When I was recommended for Khel Ratna, I started crying: Rani Rampal

Rani Rampal became the first women hockey player to be honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and she revealed that the moment she got news that she was nominated, the Indian women’s hockey skipper broke the news to her father and started crying with joy. Rampal now wants to focus on getting an Olympic medal.

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When I was recommended for Khel Ratna, I started crying: Rani Rampal
Rani Rampal has featured in 241 internationals for India in her 12-year career and she has also been honoured with the Arjuna Award in addition to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award.


Rani Rampal, the India women’s hockey team skipper, has achieved almost everything in her life. Her performances in the 2018 Asian Games and in the Olympic qualifiers against the USA in Bhubaneswar enhanced her reputation. India were very unlucky to miss out onfhte gold medal in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games but they redeemed themselves by beating the USA and securing their berth in the Tokyo Olympics. However, with the coronavirus pandemic postponing the games to 2021, the India women’s hockey team are currently in Bangalore at the Sports of Authority of India camp.

Rampal’s achievements have earned her the Arjuna Award as well as the Bhim award from her state of Haryana. In addition to the Khel Ratna, Rampal has won most of the awards. Now, Rampal is dreaming of only one more award and that is the Olympic medal. Rampal, who has featured in 241 internationals in her 12-year career, believes that the team can secure a podium finish in Tokyo next year.

'Crying' on getting the award

Rani Rampal had endured a torrid time at the start of her career but she showed immense strength and boosted Indian hockey. With every passing year, the team developed a core and Rani Rampal was at the forefront. When she got the Khel Ratna recommendation, she cried and broke the news to her father.

“It (Khel Ratna) was something I desperately wanted and that’s why I applied. But when the announcement was made, I couldn’t believe. It’s a dream come true, and that’s why I got carried away and started crying while talking to my father. He has seen the worst in life and really worked hard to make ends meet for our family,” Rampal said.

With several members of the men’s hockey team testing positive for the coronavirus, Rampal has assured that the women’s team is safe and following all the protocols that is necessary.

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