Defender Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam added one more feather to her cap on June 12. She completed her 150 International Caps with the first match of the five-match series at the Consejo Superior de Deportes Hockey Stadium in Madrid. The 26-year-old from Manipur has been an integral part of the Indian hockey team since making her International debut against New Zealand in Christchurch in 2009. She was just 17 at the time.
Since then, Chanu has had a meteoric rise in her hockey career. She won her first Silver Medal at the 6th Junior Women Asia Cup in Thailand. Then she became the captain the Indian Junior Women's Team, which won the Bronze Medal at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup Women 2013 held in Germany. Since then, Chanu has been a regular in the women’s team.
Reacting to the feat, Chanu said, “I am delighted to have achieved this special milestone of completing 150 International Caps for the national team. I had always dreamed of representing the country at least once in my lifetime, but to have put on the national team colours 150 times, it makes me a very proud citizen of the country. It's been a memorable journey with the Indian team and I hope I can contribute to the growth of the team and bring laurels to the nation in the future.”
"We had National Games organized in Manipur in 1999, at that time I had no idea about what hockey was. I had gone to watch a football match with my grandmother. After that one of my uncles just asked me to play hockey. I was around 11 years then.”
In an exclusive interview with SheThePeople.TV earlier, Chanu had spoke about her hockey journey. “We had National Games organized in Manipur in 1999, at that time I had no idea about what hockey was. I had gone to watch a football match with my grandmother. After that one of my uncles just asked me to play hockey. I was around 11 years then.”
“In over a decade that I have been playing the game, our speed has increased tremendously and we have started giving more attention to our fitness to compete at the international level,” the defender added.
On the fact that many still believe that boys have a better sports sense than girls, Chanu said that this is completely untrue. Women are winning in so many sports these days.
Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General of Hockey India, also congratulated her. “I congratulate Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam on completing 150 International Caps for India. Her energy on and off the field is something that we all admire, and her contribution to women's hockey has been immense. I would like to wish Sushila the very best for an important phase ahead in her career and I hope she can take the team to greater heights.”
Way to go, girl!
Picture credit- Hockey India