Tokyo Olympics: Meet the Fab 16 who led India to the women’s hockey semifinals
Facing the incessant rains, the residents of Simdega and Khunti organized generators and televisions to watch their daughters perform at the mega sports event. Not the world. India’s 9th women’s team put up a tremendously courageous performance against three-time champion Australia on Monday to catapult to their inaugural semifinals at the Olympics.
Salima Tete (19), originally from Badkichapar village in Simdega and Nikki Pradhan (27) from Hesal village in Khunti, are part of the women’s hockey team that made history in Tokyo earlier in the day.
At Tete’s hut, which is made of mud, her parents, Subani and Sulakshan, could barely contain their tears when the final whistle sounded, putting India a long way from Olympic gold. Her parents recalled how their daughter started playing hockey with handmade bamboo sticks and balls on rough terrain in Barkichhapar, a small village about 30 km from the district headquarters.
One of Tete’s four sisters, Mahima, has also been participating in state-level hockey competitions. The Simdega district has previously produced players like Sylvanus Dungdung and Michael Kindo, who had represented India at the Munich Olympics.
The president of the Simdega Hockey Association, Manoj Konbegi, praised Tete, calling her a “brilliant hockey player”. The jubilant scenes were similar in the village of Pradhan in Khunti, where people shouted ‘Nikki Nikki’ every time she received the ball, and did not move an inch until the final score of India 1 and Australia 0. Her father Soma told PTI that he is. I am very happy about the team’s success and I can’t wait for India to take the gold.
Choked with emotion, Jeetan Devi, Pradhan’s mother, said that God had heard her prayers. Pradhan, who had become the first female hockey player from her state to participate in the Rio edition of the Olympics, got into the sport at a very young age and honed her skills at the Bariatu Girls’ Hockey Center in Ranchi. , where former Indian hockey captain Asunta Lakra had also trained.
Praising India’s women’s hockey team, Chief Minister Hemant Soren said: “The daughters of the country have created history by entering the semi-finals for the first time at the Olympics. Many congratulations to our daughters for their stellar performance.” .
Soren had announced last month a cash award for Jharkhand players: Rs 2 crore for winning the gold medal, Rs 1 crore for the silver medal and Rs 75 lakh for bronze.
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"खाना विशेषज्ञ। जोम्बी प्रेमी। अति कफी अधिवक्ता। बियर ट्रेलब्लाजर। अप्रिय यात्रा फ्यान।"