Experienced Midfielder Sushila Chanu, about to make her maiden World Cup appearance, says, “It’s an emotional moment for me.”
Experienced Midfielder Sushila Chanu, about to make her maiden World Cup appearance, says, “It’s an emotional moment for me.” Sushila Chanu has played 208 games for India. She has also played for India in back-to-back Olympics and won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in 2014. However, on July 3, the Manipur-born midfielder will play in her first World Cup game.
So, she can’t contain her excitement before India’s first match at the FIH Women’s World Cup on July 3 in Amstelveen, Netherlands, against their biggest rival, England. “In 2018, I missed playing the World Cup in London due to an injury. Subsequently, I struggled with form which resulted in me missing out on the Asian Games that year. It was perhaps one of the biggest lows of my career. It was a difficult phase but I was determined to overcome it and earn my place in the squad again,” reminisced a touched Sushila.
After missing the 2018 Asian Games Palembang-Jakarta, where India won a silver medal, and the 2018 World Cup, where India made it to the quarterfinals, Sushila came back with a bang and has been a big part of the team’s growth over the past four years. India won both the FIH Series Finals and the FIH Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar, India, with her help. She also played a very significant role at the Olympics in Tokyo, and she played for India at the Women’s Asia Cup in 2021.
Sushila got her 200th international appearance while playing for India in the FIH Women’s Hockey Pro League 2021/22. India came in third. On the sidelines of the team’s practice match versus Chile on Tuesday night in Amstelveen, Sushila Chanu remarked, “I am very happy and excited to have this opportunity to represent India at the World Cup. For many of my teammates, it’s their second outing at the World Cup but for me, it’s a first. It is an emotional moment for me and I surely believe it will be a memorable one for us.”
Sushila said this about how the mood was in the dressing room before the big event: “We arrived in Amstelveen soon after our Pro League matches ended in Rotterdam last week. We have had enough time to settle into the team hotel and also have been training at the World Cup venue.”
“Definitely everyone is pumped up and looking forward to give their 100 percent. Netherlands is a fantastic venue for hockey and the hosts have created a great atmosphere for the participating teams. We are all looking forward to our first match and a good start against England is what we need,” said Chanu.
India’s first pool B match will be against England on July 3 at 00:00 IST. The games will be shown live on Star Sports First and streamed on Disney+ Hotstar for those who want to watch.