and Singapore.
The Japanese emerged champions in 2011 by defeating China in the final and return to the same venue to defend their championship title.
Day one fixtures on Friday (Dec 16) will witness Malaysia open its campaign against China and India goes head to head with China Taipei in Group A encounters while Japan meets Singapore and Korea takes on Thailand.
The Indians have included 14-year-old Salima Tete in the squad of 18 players. Salima represented the national side in the series against Australia and is a key member in the Indian defence that will be held by Ritu, Neelu Dadiya, Suman Devi Thoudam, and Gagandeep Kaur, along with goalkeepers Divya Thepe and Alpha Kerketta.
Hockey India has named midfielders Udita as captain and have entrusted the deputy captain’s role to Salima in their quest to win the trophy which they last won 15 years ago in Hong Kong and finished fourth at the 2011 edition.
The other midfielders are Manpreet Kaur, Jyoti, Mariana Kujur, Mahima Choudhary and Lalremsiami whilst the forwards are Sangita Kumari, Poonam, Leelavathy Mallamada Jaya, Rajwinder Kaur and Mumtaz Khan.
“This is a very good learning opportunity for young players like us. The team is really looking forward to playing in Bangkok. We are playing well as a unit and will put our best foot forward against our opponents,” said Udita.
The Malaysians, who finished fifth in the third edition of the event in Bangkok, have included two 15-year-old players in Nor Asfarina Isahyifiqa Isahhidin and Nur Fatin Dizana Mohd Zaidi, and five Under-16 players to mount their challenge.
Malaysian Squad: Nursyaza Haziqah Hussin, Priyangga S. Rajan (goalkeepers), Nur Zafirah Aziz, Nuramirah Shakirah Zulkifli, Nur Syuhada Suhaimi, Nurain Moun, Wan Nur Syafiqah Wan Norhisham, Ellya Amanina Ellias, Qasidah Najwa Muhammad Halimi, Suhaila Sata, Nur Adriana Mohd Nor Nawawi, Nur Afiqah Syahzani Azhar, Putri Nur Batrisiya Nor Nawawi, Shahiera Syazreen Mohd Saiful, Nur Lyana Soberi, Iren Hussin, Nor Asfarina Isahyifiqa Isahhidin, Nur Fatin Dizana Mohd Zaidi.
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