2017 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia: First International win for Indian Women Ice Hockey Team in Bangkok
Indian Women Ice Hockey Team. (Twitter/@prasarbharati)
The Indian Cricket team is not the only team that deserves attention at this point of time, for the first time ever the Indian Women’s ice hockey team has won the 2017 IIHF Challenge Cup of Asia that is taking place in Thailand. Beating all odds, this group of 20 has been able to win the tournament without enough funding and several other challenges. Nothing could bring them down and their hard work is something that needs appretiation from everyone at this point of time. Unlike cricket, not everyone watches ice hockey and most people might not even know that India has a Ice hockey team.
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The Indian Women’s ice hockey team made their debut at the 2016 Challenge Cup of Asia in Chinese Taipei. In the four games that they played, the team conceded 39 goals and scored five for themselves.
The match started unlike India’s opening encounter against UAE. The women kept on making repeated inroads through a porous Philippines defence during the first 20 minutes. They had several chances but could not find the back of the net. Though, the best opportunity of that period fell to Philippines. In a rare counter attack, they received the puck in an ideal spot only but the shot execution took a long time, and Indian goaltender Noor Jahan positioned herself well to save it.
Passion overcame the obstacles for the girls as soon as the hooter was blown. No emotion could beat the joy of the players chanting ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ (Victory for Indian Motherland) and breaking down while singing the national anthem under the beautiful tricolour. It works for all sporting nations, and the same feeling was experienced today by the women. It was inspiring. The result was secondary.