Hockey India on Sunday congratulated Indian Women's team captain Rani Rampal for being shortlisted for the prestigious Padma Shri award.
Rampal is one among the six recipients from the category of sports to be conferred with Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India. She has over 200 International caps for India.
The captain first took to the hockey field in 2003, trained at the Shahabad Hockey Academy under Coach Baldev Singh and made her international debut in 2008. After representing India at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2010 Asian Games, Rampal was included in the FIH Women's All Star Team of 2010.
Rampal's contribution was significant in India's Silver Medal win in the Asia Cup in 2009. At 15, she was the youngest member of the Indian Team that participated at the 2010 Women's Hockey World Cup in Argentina where she struck a splendid seven goals.
Under her captaincy, India created history as they won the Women's Asia Cup in 2017 and earned a direct qualification for the FIH Women's World Cup in 2018. In 2019, under her captaincy, the Indian team won the FIH Women's Series Final in Hiroshima, Japan.
Rampal said she is 'truly humbled and overjoyed' to get shortlisted for the Padma Shri award.
"I am truly humbled and overjoyed on receiving this news about being shortlisted for the Padma Shri award. We (Indian Women's Team) are in Auckland, New Zealand for our tournament and I was surprised to receive so many messages from friends, fans and well-wishers informing me about being shortlisted," Hockey India's official website quoted Rampal as saying.
"This honour is a recognition for women's hockey in India. We have come a long way in the sport and I truly believe we can achieve greater results," she added.
Hockey India President Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad said they are 'extremely proud' of Rampal's achievements and contribution in the sport.
"Hockey India is extremely proud of Rampal's achievements and contribution to Indian Hockey. Coming from a difficult background, she has been a beacon of hope for Indian women who aspire to achieve something on their own but face several odds. She has set an example to many and continues to play a pivotal role in the team's preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. I congratulate her and her family for this great honour and wish her the best for future endeavours," Ahmad said.
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