Bhubaneswar: Indian women’s hockey team including four Odisha players – Namita Toppo, Lilima Minz, Deep Grace Ekka and Sunita Lakra, left Sunday from New Delhi to London to take part in the Hockey World Cup, July 15-August 5.
This is the first time in eight years that the eves will appear at the prestigious World Cup hockey tournament. No other player in the current squad apart from skipper Rani Rampal and Deepika Thakur have ever played at a World Cup before.
Namita and Lilima were pretty excited about playing in the mega event. “This is our first World Cup and we will play our first match against a very competitive England. Winning against the hosts will give us a very good momentum and set the tempo for the rest of the tournament,” stated Lilima over phone before her departure. “We will try our best to give our best in the tournament and have a podium finish,” she added.
“We all are pretty experienced and have an important role to play if India are to do well in the tournament,” asserted Namita.
Lilima also mentioned that all the players are more comfortable with coach Sjored Marijne who for a brief while had been appointed to manage the men’s team.
“He was our coach earlier. We are now accustomed to his style of coaching. He has a very technical and scientific approach in preparing his strategy and we have gained a lot of confidence under him,” Lilima pointed out.