Rani Rampal is part of the Indian women’s hockey team which will be competing at the Rio Olympics 2016. The 21-year-old became the youngest player in Indian hockey history when she represented the national team in the 2010 World Cup at the tender age of 15.
Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Rani Rampal:
#1 Rani Rampal was born on 4 December, 1994 in Shahabad, Haryana to a poor family. Her father works as a cart-puller.
#2 She started playing hockey in 2003 at the age of 9, and trained at the Shahbad Hockey Academy.
#3 She was coached under the guidance of Baldev Singh, a recipient of the Dronacharya Award who taught her the nuances of the game.
#4 She was given monetary and non-monetary support by GoSports Foundation, a sports non-governmental organization when she started playing hockey professionally. The organization helped her achieve her dreams as her family found it really hard to support her dreams financially.
#5 She helped India win the gold in the 2009 edition of Champion’s Challenge Tournament in Russia where she scored four goals in the finals and was adjudged the ‘Top Goal Scorer’ and the ‘Young Player of the Tournament’.
#6 She was included in the FIH Women’s All Star team and All-Star team of the Asian Hockey Federation in 2010 after playing for India in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and 2010 Asian Games where the team finished fourth.
#7 She was the youngest player in the national team which participated in the 2010 World Cup in Canada. At the age of 15, she scored 7 goals in the tournament as India finished 9th in the World Women’s hockey rankings, their best performance since 1978.
#8 She was the top goal scorer at the 2010 World Cup and was conferred with the ‘Best Young Player of the Tournament’ due to her phenomenal performance in the tournament.
#9 She was also a part of the Indian team that finished third to win the bronze medal at the 2013 Junior World Cup, where she was adjudged the ‘Player of the Tournament’.
#10 She is a recipient of the FICCI Comeback of the Year Award, which was given to her in 2014.