If we sit to list down the greatest women’s hockey players ever to take the field for India, Rani Rampal’s name has to be embossed on that list. Not just women, but she will find her way in among the best players’s list from India.
In the 11th year of her career, Rani has risen to the occasions time and again to lead the team by example. Making it to Rio 2016 became an assessment of her team’s standing against other top nations and how much further there was to go. She repeated a similar feat last year scoring the much-needed goal against USA to seal a place at the Tokyo Olympics.
At every stage, Rani has picked herself up and through example, shown her teammates how to find a new way on a new day. Regardless of injury, form or outcome. In a sport where chances can be converted or obliterated in a blink, Rani stops clocks and adopts a state of what can only be called nerveless omnipresence. To materialise and act. To create space and compress distance. To become not merely titan, but titanium – great strength with light weight and the most precious quality found in Indian hockey – a high resistance to corrosion.
Indian Junior Women Hockey team won its first ever Bronze medal in ERGO Hockey Junior World Cup at Monchengladbach, Germany on 4 August 2013. India beat England by 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out and ended at third position in the tournament. Rani’s goal in regulation, goal in shoot out and a goal in sudden death – against England proved to be the intrinsic part of the match.
Rani, who was the vice-captain of the Junior National team in the seventh FIH Junior Women’s World Cup, played a crucial role in India’s bronze medal-winning feat in Germany and was also declared the best player of the tournament.
The individual award in the Junior World Cup was the fourth time Rani had received any such recognition in an international tournament and is the only Indian female player to be named as the FIH Young Player of the Tournament at a women’s World Cup, achieving the feat at the 2010 event in Rosario, Argentina.
— Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) May 5, 2020
In the third-fourth place playoff match, both the teams India and England had scored 1-1 in regualtion time of 70 minutes. Defender Sushila Chanu captained the Indian side and Shona McCallin captained the English side. Indian forward Rani was declared the Best Player of the ERGO Junior Women Hockey World Cup 2013.
The Vice-Captain and forward Rani scored India’s only goal in the regulation time. Navneet Kaur’s strike helped India a 3-2 lead in the shoot-out.
Earlier, India lost to defending champions the Netherlands in second semi-final match on 2 August 2013.
The Netherland team won the final against Argentina 4-2 in the shoot-out and clinched the trophy for a record third time.