Tag Archives: Rani Rampaul

Indian Women’s hockey team can be medal winner at Tokyo Olympics: Dhanraj Pillay

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi: Former hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay feels that the national women’s team has the  potential to have a podium finish  at the Tokyo Olympics.

The mercurial forward  is of the view that skipper Rani Rampal and custodian  Savita Punia  can  guide the eves to their first ever Olympic medal in the sport. 

Talking to  paddler Mudit Dani in his  live online chat show ‘In The Sportlight’, Pillay opined  “We have one of the best captains in Rani. I think Rani and goalkeeper Savita can take the team to a podium finish. The team is working really hard, preparing for the Olympics and am confident of a good show.”

25-year-old Rani impressed greatly as she led India to the podium at the 2018 Asian Games and also guided the team to a spot at the Olympics for the second successive time. And goalkeeper Punia, who is one of the most experienced players in the team, has also played a crucial role in the qualifiers.    

Pillay the only Indian hockey player to have appeared in four Olympics, Pillay  believes the sport has come a long way, especially when it comes to stamina and physical abilities, and thinks Indian hockey players can give tough competition to the best in the world.  

“What hockey I played and what these players have been playing for the last 10-15 years, there is no match. The current players are playing based on their fitness abilities. Fitness has changed Indian hockey and also the players are very serious about their physique and endurance abilities. 

Today the Indian team can be compared with Australia or Netherlands or Germany. They can give a tough fight to any team in the world,” said Pillay, who has guided the Men in Blue to victory on many occasions during his career including a gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games. 

In order to take the legacy of Indian hockey forward, the 52-year-old also suggested having a larger pool of players in the Indian camp which can provide opportunities to more players to showcase their skills and get into the national side.

Pillay, who has been coaching the hockey players in Gujarat since 2015, is quite happy with the progress of the state in the sports and is confident of seeing players from Gujarat representing the country at the next Olympic Games.

“Sports Authority of Gujarat has given a platform to several athletes including several hockey players. I’m very much confident that my players will represent the country in future. There is a lot of potential in Gujarat. It is my dream that after the Tokyo Olympics one or two boys and girls from Gujarat should be in the Indian camp. 

“When the build-up starts for the 2024 Olympics, I’m confident players trained under me will represent the country,” said the veteran who made 339 appearances for the country in his 15-year illustrious career.


Will make India proud in Tokyo: Hockey captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampaul

Harpal  Singh Bedi 

New Delhi: Captain and ace midfielder Manpreet Singh has exuded confidence that Indian hockey team will put up a podium finishing show at the Tokyo Olympic next year.

Women’s team skipper Rani Rampaul was also very optimistic of her squad making the country proud at the Games.

With exactly one year to go for the Olympic Games to begin in Tokyo on 23 July 2021, there’s an air of excitement and determination among the players.

Both the Teams have put up commendable performances  against top teams in the recent past and have registered  victories at their respective FIH Series Finals and the FIH Olympic Qualifiers last year.

Manpreet was of the view that Indian team has been getting better with each Olympics. “It’s certainly exciting that in exactly one year’s time, we will be in Tokyo with the best of the athletes from around the world.

Manpreet was of the view that his side has a good chance to win a medal at the Olympics next year.” Looking at the way our squad has been performing in the last year, we certainly have a good chance to win a medal at the Olympics. Everyone is clear about their roles in the side and we have enough time to evolve as a team as well. 

“We are definitely on track for achieving our desired result in the upcoming Olympics. We just have to keep concentrating on carrying out the processes well and the results will take care of itself”, Manpreet said.

Tokyo Games will be Manpreet’s third Olympics. Talking about his experiences he said “I have been part of two Olympic Games so far, so I have gotten used to the big stage. The 2012 Olympic Games was certainly a disastrous campaign for us, but it will be special for me since it was my first Olympics. We went to the 2016 Olympic Games with a much better side and put up a better performance, but we didn’t achieve our desired result there. “the mid fielder said.

“We are certainly looking to up the ante in Tokyo,” he said but admitted that there’s always going to be a touch of nervousness floating around among the players as we start the one-year countdown“, added Manpreet.

Women’s Team leader Rani Rampaul was equally hopeful that her side will make the country proud at the Games.

“We have competed against top teams in the recent past and we have shown that our team has the capability of winning a medal and making our country proud at the Olympics“, Rani said.

“We have a good group of experienced players, who are guiding the junior players very well. Our team has been getting better with each tournament we have played and we will definitely improve our game even further in the next one year,” the striker said.

