4 Odisha Players In India Hockey Squad For Women’s Asian Champions Trophy; Deep Grace Ekka Named VC

Bhubaneswar: Four players from Odisha – Deep Grace Ekka, Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Mariana Kujur – have found a place in the 18-member Indian hockey squad for the upcoming Women’s Asian Champions Trophy.

The event is scheduled to be held in Donghae, South Korea, from December 5-12.

Goalkeeper Savita will lead the team while defender Deep Grace Ekka has been named Vice-Captain. Namita Toppo, who was the alternate player at the Tokyo Olympics, as well as her statemate from Lilima Minz are also part of the team, Hockey India said.

The other members include goalkeeper Rajani Etimarpu; defenders Udita, Nikki Pradhan, Gurjit Kaur and Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Nisha, Monika, Neha and Jyoti (midfielders). The forward line will see two-time Olympian Vandana Katariya lead the charge with Navneet Kaur. They were all part of the Tokyo Olympics squad.

Forwards Rajwinder Kaur, Mariana Kujur and Sonika too have made it to the team.

Navjot Kaur and youngster Suman Devi Thoudam have been picked as alternate players and they will play only if there is an injury or someone in the 18-member squad is ruled out of the tournament due to COVID-19.

India will begin their campaign on the opening day and will battle it out against China, Korea, Japan, Thailand and Malaysia in the single-pool tournament for top honours.

In the previous edition held in 2018, India finished runners-up behind Korea.

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