14th Senior Women’s National Hockey C’ship set to kick off from Wednesday

Public TV English
Public TV English
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PUNE: The 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship is all set to kick off on March 13 at the Major Dhyanchand Hockey Stadium Pimpri in Pune, Maharashtra with the Final scheduled to take place on March 23.

A total of 27 teams that have been divided into eight pools will be vying for top honours, as per a press release from Hockey India. With FanCode live-streaming the entire tournament, the excitement around the championship is like never before.

The upcoming tournament holds significance as it will serve as the platform for choosing the next core probables for the Indian women’s hockey team. The majority of the senior women’s team, which includes key players such as Indian Captain Savita Punia, the most capped player Vandana Katariya, seasoned pro Monika, experienced players like Navneet Kaur, Salima Tete, as well as emerging talents like Deepika and Sangita Kumari, are all poised to take part in the competition from their respective states.

While defending Champions Hockey Madhya Pradesh has been slotted in Pool A along with Hockey Bihar and Chhattisgarh Hockey, last year’s runners-up and hosts of this year’s edition Hockey Maharashtra find themselves in Pool B with Delhi Hockey and Kerala Hockey. Pool C consists of Hockey Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh Hockey and Hockey Andhra Pradesh while Hockey Haryana, Le Puducherry Hockey and Assam Hockey form Pool D.

Hockey Association of Odisha, Hockey Chandigarh and Goans Hockey are a part of Pool E. Pool F consists of Hockey Punjab, Hockey Himachal, Hockey Rajasthan and Hockey Mizoram. Hockey Karnataka find themselves in Pool G alongside Manipur Hockey, Hockey Uttarakhand Dadra & Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu Hockey while Hockey Bengal, Hockey Unit of Tamil Nadu, Hockey Gujarat and Telangana Hockey form Pool H.
The top team from each Pool will advance to the Quarter-Finals, slated for March 20, with the semi-finals set to occur on March 22. The 3rd/4th place play-off is scheduled for March 23, followed by the final later that evening.

Notably, 29 Indian international players will be a part of this tournament, taking the level of hockey to new heights. Hockey Maharashtra will have Vaishnavi Vitthal Phalke, Akshata Abaso Dhekale and Rajani Etimarpu in the team while the likes of Mariana Kujur, Ajmina Kujur and Jyoti Chhatri will turn up for Hockey Association of Odisha. Nikki Pradhan, Beauty Dungdung, Salima Tete and Sangita Kumari will be seen in action for Hockey Jharkhand and Baljeet Kaur and Gurjit Kaur will represent Hockey Punjab.

Hockey Uttar Pradesh will see Mumtaz Khan, Vandana Katariya and Bansari Solanki donning their colours while Bichu Devi Kharibam, Ishika Chaudhary and Lalremsiami will represent Manipur Hockey, Hockey Madhya Pradesh and Hockey Mizoram respectively. Hockey Haryana will field a star-studded line-up consisting of 11 international players, namely Monika, Navneet Kaur, Neha, Nisha, Deepika, Mahima Chaudhary, Jyoti, Savita, Sharmila Devi, Sonika and Udita.

Speaking about the upcoming event, Hockey India President Dr Dilip Tirkey said, “It is great to see so many international players turning up for their respective state teams. Not only does this better the level of hockey, but it also helps youngsters gain some valuable experience playing alongside the senior pros. The Hockey India senior women national championship is a massive platform for all the players and we can expect to unearth many talents who could potentially represent the Indian women’s hockey team in the future.”

Hockey Madhya Pradesh will play Chhattisgarh Hockey on March 13 at 0700hrs IST in the tournament opener. (ANI)

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