Renuka Yadav now part of hockey squad for Rio Olympics
Hockey India announced the names of India's women's 16-member squad for the Rio Olympics making Renuka Yadav, Chhattisgarh's first woman olympian. Renuka while sharing her "happiest moment" said that, ''this is a golden moment of my life. I'm delighted to be the first woman Olympian of Chhattisgarh." The Indian women's hockey team has qualified for the Olympics after a gap of 36 years.
About Renuka Yadav
Renuka Yadav was born on 18 July, 1994 and hails from Rajnandgaon, located in the state of Chhattisgarh. Renuka used to be a milk seller, who went door-to-door on her bicycle and her parents worked as domestic helps in various houses to earn a living. She is currently a midfielder and fullback in the Indian women's national Hockey team.
The start of Renuka Yadav's career
Renuka started playing hockey when she was in the 7th grade. Renuka's mentor, Bushan Sao, also a school-level hockey coach in Rajnandgaon, recognised her talent and encouraged her to take to the game. He also gifted her the first hockey stick she would play with. After high school, she went to practice at the Girls Hockey Academy in Gwalior (MP).
Part of Women's National Hockey Team
Currently employed as a ticket examiner with Central Railways in Mumbai, Renuka has been playing hockey for India as a midfielder for some time now. In 2015, she played against Japan during the Junior Asia Cup. Renuka played as a defender against Sri Lanka and Nepal in the 12th South Asian Games 2016, which were held in Guwahati and Shillong.
Indian women's hockey squad for Rio Olympics
The Rio'16 squad: Sushila Chanu (captain); Goalkeeper: Savita; Defenders: Deep Ekka, Deepika (vice-captain), Namita Toppo, Sunita Lakra (defender). Midfielders: Navjot Kaur, Monika, Renuka Yadav, Lilima Minz. Forwards: Anuradha Devi, Poonam Rani, Vandana Kataria, Rani Rampal, Preeti Dubey, Nikki Pradhan. On standby: Rajani Etimarpu, H. Lalruat.
Practice session of the team
The Indian women's hockey team will be leaving for USA for three practice matches against Canada and two against USA before reaching Rio on 29 July for the games.