Hockey India on Sunday named a 48-member core probables list for the national camp of the Indian women's team to begin at the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru campus on Monday.
The members will report to chief coach Sjoerd Marijne.
The Indian women's team have ended the season on a high note after an inspiring performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games where they finished fourth, a runners-up finish at the Asian Champions Trophy in Korea, made it to the top eight at the Women's World Cup in London and won a silver medal the recently-concluded Asian Games in Jakarta.
These memorable feats also helped the Indian women's team surge ahead in the FIH World Ranking to a career best rank eight position.
While the team will approach the next season with an eye on the qualification for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the national camp will be more about finding the depth in the group and the right mix of players for the upcoming international calendar.
"We will be watching each of these players closely during this camp and see how the competition is within the group. We will be seeing how the players, especially the new comers can cope with the expectations of a national camp. The seniors too will have to work hard to earn their place in the core group," chief coach Marijne said.
The list includes recent Arjuna Awardee Savita, Rajani Etimarpu, Swati, Chanchal, Sonal Minj and Jaspreet Kaur as goalkeepers.
Defenders Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra, Sushila Chanu Phukhrambam, Gurjit Kaur, Rashmita Minz, Suman Devi Thoudam, Deepika, Neelu Dadiya, Mahima Choudhary, Kanika Raj, Manmeet Kaur, SP Kruthika and Nisha have been called up for the national camp.
Among midfielders, Nikki Pradhan, Monika, Lilima Minz, Namita Toppo, Neha Goyal, Udita, Manpreet Kaur, Jyoti, Maitri Ramwala, Anuja Singh, Anajali HR, Shyama Tidgam, Sonika, Puja Yadav and Karishma Yadav feature in the chart.
The core probables list that includes members from the recent 18th Asian Games silver medal-winning team, also features top performers from this year's Hockey India National Championships.
Among forwards, skipper Rani, Lalremsiami, Navneet Kaur, Navjot Kaur, Rajwinder Kaur, Vandana Katariya, Anupa Barla, Priyanka Wankhede, Preeti Dubey, Reena Khokhar, Siddhi Singh, Leelavathy Mallamada Jaya, Soundarya Yendela and Birajani Ekka have been asked to report for the camp.
Indian women's hockey team to get TOPS boost
In an encouraging development for the Indian women's hockey team, all the squad members are set to be included in the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) when the review committee will identify a core group for the government-funded programme, next month.
All the 18 members of the men's hockey team are already covered under TOPS and according to sources the women's team will soon be rewarded for its impressive silver medal finish at the 18th Asian Games.
"The women's team is already getting funds from the ACTC (Annual Calander for Training and Competitions). It's just about Rs 50,000 monthly allowance that comes under TOPS. They will be included soon," the source told PTI.
An official from the Sports India, erstwhile Sports Authority of India, informed that Hockey India had repeatedly been requesting the inclusion of the women's team in the TOPS scheme.
"Hockey India has sent us the proposal to include the women's team in TOPS. At the moment we are reviewing the proposal and it is likely that they will be included in the next review of the TOPS list," he said.
Hockey India welcomed the move, saying it is better late than never.
"It is a sensible decision. We have been asking for the women's team's inclusion in the TOPS from the very beginning but till date they were ignored. But it seems finally the girls have earned their due with their brilliant performances on the turf," the HI official said.
The official also informed that the TOPS committee is working on preparing a core group of beneficiaries.
"We have asked the national federations to come up with their suggestions. The TOPS team is analysing all the athletes' data and statistics. By October 30 we should be in a position to complete the task," he said.
"From now on it will be a day-to-day basis analysis of all the TOPS athletes. The performance managers of the athletes will do the analysis and we at the TOPS will continue to meet on a quarterly basis."
The official said once the core group is prepared the entire focus will be on supporting the selected athletes although some changes are expected to happen depending on their performances.
"Suddenly a new, unknown athlete can come into picture depending on his performance and an established name can find his name dropped if his performance dips. Everything will be performance based," he said.
The official said, of late, they are receiving a lot of recommendations from the National Sports Federations (NSFs) especially after India's impressive performance at the Gold Coast Commonwealth and Jakarta Asian Games.
Two amputees to compete on motor-bikes in Raid De Himalaya
In a global first, two amputees will compete on motor-bikes in the world's highest cross-country rally raid, the Raid de Himalaya this year.
Setting this global record are Vinod Rawat of Mumbai and Ashok Munne of Nagpur.
The Raid is considered among the top 10 toughest rallies of the world. It will take off from Leh on October 8 this year, and finish on October 14.
Over 200 competitors participating in Raid de Himalaya 2018 will race over some of the most challenging roads in the Kargil, Zanskar and Ladakh sectors, speeding over rocks, gravel and dust.
The amputees, Rawat and Munne are competing in the toughest category at the Raid -- Xtreme Moto. Racing motorcycles at high-altitude roads and mountain passes is a task few can accomplish.
Munne is a Nagpur man and is a para-athlete whose achievements can dazzle any able-bodied individual. The 34-year-old is a mountaineer, an expert para glider, a scuba diver, a marathon runner, a black belt in martial arts, a skilled gymnast and kayaker, yoga expert and ace swimmer.
Munne climbed the Everest in 2016, and is planning to repeat the feat in 2019. He lost his leg in a train accident in 2008 but didn't let the handicap limit his life. His current passion is finishing the Raid de Himalaya.
"I was 24 when I lost my leg in a train mishap. People said my life was over. I proved to people that I can and will do everything in life. There is no physical limitation. I will live my life the way I want to," Munne said.
Munne, who uses a blade leg, is the brand ambassador for two multi-national artificial limbs companies. He climbed the Mera Peak in Nepal, at a height of 6476 meters, without oxygen. In 2013, he drove 3,000 kilometers through Ladakh on his motorcycle.
"Now everything is a surprise in life. Everything is a new joy. It feels so wonderful that I am competing in the Raid this year. I had never thought I would live such an exciting life," said Munne.
Rawat, who lives in Mumbai, has lived the Raid dream in his head for nine years. His leg was amputated when he was child. He got his driving license in the year 2000, and has been an avid motor-cyclist since.
"I came to know about the Raid in 2010. Since then, it has been my most cherished dream to compete at the Raid and finish it," he said.