Tuesday, Aug 16, 2022
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​​Ace Hockey Midfielder Namita Toppo Plays 150th International Match

The Odisha player has been representing her state since 2007 and the senior Indian team since 2012

Ace hockey midfielder Namita Toppo played her 150th international match for India when the team played its first match of the women's World Cup, against hosts England, in London on Saturday.

The 23-year-old from Odisha made her international debut for the senior Indian team aged just 17, in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin in 2012. Namita is a product of the Sports Hostel, Panposh, Rourkela, in her native state.

“I feel extremely proud to have represented the nation for 150 International matches. For me, it is just a start as I am quite young and I look forward to playing many more games for the country. It is a promising phase for Women’s hockey in India and it is important for us to perform well and keep winning trophies to make the fans proud of our team,” said Namita.

The midfielder first represented her state in 2007 and her performances in the domestic competitions saw her getting selected for the 2011 Girls Under-18 Hockey Asia Cup in Bangkok, Thailand, where the Indian team won bronze medal.

Namita’s hard work and dedication in the national camps and consistent performances in the domestic circuit saw her getting selected to represent the Senior team in 2012 when she participated in the FIH Champions Challenge-I in Dublin. The next year saw the youngster being a part of the Indian Junior team that won bronze medal at the FIH Junior World Cup Women 2013, held in Mönchengladbach, Germany.

Namita has since participated in many major tournaments, like FIH Women’s World League Round-2 in New Delhi in 2013, when India won gold medal. She was also part of the team that won silver medal at the 3rd Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in 2013 and the team that clinched bronze medal at the 8th Women’s Asia Cup 2013. She was a tea member in the teams that competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow, 17th Asian Games in 2014, where India won bronze medal. She also competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the most recent instance being the team’s silver medal victory at the 9th Women’s Asia Cup 2017, held in South Korea.

Congratulating Namita on her feat, Mohammed Mushtaque Ahmad, secretary-general of Hockey India said: “I would like to congratulate Namita on completing 150 international caps for India. She is a player who brings stability to India’s midfield and helps the team in transitioning from defence to attack quickly. Her contribution during the six years since making her debut has been immense and has seen her win many medals. I would like to wish Namita the very best for the future and hope that she keeps contributing to the team’s victories.”

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