India's Lalremsiami motivated by FIH Rising Star award

“The (FIH Rising Star) award obviously serves as a great motivation for the upcoming Olympics, and gives me more confidence,” said Indian star Lalremsiami.

Lalremsiami receives the FIH Rising Star award from her India skipper Rani Rampal on Tuesday.   -  Twitter (@imranirampal)

Lalremsiami, international hockey federation’s (FIH) rising star of 2019, says the award will act as great motivation to serve the Indian women’s team better at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The 19-year-old was announced as the winner of the prestigious award on Tuesday.

“The award serves as a great motivation for the upcoming Olympics, and gives me more confidence and belief to go on and do my best for the team for years to come,” said Lalremsiami.

Lalremsiami had lost her father last year before taking on Chile in the semifinal of the FIH Women’s World Series Finals and she dedicated this award to him. She has shown tremendous mental strength and character since making her senior team debut in 2017.

“I had a mixed year in 2019, and it was a huge personal loss for me when I lost my father. He always motivated me to do well, and I am sure he would be giving his blessings from above. I would like to dedicate this award to him,” said the youngster.

READ | Manpreet Singh becomes first Indian to win FIH Player of the Year award

She won her first gold medal with the Indian team in 2017 when it won the Asia Cup. Hailing from Mizoram, Lalremsiami also helped her team win the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo late last year and then the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, which saw India book a berth at the all-important Tokyo Games.

“It is a huge honour for me because there were so many great players nominated in the same category. I am thankful to my family for giving me the freedom to choose my career in hockey, and to my Coaches and teammates who have always supported me throughout,” she said.

“Back in December when the nominations were announced, it was our chief coach who informed me after we had wrapped up training in Bengaluru. I didn’t realise how big these awards were at first, but when I saw the list of winners over the years, I felt really happy and proud,” she added.

Lalremsiami considers her senior team captain Rani Rampal as her role-model and having received the Award from the veteran was the icing on the cake.

“I was visiting Delhi to meet my sister, so Rani di told me she will pick me up from the airport. But when I came outside, I was given a wonderful surprise by Rani di and Hockey India’s CEO Ms Elena Norman along with the staff. I wasn’t expecting to win the award because there were some great players nominated for it, but when I received the trophy from my role-model and saw my name on the poster at the airport, it made me happy,” said the youngster.

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