India forward Mumtaz Khan was named the FIH Women's Rising Star of the Year on Tuesday, primarily due to her stellar role during the country's campaign at the Junior World Cup in South Africa, earlier this year.
The 19-year-old Mumtaz, who hails from Lucknow, had scored eight goals in six matches, including a hat-trick, during India's fourth-place finishing campaign in Potchefstroom in April.
She finished in third place on the list of top scorers in the World Cup, failing to score only in the one game against the Netherlands in the tournament.
In the bronze medal match against England, Mumtaz scored both the goals for India in the crucial 2-2 tie, but the team couldn't get over the line in the ensuing shoot-out to end in fourth place.
"I cannot believe that I have won this award. It is the hard work of our entire team over the year that has paid off, and I dedicate the win to my team," Mumtaz said.
"I feel the award is a sign that the hard work that I have put over the past year on the training grounds has helped me improve a lot as a player. But this is just the beginning of my career. I wish to continue the learning process and will continue the hard work to improve upon my game."
Mumtaz edged Belgium's Charlotte Englebert by a margin of just three points after votes cast by experts (40%), teams (20%), fans (20%) and media (20%) were tallied. The young Indian finished with a total of 32.9 points, with Englebert coming in second with 29.9 points. Luna Fokke from the Netherlands finished third with 16.9 points.
Mumtaz also emerged as India's leading goal-scorer at the FIH Women's Hockey 5s 2022, where she scored five goals in four games, including a hat-trick against the hosts, Switzerland.
Timothee Clement of France was voted FIH Men's Rising Star of the Year.