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FIH win: Rijiju felicitates Indian women’s hockey team, assures all support

FIH win: Rijiju felicitates Indian women’s hockey team, assures all support

New Delhi, Jun 25 (UNI) Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday felicitated the Indian women’s hockey team for their victory at the FIH Series Finals that was held in Hiroshima, Japan from June 15-23.

Sports Minister also assured the players that the government will provide all the support required for the Olympic qualification.

Speaking about the achievement of the team, Mr 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', he added.

The Indian team will now compete at the the FIH Olympic Qualifiers to be held later this year. The 14-team tournament will be a bilateral two-match series, from where the winners of each of the seven matches will qualify for the Olympics.

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 semi-final encounter.

The Indian women’s hockey team has played the Summer Olympics on two previous occasions, in 1980, where they finished fourth, and in 2016.

With their improving fortunes on the global stage, having reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Commonwealth Games and earning a silver at the Asian Games, India will look to seal a berth in Tokyo later this year.

UNI XC AVK PS 2043

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