Team for Olympics announced; Ritu Rani dropped
24 year old Sushila Chanu was chosen to lead the Indian women's hockey team for the upcoming Rio Olympics. Selectors dropped former captain Ritu Rani on grounds of poor performance and attitude problems. Team coach Neil Hogwood said, "we have picked the best physically and mentally prepared team." The 16-member squad has five defenders, five mid-fielders, five forwards and a goalkeeper.
Sushila Chanu: Early life
Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam was born on 25th February 1992 in Manipur. Belonging to the family of sport lovers, she was encouraged to play hockey by her uncle. She started playing hockey at age of 11 and went on to play for the Posterior Hockey Academy, Manipur. She then shifted to Gwalior in Madhya Pradesh (MP) to join MP Hockey Academy in 2006.
Junior hockey team member and captaincy
P Sushila Chanu was selected for India's junior women's hockey team in 2008 for the Under-21 Asia Cup tournament in Malaysia. She also played for India in the Under-19 Asia Cup held in China in 2009. She became the captain of India's junior team and led the team to win a bronze medal at the 2013 Junior World Cup held in Germany.
Continuous performance and captaincy
Soon after her amazing performance in the 2013 Junior World Cup, Sushila Chanu was chosen for the women's senior team. She was a part of the team which reached the semis of the 2015 Hockey World League. She was made captain of the team for a four-nation tournament held in May 2016 in Australia. Sushila Chanu has played 112 international matches for India.
The Indian mid-fielder sustained a major knee injury during a tournament in May this year. But with rigorous physiotherapy and exercise she was back for training within eight weeks.
Historic Olympic for women's hockey team
The Indian women's hockey team created history by qualifying for this year's Olympics. The only time Indian women's hockey team has ever been to the Olympics was in 1980 at the Moscow Olympics.