London (England), 21 July 2018: The Indian Women’s Hockey team’s opening match of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup London 2018 against hosts England saw Indian midfielder Namita Toppo reach the milestone of completing 150 International Caps for the country. The 23-year-old from Odisha made her International debut for the Senior team in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin in the year 2012 aged just 17.
The 23-year-old is a product of the Sports Hostel, Panposh, Rourkela which is located in her native state of Odisha. The young midfielder first represented her state team in 2007 and her performances in the domestic competitions saw her getting selected for the Girls U-18 Hockey Asia Cup in Bangkok, Thailand held in 2011 where the Indian team won the Bronze Medal. Toppo’s hard work and dedication in the National Camps and consistent performances in the domestic circuit saw her getting selected to represent the Senior team in 2012 when she participated in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin.
The next year saw the youngster being a part of the Indian Junior Women’s Hockey team which won the Bronze Medal at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup Women 2013 held in Mönchengladbach, Germany. The 23-year-old has since participated in major tournaments like FIH Women’s World League Round 2 held in New Delhi in 2013 where India won the Gold Medal, 3rd Women’s Asian Champions Trophy in 2013 where India won the Silver Medal, 8th Women’s Asia Cup 2013, 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow, 17th Asian Games 2014 where India won the Bronze Medal, 2016 Rio Olympics and the most recent being the team’s Silver medal victory at the 9th Women’s Asia Cup 2017 held in South Korea.
The 2014 Hockey India Annual Awards winner of the Asunta Lakra Award for the Upcoming Player of the Year expressed her delight at completing 150 International Caps for the National team. She said, “I feel extremely proud to have represented the nation for 150 International matches. For me, it is just a start as I am quite young and I look forward to playing many more games for the country. It is a promising phase for Women’s hockey in India and it is important for us to perform well and keep winning trophies to make the fans proud of our team.”
Congratulating Namita on her feat, Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India said, “I would like to congratulate Namita Toppo on completing 150 International Caps for India. She is a player who brings stability to India’s midfield and helps the team in transitioning from defence to attack quickly. Her contribution during the six years since making her debut has been immense and has seen her win many medals. I would like to wish Namita the very best for the future and hope that she keeps contributing to the team’s victories.”