Friday, September 6, 2013
New Delhi (PTI): Veteran midfielder Ritu Rani will lead an 18-member Indian women's hockey team in the eighth Asia Cup to be played in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from September 21 to 27.
"Hockey India Selectors BP Govinda, Surinder Kaur, Mamta Kharab, chief coach Neil Hawgood, coach IS Gill and scientific advisor Matthew Tredrea, alongwith government observer Harbinder Singh, selected the 18 players and six standbys during the trials conducted in Patiala on August 30 and 31," HI said in a press release.
Ritu has 157 India appearances to her credit. The 18-member squad will have another midfielder Chanchan Devi Thokchom (88 caps) as the vice-captain.
The team's training camp is has been underway in Patiala since August 8 as final preparations for the tournament. The team will depart for Malaysia on September 16.
India are placed in Pool A with China, hosts Malaysia and Hong Kong China while Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei are placed in Pool B.
India will open their campaign against Hong Kong China on September 21 followed by China on September 22 and hosts Malaysia on September 24.
The Women's Asia Cup is the continental qualification tournament for the FIH Women's World Cup 2014 to be played in The Hague, The Netherlands, from May 31-June 14, 2014.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Rajani Etimarpu, Savita Defenders: Deep Grace Ekka, Joydeep Kaur, Kirandeep Kaur, Sunita Lakra, Deepika, Namita Toppo, P Sushila Chanu, M N Ponnamma Midfielders: Ritu Rani (Captain), Chanchan Devi Thokchom (Vice-Captain), Soundarya Yendala, Lily Chanu Forwards: Poonam Rani, Rani, Vandana Katariya, Anuradha Devi Thokchom. Standbys: Sanarik Chanu, Asunta Lakra, Monika Malik, Navjot Kaur, Lilima Minz, Anupa Barla.
MALAYSIAN’S Cindy Lee-Pridgen and Michelle Koh claimed the sponsor’s exemptions to the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia which will be held at the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) on Oct 10-13.
The Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia is a 72-hole stroke play, no cut event, featuring a total of 62 stars from the LPGA Tour and 10 sponsor invites making up one of the strongest fields in Asian golf.
They achieved the feat at the end of the Local Qualifying Tournament, played over 36 holes, which featured nine of Malaysia’s top female golfers fighting for the coveted op portunity with 21 regional hopefuls.
After recording a score of par 71 on the first day, the 37- year-old Cindy clinched victory with a final round score of 75 to finish with an aggregate total of 146 on the East Course at the KLGCC.
Coming in four shots behind, 23-year-old Michelle Koh claimed her opportunity to play with the big stars after scoring two consecutive rounds of 75, wrapping up with an aggregate total of 150.
Cindy, who received a sponsor invite to compete in the tournament in 2010, said: “I shot two bogies and then a double on 9 so not a great start but then made the turn and am just really glad I a had such a good caddy this week. He kept saying ‘I’ll pull the club and you just hit it’ so off we went and it seemed to work.”
“I’ll be looking to erase some bad memories of 2010 but will focus on trying to get a little bit more distance on the drives and work on my alignment between now and the tour nament. But I’m just delighted to be playing,” added the US based Cactus Tour player.
Michelle, a graduate from the 2013 Sime Darby LPGA Development Programme was in cloud nine.
“I couldn’t believe it when I was told that I had qualified – I was just speechless. I find it a really tough course so I’m just so excited to be playing here”.
Tun Musa Hitam, Chairman of Sime Darby Foundation said: “We are very proud to have Cindy and Michelle rep resenting Malaysia against the very best women golfers at the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
“Their achievement illustrates the hard work and prepa ration that they have put in for the qualifying tournament. As they continue to train for the tournament, I hope this opportunity will spur them to work even harder and show themselves to be the true champions they are capable of.”
Both players are joined by Yu-Shin Chang and Pei-Yun Chien from Taiwan who both guaranteed their places after winning the Regional Qualifying Tournament following a three-way play-off with last year’s winner Ssu-Chia Cheng. All three players carded 143 after 36 holes, with Ssu-Chia Cheng dropping one shot to her compatriots on the 18th hole play-off.
The tournament will also see international golf stars China’s Shanshan Feng, Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, American Cristie Kerr and Korean stars So Yeon Ryu and Jiyai Shin.
Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings No 1 and defending champion Inbee Park will also defend her crown.