Rani Rampal Keeps Olympic Dream Alive For India


A first-quarter goal from striker Rani Rampal helped the Indian women’s hockey team bag the 5th position at the FIH Hockey World League semifinals in Antwerp, Belgium. India defeated Japan 1-0 in the 5th-6th place playoff and are still in the race for a spot in the 2016 Rio Olympics.


Players of the Indian women’s hockey team pose for a selfie after their victory against Japan.

First half: Rani Rampal scores to put India in lead

After beating Italy 5-4 on penalties in their previous outing, the Indian eves were ready to give it their all to secure the fifth place. They started off aggressively and earned a penalty corner from their very first attack! Sadly, the women in blue could not capitalize on the golden opportunity as the ball was swept wide of the goal post. The 13th minute saw Japanese defender Nagisa Hayashi leave the field following an injury- a vital blow for the team.

In the very next minute, Vandana Katariya won the ball in the midfield and set off to a blazing run as she got past her marker quite comfortably. She managed to find a shot on target but was denied by Ryoko Oie under the post. Rani Rampal received the ball from the rebound and smashed it on the half-volley straight over the Japanese keeper’s head and into the post. A lofted straight drive over the keeper’s head that would be remembered for long! India remained 1-0 ahead after the second quarter as well, following a couple of missed opportunities from Japan.


Rani Rampal scored the only goal of the match.

Second half: Savita Punia helps India hold on to lead

India’s coach Mathias Ahrens opted to rotate his goalkeepers and Savita Punia replaced Rajani Etimarpu in the third quarter. The Indian custodian ensured zero damage, denying every possible Japanese effort. Japan also failed to make the most of their penalty corner attempts. In the fourth quarter, Savita parried off a drag-flick that was hit straight to her. Japan had their final chance in the last minute of the match through yet another penalty corner. This time, the Indian defenders combined well to deny their opponents and therefore won the match by a slender 1-0 margin.

How can the Indian women’s hockey team qualify for Rio 2016?

After bowing out of the quarterfinals, it was mandatory for India to finish at least 5th or 6th on the Hockey World League table. The win against Japan sees them take the 5th spot and keep their Olympic hopes alive. For India to qualify for Rio 2016, two of the following three tournaments need to be decided as follows:

1. Australia or New Zealand win the Oceania Championship – Since the start of the tournament (1999), one out of these two have won it, so it is very likely that one spot will open up.

2. One of the following teams – Great Britain, Netherlands and Germany win the European Championship – These three are the only teams to have ever won the tournament.

3. Argentina or USA win the Pan American Championship – The American women are the defending champions and prior to that, Argentina had won it 6 times on the trot.

These scenarios favour India’s cause and the Eves have a high possibility of making it to the 2016 Rio Olympics. If they succeed to do so, the women’s team will be participating in the Olympics after a gap of 35 years. They were last seen at the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

As Rani Rampal mentioned in the post match interview, “We cannot even imagine how happy we will be on qualifying “. Here’s hoping to a very happy Indian women’s hockey team !

Match summary:

India 1 (Rani Rampal 13′) beat Japan 0.

View match highlights here.

For Sports Updates


  1. Author Image

    Thanks , I have recently been looking for information about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I have came upon so far. However, what about the conclusion? Are you certain in regards to the supply?

  2. Author Image

    This web web page is genuinely a walk-through for all of the info you wanted about this and didn’t know who to ask. Glimpse here, and you will surely discover it.

  3. Author Image

    You are totally right and I definitely agree with you. If you wish, we can also chat about best small speakers, one thing that fascinates me. Your site is definitely awesome, cheers!

  4. Author Image

    There are actually great modifications on the design of your website, I honestly like this. Mine is about homework website and currently there are a lot of things to do, I'm currently a newcomer in website development. Thanks!

  5. Author Image

    I was conversing with a buddy of mine about this and even about aptoide apk free download too. I do believe you made a lot of very good points on this page, we are excited to find out more material from you.

  6. Author Image

    I felt wonderful to read this info and I feel you are really correct. Inform me in the event that you are considering pc computers, this is my principal competency. I'm hoping to see you in the near future, take good care!

  7. Author Image

    You are totally right and I trust you. Whenever you wish, we might also chat about online aadhar card, a thing that fascinates me. The website is truly awesome, best wishes!

  8. Author Image

    Hey, what do you feel on the subject of bluestacks for windows 8? Pretty awesome issue, right?

  9. Author Image

    I always look over your posts carefully. I am furthermore looking into malpractice lawyers, perhaps you might write about this sometimes. Good day.

  10. Author Image

    Hey could you inform me which blog platform you are making use of? I'm looking to get started on my personal website on android facetime app in the future yet I am having difficulty making the decision.

  11. Author Image

    Appreciating the commitment you invested in the blog and in-depth info you display. It's nice to find a blog from time to time that isn't the similar out of date re-written stuff. Amazing read! We've saved your site and I'm adding the RSS feeds to my framaroot android app webpage.

  12. Author Image

    I just came right here via a different website relating to omega xl complaints and thought I might as well check this out. I quite like the things I see thus I am just following you. Looking forward to looking into your site again.

  13. Author Image

    Hi there, after reading this amazing article i am as well cheerful to share my experience here with friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.