Now India has moved one step closer towards qualifying for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, as they will now participate in the 14-team FIH Olympic Qualifiers to be held later this year. The qualifiers will be a bilateral two-match series, from where the winners of each of the seven matches will qualify for the Olympics.
Shri Kiren Rijiju, Minister of state (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports met the Indian women’s hockey team and congratulated them for their victory at the FIH Series Finals that were held in Hiroshima, Japan from June 15-23. With this win,
India remained unbeaten throughout their campaign, scoring 29 goals and conceding just four. The women’s team recorded convincing victories over Chile, beating them 4-2 in the semi-final, and hosts and Asian Games champions Japan 3-1 in the final. Penalty corner specialist Gurjit Kaur was India’s leading goal scorer in the tournament with 11 goals.
Captain Rani Rampal added one more accolade to her growing profile, as she was adjudged the Player of the Tournament. There was also a special performance from 19-year-old Lalremsiami who played the semi-final and final, despite receiving news that her father had expired the day before the
Speaking about the achievement of the team, Shri Rijiju said, “The Indian women’s hockey team has played very well, and made us proud. I congratulate the team for its excellent performance. The ministry will extend all support to the players, both individually and as a team. I will visit their training center in Bengaluru to meet their coaches and discuss the requirements of the team. India has a good chance of qualifying for the Olympics and winning a medal in hockey.”