India announces 18-member women's squad for FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, Rani Rampal to lead team

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaUpdated: Oct 18, 2019, 08:43 PM IST
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File photo: Rani Rampal Photograph:(WION Web Team)

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The winners of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. 

Hockey India (HI) on Friday named the 18-member women's squad for the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers. 

The Indian team remained unchanged from their Tour of England. Rani Rampal will lead the team in the tournament. 

Experienced goalkeepers Savita and Rajani Etimarpu will guard the goal, while drag-flicker Gurjit Kaur, Deep Grace Ekka, Reena Khokhar, Salima Tete, Namita Toppo, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Rani Rampal, Vandana Katariya, Navneet Kaur, Lalremsiami, Navjot Kaur and Sharmila Devi will serve as the outfield players.

"We have retained the 18-member team from our preparatory tour of England. We have a good balance and a mixture of players in the squad. Keeping in mind our objective of qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, I feel it is important to stay in the rhythm with the same players who performed well in the preparatory tour. We now focus on making sure that we leave no stone unturned when we take on the USA in the two matches," Indian women's team coach Sjoerd Marijne said.

The winners of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers will qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The winners will be determined as follows: Teams will be ranked according to the number of points each has accumulated in both matches (for each match, 3 points are awarded to the winner, one point to each team in the event of a draw and no point to the loser). 

If there is equality among the two teams, then the teams will be ranked according to their respective goal difference. If equality remains, a shoot-out competition will be played to establish the winner. 

Therefore, the objective of the team will be to secure direct qualification for the Tokyo 2020, which will be staged in Japan's capital city from July 25 to August 7 next year and involve 12 men's and 12 women's teams. 

India will take on the USA on November 1 and 2 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar.