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Junior India Women Hockey's Talented Forward Sunelita Toppo Named In Asian Games Core Group

The talented 16-year-old has been in imperious form in the ongoing junior Asia Cup in Japan. She struck a brace in India's 11-0 hammering of Chinese Taipei that booked their semifinal berth.

On Saturday, Sunelita scored the solitary goal to help India enter the final of the Junior Asia Cup.
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Rising Indian forward Sunelita Toppo from Odisha's hockey 'hub' Sundargarh was on Saturday named in the 33-member women's hockey team core probable group for the upcoming Asian Games. (More Hockey News)

The talented 16-year-old has been in imperious form in the ongoing junior Asia Cup in Japan. She struck a brace in India's 11-0 hammering of Chinese Taipei that booked their semifinal berth.

In the semifinal on Saturday, Sunelita struck the solitary goal as India defeated hosts Japan to book a place in the summit clash. The win also confirmed India's spot in the Junior World Cup final slated in Chile later this year.

The group will be part of a month-long senior women's national coaching camp slated to be held in SAI, Bengaluru from Sunday.

The focus of the training camp will be on enhancing team coordination and executing tactics, said Indian women's chief coach Janneke Schopman. 

"After establishing our baseline physical output and addressing individual improvements in the previous camp, the focus now shifts to enhancing team structure and tactics," Schopman was quoted as saying in a release.

"Our recent tour of Australia, where we played five matches against the hosts, helped us identify the areas that require immediate attention and need to be worked upon to improve as a team.

"With Hangzhou Asian Games approaching fast, we can’t leave any stone unturned if we want to be best prepared and ready in this key tournament," she added.

Newly-appointed analytical coach Anthony Farry, who joined the team in Australia for the five-match Tour, will also be a part of the camp.

Farry was formerly with the Japanese women's team and was instrumental in its gold medal feat at the Asian Games in 2018.

"Also, the addition of Analytical Coach Anthony Farry in the camp will definitely add lots of quality to our coaching staff and strengthen the team strategy-wise," she added.

The Asian Games are set to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.

THE PROBABLES

Goalkeepers: Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Bichu Devi Kharibam, Bansari Solanki.

Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Gurjit Kaur, Nikki Pradhan, Udita, Ishika Chaudhary, Akshata Abaso Dhekale, Jyoti Chhatri, Mahima Chaudhary.

Midfielders: Nisha, Salima Tete, Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam, Jyoti
Navjot Kaur, Monika, Mariana Kujur, Sonika, Neha, Baljeet Kaur, Reena Khokhar, Vaishnavi Phalke, Ajmina Kujur.

Forwards: Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Sharmila Devi, Deepika, Sangita Kumari, Mumtaz Khan and Sunelita Toppo.

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