Odisha’s Sunita Lakra will now lead the squad in the Asian Champions Trophy women’s hockey tournament, beginning at Donghae City, Korea on May 13. The 27-year-old is leading the team in absence of Rani Rampal who took a break for this tournament. Lakra is a defender in Indian Women’s Hockey Team.

The defending champion India very recently got former Dutch women’s national coach, Sjoerd Marijne, as a coach and are now eyeing for the fifth Women’s Asian Champions Trophy.

The winner of the Asia Cup, (18-member team) under Sunita’s captaincy will pave the way to win another major tournament too.

Also Read: Ex-captain of Hockey women’s team, Mamta Kharab becomes Gurgaon ACP

“We were very disappointed after losing the Semi Final match in Commonwealth Games by a close margin to hosts Australia. We knew it was our best chance to make the medal round,” said the newly-appointed captain, OdishaTV reported.

Goalkeeper Savita has been chosen as the vice-captain.

Defenders Deepika, Deep Grace Ekka, Suman Devi Thoudam and Gurjit Kaur, who also doubles up as a drag-flicker, will back a midfield marshalled by Monika, Namita Toppo, Nikki Pradhan, Neha Goyal, Lilima Minz, Navjot Kaur and Udita.Vandana Katariya, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur and Anupa Barla are the forward line.

When asked about the preparations for the upcoming competition, Sunita said, “While fitness and speed have been the major focus points in all our camps, we are also working hard in terms of goal conversion and improving our attack. While the team mostly comprises experienced players, we also have talented youngsters who are eager to contribute to the team’s success and help us defend the title.”

The team wants to put aside the disappointment at the recent Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. They returned medal-less for the first time in the last 12 years. Now, they want to concentrate on triumphing another a trophy in the upcoming tournament. The Hockey India official has confirmed that in the long term the women have been training for a tenure running up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

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