Hockey India, on Saturday, named an 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024, scheduled to be held in Ranchi from January 13 to 19.
The squad will take the field in Ranchi with the aim to finish as one of the top three teams in the competition and secure qualification for the Paris 2024 Olympics.
India have been placed in Pool B, along with New Zealand, Italy, and the United States. Meanwhile, Germany, Japan, Chile, and the Czech Republic will battle it out in Pool A. India will open their campaign against the United States on the January 13, followed by a match against New Zealand on the January 14, and they will go up against Italy in the last Pool B match on the January 16.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team for the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024 comprises goalkeepers, Savita and Bichu Devi Kharibam. Meanwhile, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, and Monika have been named as defenders in the squad.
Nisha, Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Neha, Navneet Kaur, Salima Tete, Sonika, Jyoti, and Beauty Dungdung will feature in the midfield. Lalremsiami, Sangita Kumari, Deepika, and Vandana Katariya will lead the line as forwards.
Seasoned Indian custodian Savita, who recently won her third consecutive FIH Goalkeeper of the Year Award, will once again be leading the squad. Meanwhile, veteran forward Vandana Katariya, who recently became the first-ever women player from India to complete 300 caps, has been named as Savita’s deputy for the all-important tournament.
Speaking on the team selection, Indian Women’s Hockey Team Chief Coach Janneke Schopman said, "The FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers Ranchi 2024 is an important tournament on our Paris 2024 Olympics journey. It is imperative that we live up to expectations and all the players in the squad are working to secure qualification. After careful consideration, we have chosen a well-balanced team with immense skill and experience in all departments. Also, Savita and Vandana have faced high-pressure situations numerous times in their career so far, they are well equipped to guide the rest of the team as the Captain and Vice Captain.”
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