Sunita Chandra, former hockey captain of India team passed away on Monday in her sleep. She was 76 and is survived by her two sons and husband Yatish Chandra.  One of her sons Gaurav Chandra told the PTI about Sunita’s demise adding that she passed away at her Madhya Pradesh residence. Her last rites were performed on Tuesday at Bhadbhada Vishram Ghat in Bhopal. Gaurav said, “On Monday morning, we found her dead on the bed’’, he added.

She played for the Indian Women’s Hockey team from 1956 to 1966, and was the captain in the last three years of her career (1963-1966). Chandra was also the first woman from Madhya Pradesh to receive the Arjuna award.

Key Takeaways

  • Sunita Chandra, former hockey captain, and Arjuna Awardee passed away at the age of 76.
  • The news of her demise was confirmed by her son Gaurav Chandra. She passed away in her sleep in her Madhya Pradesh residence.
  • Sunita played for the Indian team from 1956-1966. In the last three years of her career, she captained the team.
  • Former Olympian and Arjuna Awardee Jaluddin Rizvi expressed her grief over Sunita’s demise and said that Sunita was involved in the development of hockey in Bhopal.
  • The CM of Madhya Pradesh, Kamal Nath too expressed his grief and tweeted about the hockey star.

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The Condolences Offered

Many senior players offered their condolences to the family and expressed their grief. “This is a big loss. Sunita was not only an excellent player but also a kind human being. She was actively involved in the development of hockey in Bhopal,’’ said Jalaluddin Rizvi, a former Olympian, and an Arjuna Awardee.

The Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath too expressed his grief and described Sunita as an excellent player, calling her the pride of the country. “I pray to god for the peace of the departed soul and strength for the mournful family.’’ he tweeted.

Chandra was also the first woman from Madhya Pradesh to receive the Arjuna award.

The Glorious Past Of Indian Women’s Hockey

The Indian women’s team finished fourth at the World Cup in 1974 at Mandelieu. The performance was repeated in the Moscow Olympics in 1980, where the Indian women’s hockey team was introduced to such a grand stage for the first time.

At the 1982 Asian Games, they won a gold medal followed by winning three successive gold medals during the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Then they won the 2003 Afro-Asia Games and the 2004 Women’s Hockey Asia Cup. Again,  India regained its position after winning a bronze-medal effort at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon.

The current Indian Women’s Hockey booked their spot for the Tokyo 2020 Games. It will be the first time in the history of the sport in India that a women’s hockey team will be playing the Summer Games twice in a row.

Read Also: Hockey Defender Sunita Lakra Announces Retirement Due To Injury

Image credits: Punjab Kesari

Gaurika Taneja is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv

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