Sports Minister offers all support to the women’s hockey team

Skipper Rani Rampal says squad gained confidence from its Hiroshima show

The Minister of State of Youth Affairs & Sports, Kiren Rijiju has extended all support to the women’s hockey team as it prepares for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The team, which won the FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima during the weekend, was felicitated on Tuesday.

“The Indian women’s hockey team has played very well and made us proud. I shall visit both the men and women’s team and their coaches in Bengaluru to discuss what all they need for the qualification process,” said Rijiju.

Skipper Rani Rampal said the squad had gained confidence from its performances in Hiroshima and would strive to build on it.

Unbeaten campaign

During its unbeaten campaign, India scored 29 goals and conceded four.

“Things have developed quite a bit and I want to lead by example, to inspire girls to come out and to raise the level of hockey in the country,” she said.

In fact, striker Lalremsiami showed exemplary spirit ahead of the semifinal against Chile.

In spite of learning of her father’s demise, the Mizoram player went on to take the field to make her father proud.

Vice-captain and goalkeeper Savita Punia said, “Our focus is to do our job.

But when we look at the social media and elsewhere and realise so many people are backing up, it feels good from the core.”

Punia also lauded Dutch coach Sjoerd Marijne terming him “lucky” for the team.

“You can see it in his eyes, the intensity to win is the same. He makes us feel at home and we work as a family” she added.

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