Odisha’s Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Anupa Barla and Namita Toppo made it to the Indian team for Rio 2016 Olympics. Earning an Olympics berth after a gap of 36 years, Indian Women’s Hockey Team qualified for Rio 2016 Olympic Games, on Friday.
Bhubaneswar: In a double delight for the hockey fraternity and fans in Odisha, four young players from the state made it to the Indian Women Hockey Team for the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Indian Women Hockey team on Friday (28th September) earned a berth for an Olympics event after a gap of 36 years. The last time the Indian Women Hockey team featured in Olympics is in 1980 at Moscow and finished at fourth position.
The four players from Odisha who made it to the Indian team for Rio Olympics are Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Anupa Barla and Namita Toppo. It may be noted here that three players out of the four selected for Rio 2016, will be playing the Asian Junior Women’s Hockey Championship Changzhou, China in September 2015.
Applauding the Indian Women Hockey team for the historic achievement, Hockey India said yesterday that the International Hockey Federation (FIH) had confirmed that India women had qualified for the hockey event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
India qualified after England defeated Spain in the semi-finals of the Unibet Euro Hockey Championships in London, which ensured that the only teams who can now win the event have already qualified for Rio through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals – Netherlands and England. The winner of the Euro Hockey Championships will qualify for the 2016 Olympics as European continental champions, opening up a further qualification spot which India secure as the team who ranked highest at the Hockey World League Semi-Finals not already qualified.
India women join the nine teams already qualified for Rio 2016 – Korea as Asian Games champions, USA as Pan Am Games champions and Great Britain, China, Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and the USA through the Hockey World League Semi-Finals.
The 2016 Summer Olympics will start with a glittering Opening Ceremony on 5thAugust in Rio de Janeiro and the Women team will commence its outing from 7th August 2016.