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Odisha hockey player Deep, Lilima, Sunita, Namita gets Rio ticket
Sportslogon Team July 12th 2016

Bhubaneswar : Sundargarh districts produced many men hockey Olympians in the past, but for the first time four women hockey players of the districts got selected in the 16-member national squad, which was announced at Delhi on Tuesday for the fourth coming Rio Olympics.

India’s only previous qualification for the Games was in 1980, where they finished a commendable fourth.

India’s women’s hockey team booked only their second qualification ever for the Olympic Games in the EuroHockey Championships held in London in this year.

India become the 10th women’s team to qualify for the Rio Games after South Korea, Argentina, Great Britain, China, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.

Odisha player’s defender Deep Grace Ekka, forward Lilima Minz, Sunita Lakra and mid-fielder Sunita Lakra are the proud Odisha women players, who will be remembered as first women hockey Olympian of the State.

Dillip Tirkey, Lajrus Barla, Ignesh Tirkey, William Xalxo, Birendra Lakra (all hockey players), Rachita Panda, Anuradha Biswal (both women sprinters) and Ravi K Kumar (weightlifters) are the eight players of Odisha participated in different Olympic games.

As on today already six players of the State has been conformed their berth for Rio, however sprinter Jauma Murmu expected to join Rio in the women 4X400 relay event.

1994 born Railway defender Deep Grace Ekka played 101 international matches and scored three goals. Daughter of Charles Ekka and mother Jaimani Ekka of Bamnibahar village of Sundargarh districts is a permanent member of Indian women hockey team for last four years. Deepak Ekka, Dinesh Ekka, David Ekka three elder brothers and elder sister Dipti Ekka are the siblings of Deep Grace. She joined SAI hostel t of Sundargarh at the age of 15.

In the year 2007 Deep joined SAI hostel, she is a strong, dedicated and discipline player. On her practice at Sundargarh, she never gives up like other players, with finniest stick work she never allow opponent to enter the D area, said her coach Lusheela Ekka.

Lilima Minz, Namita Toppo and Sunita Lakra all are the inmates of Panpose Sports Hostel and trained under the guidance of Coach Amulya Nanda Bihari.

Odisha’s forward Lilima is carrying an experience of 72 international caps and scored five international goals in her kitty. Bihabandh Tanatoli village girl Lilima Minz daughter of Anjelus Minz (father) and Sibia Minz (mother)

Mid-fielder Namita Toppo of Jaurumal village capped 92 international matches and contributed four goals. Nomita is the proud daughter of Thobo Toppo (father) and Chakrabarti Toppo (mother).

Sunita Lakra (born June 11, 1991) is a member of the India women's national field hockey team who plays as a forward for the team. Hailing from Pharsadippa Village of Sundargarh district of Odisha she made her International debut in 2009, and has often been cited the backbone of the team since then and even been part of important tournaments, Lakra played 71 International matches and scored two goals. Alois Lakra and mother Shanti Prava Lakra

Anupa Barala and Punam Barla both of the State was in the probably camp but missed the Rio ticket it is unfortunate, but four of our players are in the team. It is also a matter of great pride, said coach Amulaya Nanda Bihari. .
This news was added and updated on : July 12th 2016
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