Two From Odisha In 18-Member Indian Women Hockey Team For Tokyo Olympics Test Event

Bhubaneswar: Two players from Odisha- Deep Grace Ekka and Lilima Minz have been selected in the 18-member Indian Women’s Hockey squad for the upcoming Olympics 2020 Test Event scheduled to be held between 17 and 21 August, 2019 in Tokyo of Japan.

Rani Rampal has been named the captain while Savita will be in-charge of Vice-captainship in the team.

India, currently ranked No. 10 in the International Hockey Federation (FIH) Rankings are likely to face tough challenges in the tournament as they lock horns against the likes of World No. 2 Australia, World No. 11 China and hosts Japan who are currently on 14th position in international ranking.

Apart from replacement of Sunita Lakra of Odisha and Jyoti with Sharmila Devi and Reena Khokhar, the rest of the squad that played the FIH Women’s Series Finals in Hiroshima recently will take part in the event.

The team consists of experienced goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu, who will look to guard India’s goalpost, while defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Gurjit Kaur, Salima Tete, and Nisha have also been included in the 18-member team.

Midfielders Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz and Neha Goyal will look to command the midfield. Similarly, Rani, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi are the forwards who have been picked in the team.

“We are looking forward to playing three top countries at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 Test Event as I rate them all highly. We have selected a squad of 18 players where only 16 players will be allowed to play in accordance to the Olympic standards,” said Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne.

“It will be very interesting to see how we fare against these countries, and what we need to improve for the FIH Olympic Qualifiers because we will be focused on winning our games. We will get to learn good lessons in this tour ahead of the Olympics,” added Marijne.