Mumbai, November 9, 2023– In a remarkable victory, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team secured the gold medal in the Jharkhand Women’s Asian Champions Trophy Ranchi 2023 by defeating Japan 4-0 in the final match. This triumph, achieved at the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Astro Turf Hockey Stadium in front of an enthusiastic Ranchi crowd, marks the second time India has clinched the prestigious title, the previous win dating back to 2016.
The spotlight of this achievement falls on Sangita Kumari, who not only hails from Jharkhand but also delivered a memorable goal during the final match. For Sangita, this goal became one of the most cherished moments in her career. The Indian hockey player expressed her gratitude to the support staff, her teammates, and coaches for believing in her abilities, and she is proud to have repaid their faith. In her words, “I am grateful for the support staff, my teammates, and coaches for trusting me, and I am proud I was able to repay their faith. In a Final, it is always important to get an early goal, and I am glad I was able to deliver for the team.”
Sangita Kumari not only played a vital role in the team’s victory but also secured the title of the “Rising Star” of the tournament, a testament to her exceptional performance. “This has been one of the best moments of my career. More than anything, I am just elated. I was able to contribute to our team’s win, and I hope to continue in the same vein of form in the future,” she added.
India’s journey to victory in the tournament was characterized by dominance and impressive performances. The team remained undefeated throughout, displaying their attacking and defensive prowess with victories over Thailand, Malaysia, China, and Japan. The support from the Ranchi fans, who filled the stadium and cheered passionately, added an extra layer of motivation to the Indian players.
Jharkhand’s Salima Tete, another star performer during the tournament, was presented with the “Jharkhand Player of the Tournament” award. Salima’s performance was marked by both her goal-scoring abilities and her knack for creating opportunities for India within the circle. She expressed her honor in competing in an international tournament in front of her home fans, which boosted her confidence and strength.
In recognition of their stellar title-winning performance, Hockey India announced a reward of Rs 3.00 Lakhs for each member of the Indian Women’s Hockey Team and Rs 1.50 Lakhs for each member of the support staff.
The Indian Women’s Hockey Team is now gearing up for the Women’s FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers scheduled to be held at Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh AstroTurf Hockey Stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand from January 13-21, 2024. The experience of playing in front of home fans is expected to give the Indian team an advantage in the upcoming tournament.
The team, led by veteran defender Nikki Pradhan, is enthusiastic about their prospects in the FIH Qualifiers, having already experienced the conditions, the turf, and the atmosphere of the stadium. Nikki Pradhan expressed her gratitude to the passionate Ranchi fans and stated, “It was great to see Ranchi fans being so loud and packing the stadium in numbers to cheer for us, and we are thankful for their support. We have already played so many tight games here in this tournament, and hence, now we are aware of the conditions, the turf, and the atmosphere. This would give us an advantage heading into the all-important Olympics Qualifiers in January.”
India will compete alongside New Zealand, the United States, and Italy in Pool B at the FIH Qualifiers, where their aim is to continue their dominance and secure positive results. The team is determined to refine their performance before the FIH Olympics Qualifiers and maintain their strong presence in international women’s hockey.