Women’s hockey team’s strong comeback, Australia’s plans of clean sweep turned water, Deep Grace’s wonder
New Delhi. The Indian women’s hockey team held hosts Australia (IND v AUS) to a 1-1 draw in the third match. With this, Team India, led by Savita Punia, saved itself from a clean sweep defeat. Deep Grace Ikka scored the only goal for India. Madison Brooke of Australia scored the goal.
Deep Grace Ikka scored a goal in the 42nd minute of the match, while Madison Brooke scored a brilliant goal for Australia in the 25th minute of the match. In this way India won the 3-match series by Australia 2-0. Indian women’s hockey team captain Savita and veteran defender Nikki Pradhan on Sunday achieved the milestone of playing 250 and 150 international matches for the country respectively in Adelaide.
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After making her debut at the 2009 four-nation Spar Cup tournament in Durban, Savita cemented her place in the team with good performances. In a career spanning over a decade, 32-year-old Savita has won several laurels, including the Arjuna Award. He performed impressively during India’s fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.
She was also a part of the team that played in the 2016 Rio Olympics and the Women’s World Cup in London. Under his leadership, India won the bronze medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and also won the title in the FIH Nations Cup, which qualified the team for the FIH Pro League 2023-24.
In a statement issued by Hockey India, Savita said, ‘This is a very special moment for me. Even during this journey, I have faced many ups and downs and this achievement would not have been possible without the support of my teammates. I also thank Hockey India, Sports Authority of India and the Government of Odisha for their continued support to the Indian women’s team. Apart from Savita, defender Nikki also achieved the feat of playing 150 international matches on Sunday.
Nikki said, ‘Representing my country at the top level was nothing less than a dream for me. It was a great honor for me to play in Rio Olympics and Tokyo Olympics. My performance with the national team has been good and the journey so far has been enjoyable. The current year is very important for us considering many important competitions so my aim is to continue giving my best on the field so that my team can move forward and achieve glory in the near future.
Nikki made her international debut in 2016 during the tour of South Africa. The Jharkhand-born player became the first woman hockey player from her state to represent India in the Olympics during the Rio Olympics. She was also a part of the team that participated in the Tokyo Olympics. She was part of the team that won the gold medal in the Women’s Asia Cup in 2017 and the silver medal in the Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in 2018.
Tags: Indian Women Hockey, Savita Punia
FIRST PUBLISHED : May 21, 2023, 17:33 IST