Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Ritu Rani-led Indian eves depart for Ireland ahead of Champions Challenge tourney

The Ritu Rani-led 18-member Indian senior women’s hockey team left for Ireland ahead of its participation in the forthcoming FIH Women’s Champions Challenge I hockey tournament, which is slated to be held at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Scotland from April 27 to May 4, 2014.

The Indian hockey eves will play a three Test series against Ireland. The first Test will be played on April 15, while the second Test will be held on April 17. The third and final Test will be played on April 18.  The national women’s team is coming off a three-week camp at NSNIS, Patiala.

India are pitted in Pool A alongside Korea, Belgium and India, while Pool B comprises the likes of USA, South Africa, Spain and Ireland. The FIH Women’s Champions Challenge I hockey tournament is of immense significance as the winner will book a berth for the 2016 FIH Women’s Champions Trophy to be held in England. It is pertinent to mention that the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, Scotland will be the venue for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Indian hockey eves had finished seventh in the 2012 Champions Challenge 1 hockey tourney held in Dublin, Ireland. The Blueskirts had started their campaign on an impressive note, beating Wales 3-0 before suffering a 1-8 shellacking at the hands of Australia. India lost to Belgium 2-3 before they faced Scotland in the quarterfinals. India lost to the Scots 1-3 in a penalty shootout after both teams were tied 1-1 in regulation time.

India had lost 2-3 to South Africa in the first classification match before prevailing over their first day opponents Wales 4-0 to take the seventh spot among eight teams.

The squad
Goalkeepers:Yogita Bali, Savita; Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Deepika, Sunita Lakra,   Kirandeep Kaur, Namita Toppo, Monika Malik; Midfielders: Sushila Chanu (vice-captain), Ritu Rani (captain), Lily Chanu, Chanchan Devi, Soundarya Yendala; Forwards: Anuradha Devi, Poonam Rani, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Neha Goyal.
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