Indian women’s hockey striker Lalremsiami has been named as the 2019 FIH Women’s Rising Star of the Year, the International Hockey Federation announced on Monday. Her father, Lalthansanga Zote, passed away because of a heart attack last year but Lalremsiami didn’t mourn immediately. Instead, she turned that pain into her strength and stayed with her team for their knockout games at the FIH Series Finals. She also played a key role in the team’s performance at the Olympic Qualifiers in November last year where they got better of USA to earn their ticket to 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She was also part of the team that won the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo.

For the award, Lalremsiami was pitted against Argentina’s Julieta Jankunas, China’s Zhong Jianqi and the Netherlands’ Frederique Matla, and won the game. “I am very honoured to win this award. This is a big moment for me and I thank everyone who voted for me to win this award. This comes as a big motivation for me to do well. I would also like to thank my teammates who stood by me during my personal struggles,” stated Lalremsiami, who made her international debut in 2018. Just within a couple of months, she has emerged as a valuable sportsperson in the country. She was also part of the India U-18 team that won the silver medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indian women’s hockey team striker Lalremsiami has been named the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019. 
  • The 19-year-old was part of the team’s success at the Hockey Series Finals Hiroshima 2019.
  • She also played a key role in the team’s performance at the Olympic Qualifiers in November last year and earned a ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  • At 19, Lalremsiami is the youngest player in the Indian women’s hockey team. 

Congratulating Lalremsiami, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India said: “I congratulate Lalremsiami for winning the prestigious FIH Rising Star of the Year award. She is a youth icon for youngsters in Mizoram and she has done very well for the team since her debut. She has great potential and I wish her the very best in future tournaments.”

READ: Exclusive: Lalremsiami On FIH Series Win And The Loss Of Her Father

Rise of a star

The year 2019 had brought laurels to the 19-year-old Siami’s (fondly called by teammates)  as she scored two of India’s 20 goals in the pool stages of the tournament, completing 50 international caps.

At 19, Lalremsiami is the youngest player in the Indian women’s hockey teamLalremsiami‘s sensational form helped the Indian women’s hockey team bagging silver medals at both the Asian Games 2018 and Youth Olympic Games. The teenage forward was one of the main players in her side’s runners-up finish, at the Asian Champions Trophy in Donghae, in Korea last year.

Early life

Lalremsiami is from a small town in Mizoram. Last year she grabbed the spotlight when the team returned home after the victory at the Asian Games and the Youth Olympics.

She began playing the sport in school and has spent five years at the Thenzawl hockey training centre before moving to the national academy in New Delhi in 2016.

“I didn’t know Hindi or English. All I could say was my own name,” she had earlier told ESPN. “But now my Hindi is a little better and my teammates help me in breaking down words and understanding concepts. As long as they’re talking about hockey I can try to catch up but once the discussion moves to other topics, I go completely blank.”

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