Experienced hockey midfielder Namita Toppo, who has played more than 150 international matches after making her senior India debut in 2012, on Thursday decided to call time on her career. The 27-year-old Toppo, hailing from Sundargarh District of Odisha, was part of the Indian team that won bronze and silver medals in the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games respectively.
"The last 10 years have definitely been the best years of my life. I had a dream to play for my country at the biggest stages and I am so happy that I have been able to achieve my dreams," Toppo said in a Hockey India release.
"I hope I have made a huge impact and I am very thrilled to see the way the Indian Women's Hockey Team has progressed in the last decade. I will keep cheering and supporting the team while I move on to a new chapter in my life." Toppo is a product of the Sports Hostel, Panposh, Rourkela.
She first represented her state team in 2007 and her performances in domestic competitions saw her getting selected for U-18 Girls Asia Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in 2011 where India won a bronze medal. She was first selected to represent the senior national team in 2012 in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin. She was a part of the Indian junior team which won bronze at the 2013 FIH Women's Junior World Cup in Mönchengladbach, Germany.
Toppo took part in major tournaments like FIH Women's World League Round 2 in 2013 where India won gold and 3rd Women's Asian Champions Trophy in 2013 where India won a silver. She also took part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2014 Asian Games where India won a bronze and the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Hockey India congratulated the two-time Asian Games medallist for her contribution to the port of the country's game. "Namita has made a humungous contribution to Indian hockey. Apart from giving everything on the field, Namita has also been a perfect role model for the youngsters in the team," national team chief coach Janneke Schopman said.
"Not many players get a chance to play 168 matches for their national teams and Namita has earned each one of those caps. Apart from being a great hockey player, Toppo is one of the kindest people I know. She is very thoughtful and she always put the team first."