India women's national field hockey team

  • "Golden Girls of Hockey"
  • "Assi jaisi koi nahi"
Association Hockey India
Confederation ASHF (Asia)
Coach Neil Hawgood
Captain Sushila Chanu
FIH ranking 12
First kit
Second kit

The Indian women's national field hockey team (nicknamed the Golden Girls of Hockey) is the national women's team that represents India in international field hockey competitions.[1] The team is currently coached by Australia's Neil Hawgood and led by halfback Ritu Rani from Haryana and is currently ranked 12th in the FIH World Rankings.


The team's breakthrough performance came at the Women's Hockey World Cup at Mandelieu in 1974, where it finished in 4th place. Their best performance in the Olympic Games was at 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics (where they came in 4th), when a women's event was held for the first time in Olympic history. The team also won the Gold medal at the inaugural 1982 Asian Games held in New Delhi, defeating Korea in the finals. Captain Suraj Lata Devi led the team to the Gold for three consecutive years at different events- during the 2002 Commonwealth Games[2] the 2003 Afro-Asian Games, and the 2004 Hockey Asia Cup. Team members were referred to as the "assi (Jasjeet) jaisi koi nahi" or the "Golden Girls of Hockey," after the 2004 win.[3] The team earned a 3rd-place finish at the 2013 Women's Hockey Asia Cup at Kuala Lumpur defeating China in a shootout.[4] At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, it finished in 5th place but at 2014 Asian Games, Incheon stunned Japan 2-1 in a tight match to clinch their third bronze medal at the Asian Games.[5] During the summer of 2015, the team hosted the Round 2 of the 2014–15 Women's FIH Hockey World League and finished on top to qualify for the next stage. At the World League Semifinals held in Antwerp the team finished in the fifth place beating higher ranked Japan in classification match.[6] The Indian woman's national field hockey team qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics[7][8] for the first time since the 1980 Summer Olympics.[7][9] They were eliminated in the group stage, however, where they placed 6th.

2002 Commonwealth Games and Chak De! India (2007)

I felt why has the girls’ team been given so little coverage. I shared the idea with Aditya (Chopra). He liked it and said stop everything else and concentrate on it. I started my research by spending time with hockey players [...] It’s just a matter of chance that Negi's story matches with Kabir Khan. There are many cases, like in Colombia, football players are killed for not performing well for the club. I had no idea about Negi’s story while writing the script, and he joined us after the script was ready. In fact, his name was suggested by M.K. Kaushik, who was the coach of the team that won the Commonwealth Games’ gold. On day one, when Negi read the script, he cried and it was then that we came to know about his story.[10]

Jaideep Sahni

The 2002 Commonwealth Games Squad, led by Captain Suraj Lata Devi, competed in the 2002 Commonwealth Games. The team entered the finals after defeating the Australian women's national field hockey team[11] and placed first, winning the Gold after they beat the English women's hockey team.[12][2][13]

This event served as the inspiration for the 2007 Bollywood film about women's field hockey, Chak De! India starring Shah Rukh Khan (after screenwriter Jaideep Sahni read a short article about it).[14] Sahani began to model the character of Kabir Khan on hockey coach Maharaj Krishan Kaushik.[15] After hearing the storyline, Kaushik suggested that Sahani meet hockey player Mir Ranjan Negi (who faced accusations of throwing the match against Pakistan during the 1982 Asian Games).[16][17][18] Sahani has stated that he was unaware of Negi's tribulations while writing the script and that the resemblance with Negi's life was entirely coincidental.[10] Negi affirmed this point stating that he didn't "want to hog the limelight. This movie is not a documentary of Mir Ranjan Negi's life. It is in fact the story of a team that becomes a winning lot from a bunch of hopeless girls".[19] In response to the fact that the media equated Kabir Khan with Negi, Sahani said that "Our script was written a year and a half back. It is very unfortunate that something, which is about women athletes, has just started becoming about Negi."[15]

Tournament history

 Rank  Nation Gold Silver Bronze Total
2 Commonwealth Games 1 1 2
3 Asian Games 1 1 3 5
4 Hockey Asia Cup 1 2 2 5
13 Hockey Champions Challenge 1 1
1 Asian Hockey Champions Trophy 1 1 1 3
1 Afro-Asian Games 1 1

Summer Olympics

World Cup

World League

Commonwealth Games

Asian Games

Asia Cup

Champions Challenge

Asian Champions Trophy

Afro-Asian Games


Summer Olympics
Hockey World Cup
Hockey Champions Challenge

Dhyan Chand Award

Mary Dsouza Sequeira (1953-1963)

Arjuna Awards

The following is a list of recipients for the Arjuna award in hockey recipients (by year):

Current squad

The following is the Indian roster in the women's field hockey tournament of the 2016 Summer Olympics.[21]

Head coach: Neil Hawgood


See also


  1. "Hockey India". Retrieved 5 January 2015.
  2. 1 2 3 "2002 Manchester: The XVII Commonwealth Games". 2002 Manchester: The XVII Commonwealth Games. 2002.
  3. Pandey, Vineeta (15 February 2004). "Indian Sportswomen: Still the Second Sex". The Times of India. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  4. "India clinches bronze in Asia Cup hockey". The Hindu. 2013-09-27. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  5. PTI (2014-10-01). "Indian women's hockey team wins Asiad bronze". Times of India. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  6. PTI (2015-07-06). "On the verge of Olympic qualification, Indian women's hockey team arrive to grand welcome". Firstpost. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  7. 1 2 "Chak De Moment For India". India Today. 2015-08-29. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  8. Bhagvatula, Shrikant (2015-08-29). "Chak De: Indian women's hockey team qualifies for Rio Olympics". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  9. Bose, Adrija (2015-08-29). "India Women's Hockey Team Bags Historic 2016 Rio Olympic Berth After 36 Years". Huffington Post India. Retrieved 2015-08-29.
  10. 1 2 Kumar, Anuj (7 September 2007). "In the company of ideas". The Hindu. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  11. "Indian women stun Kiwis". BBC. 1 August 2002. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  12. "India deny England gold". BBC. 3 August 2002. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  13. "Indian eves win Commonwealth hockey gold". 3 August 2002. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  14. Zanane, Anant; Das, Suprita (13 March 2008). "Women's hockey hopes to deliver". Sports. NDTV. Retrieved 2008-04-07.
  15. 1 2 "Chak De: The real Kabir Khan?". Sports. NDTV. 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  16. "Back to the goal post". The Hindu. 10 August 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  17. Shrikant, B (26 June 2007). "More than reel life; the story of truth, lies & a man called Mir". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  18. "They said I'd taken one lakh per goal ... people used to introduce me as Mr Negi of those seven goals". Indian Express. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-23.
  19. Roy, Abhishek (2007-08-18). "'Chak De! is not a documentary of my life'". Hindustan Times/IANS. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  20. "Afro-Asian Games 2003". Retrieved 2015-08-30.
  21. "Hardly any surprises in Rio squads". 12 July 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
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