Talking about the Rio Olympics, Rani said that the experience will help her make better decisions at the Tokyo Olympics.

“It was great to be a part of the Olympics in Rio. We made history by qualifying for the tournament after 36 years. It was a great feeling to be playing at the biggest of stages.

Even though we didn’t register the best of results, I have certainly learned a lot by playing in Rio. I am sure all the players, who played in the 2016 Olympics, will make much better decisions on the pitch at the Tokyo Olympics, based on their experience in Rio,” said Rani.


Recognition and Awards motivate sportsperson to give their best: Rani Rampaul

Harpal Singh Bedi

New Delhi:  Ace striker and Women’s hockey team captain  Rani Rampaul  is of the view that  recognition and awards  are a big motivation for a sportsperson to excel.

A player tends to give her/his best if  performance (s)  is appreciate and recoganized ,  said Rani  on the sidelines of the FICCI India Sports Awards  

The striker admitted that the 2018/19 has been very good for her and  her team.They  qualified for  the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where for the first time  Indian Women Team will make back-to-back appearances in the most prestigious sporting event.

Otherwise also Indian women team performed impressively in the qualifiers and other fixtures in which they scored  victories against quality sides like Spain, Ireland, Japan, China, Korea, England among other countries.      Rani agrees that  she is beneficiary of  team’s good showing.  The good showing  has brought several accolades, awards and recognition in this past one year.    It is a new era for women’s hockey in the country. “The fact that people never expected any great result from the Indian Women’s Team always bothered us. No one expected us to win, just a participation would bring satisfaction. But now I see that attitude change towards the Indian Women’s Hockey Team. We have proved with our performances in 2018 and 2019 that we can achieve greatness too,” 

While winnings awards and being recognised spurs her to do better, Rani also sees this as a positive step towards drawing more attention to Indian Women’s Hockey. 

“Personally this award is a big boost for me to do better and contribute to my team’s performance. I also think this kind of recognition highlights Indian Women’s Hockey among a different genre of people who are not necessarily hockey followers. I believe this will only help the sport grow. I would love to see the Indian Team inspire more women take up the sport professionally,” she added. 

The Indian Team is currently in Bengaluru for the ongoing National Coaching Camp till 15 December . After a three-week break for Christmas and New Year, the core group will return to camp on 5 January 2020 to prepare for the New Zealand Tour. “One of the primary focus for us will be on fitness and recovery. While the plan is to play top quality matches against good teams in the lead up to the Olympics, all of us need to manage our body and mind well. We will need to peak at the right time and going by the weather in Tokyo around the time of the Olympics, I believe fitness will play a huge part in how teams fair,” Rani said

Rani Rampaul named captain of Indian Women’s Hockey Team for Korea Tour

Harpal Singh Bedi

Rani Rampaul

New Delhi: Hockey India on Friday named  experienced  striker Rani Rampaul  to lead the 18-member Women’s Team for the tour of Korea  scheduled to begin on 20th May  at the Jinchun National Athletic Center, Jinchun, Korea. 

The visitors  will play a bilateral series of three Test Matches against Korea .

The matches will help the Indian team in preparing for the FIH Women’s Series Finals, which is scheduled to be held from June 15th – 23rd in Hiroshima, Japan.

 Since the start of the year, the Indian team has also toured Spain in January-February  where they played bilateral matches against the host nation and Ireland, which saw them finish with a record of two wins, three draws and a loss. 

The team also embarked on their Malaysia Tour in April 

which saw them remain unbeaten as they won four matches and drew one. 

Experienced Goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu will be guarding the goalpost in the three-match Republic Of Korea tour while defender Gurjit Kaur makes a return to the team after having missed the Malaysia Tour due to injury. 

She will be accompanied by Salima Tete, Sunita Lakra, Deep Grace Ekka, Karishma Yadav and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam in defence, while Monika, Navjot Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal and Lilima Minz will command the midfield for India. 

Captain Rani also makes a return after missing Malaysia Tour due to injury, and she will be joined by Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Jyoti and Navneet Kaur in attack.

Speaking about the importance of the tour ahead of the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima , Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne said, “I am happy with the return of experienced players like Rani and Gurjit Kaur in the squad, and pleased that they are fully fit to play these matches. 

This tour will give us the chance to take a good final step against a strong opponent in our preparation for the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima .

 We have identified areas in our game that needed improvement from our past two tours this year, and have worked on them in training, and it is now time to show the improvement in the matches.”