Once thrown out from the junior national squad, citing poor fitness, 17-year-old Rani Rampal on Sunday architected the historic junior world cup bronze medal triumph in Germany.
Rani hailing from Shahbad, Haryana, scored two of the three goals against England in the play-off match and her stunning performance throughout the tournament got her “The Best Player” of the tournament award.
Rani was dropped from the junior camp in 2007. Not bowing down to the defeat, she took it as a challenge and the very next year she was fast-tracked to the senior India side before playing for the junior side.
At the age of 13 when she was picked up for the Olympic qualifiers in Kazan in 2008, she created history for being the youngest-ever member to make it to the senior squad.
“Getting dropped from the junior camp on fitness issue was past and getting the best player award of the junior world cup is present,” said Rani while talking to the Hindustan Times from Germany. “What I am today is because of my coach Baldev sir. I attribute my success to him,” she added.
Besides Rani, there were five others from Haryana, who were part of the 16-member winning team.
While Navneet Kaur, 17, Manjeet Kaur, 18, Navjot Kaur, 18, and Monika, 19, are from the Shahbad hockey academy, Poonam Rani, 19, is from Hisar. Chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has announced Rs 5 lakh each for the six girls in the squad hailing from the state.