The Indian women’s team led by Sushila Chanu will play an Olympic match for the first time in 36 years, against a higher-ranked Japanese outfit.
It is seen as a big step in terms of growing hockey in India. Sushila Chanu will spearhead the team in the absence of Poonam Rani, who was dropped from the squad. Though it is a fairly experienced squad, tougher times await in Rio. They have to play out of their skins to reach the knockout stage. Their last competition before the Games was in USA where they managed to win a game and that should really boost their confidence. India face a tough group in Rio with pitted against them. Hockey has given India a lot to cheer about at Olympics and a good show from them in Rio will add to the legacy of the game and put women’s hockey on the forefront in the country.
Squad: Sushila Chanu (Captain and Defender), Navjot Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Monika, Nikki Pradhan, Anuradha Devi Thokchom, Savita, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Deepika (vice-captain), Namita Toppo, Renuka Yadav, Sunita Lakra, Rani Rampal, Preeti Dubey, Lilima Minz.
Coach: Neil Hawgood
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