The Indian women’s hockey team, which upset a high-ranked Australia to ensure its maiden semi-final appearance at the Olympics, won billions of hearts for their united effort under pressure at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.
If coach Sjoerd Marijne tactfully guided the team, its charismatic captain Rani Rampal inspired the girls with her able leadership.
Twenty-six-year-old Rani, who made her India debut at the age of 14 at the 2008 Olympic Qualifiers in Kazan, Russia, has risen from her humble background to become an iconic figure in Indian hockey in her 13 years. Long international career.
Despite hailing from Shahabad Markanda in Haryana, one of the famous hockey nurseries in the country, it was never easy for Rani to take up the sport due to the financial constraints of her family. His father worked as a cart puller and it was difficult for the family to sustain both.
He, somehow, convinced his parents to enroll him as a seven-year-old at the Shahabad Hockey Academy run by the iconic coach Baldev Singh, who was also a perfect taskmaster. Rani worked hard honing her skills and quickly went on to play for India’s senior team as a teenager.
Even as she was living her passion and emerged as one of the finest forwards in a short span of time, Rani played the dual role of playing for the country and supporting her family, including a pucca house. Making was also included. A word of encouragement from 1980 Olympic gold medalist and former women’s team coach MK Kaushik kept her morale high.
At times, she struggled for support on the field, but never gave up on pursuing responsibilities. She has played in all major competitions, including two World Cups and multiple Olympics, and won a gold medal at the 2017 Asia Cup and a silver medal at the 2018 Asian Games. He was voted the best young player of the 2010 World Cup.
The special aspect of Rani’s game is that she can score goals even under pressure. The best example of this was his winning goal against the US in the 2019 Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar to get the country a place in the Tokyo Olympics.
The most capped player on the Indian side, Rani – who wears a pendant containing two hockey sticks and a ball – leads by example. She has already contributed to the team at the Tokyo Olympics and would be keen to take the big glory. With her age, the queen can serve the country for a few more years.