Adelaide [Australia], May 21 (ANI): The Indian women's hockey team captain Savita Punia on Sunday achieved the milestone of completing 250 international caps for the country. She achieved this incredible milestone during India's third match of their tour to Australia held at the Mate Stadium in Adelaide.
Since making her debut at the Spar Cup Four Nations Tournament in Durban in 2009, Savita has come up the ranks and cemented her place in the team with some top-quality performances over the years.
Savita was 20 years old at the time of making her Senior Team debut. She caught the attention of the selectors during her junior days with some age-defying performances and a sharp presence of mind. Her career was built on some outstanding performances including crucial saves in the penalty shoot-out game to hand India the Bronze medal in the eighth edition of the Asia Cup which was held in Malaysia in 2013.
She was adjudged the Goalkeeper of the Tournament at the Hockey World League Round 2 in Canada in 2017, and was also part of the team that won the Women's Asian Champions Trophy in 2016.
The 32-year-old has won several accolades in her career spanning over a decade including the Arjuna Award. She was instrumental in India's historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics. She was also part of the team that participated in the Rio Olympics 2016, and was also a member of the team that made it to the Quarter-Finals of the Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup 2018 held in London.
As a Captain, she led the Indian side to a Bronze medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 and also impressed with a title win at the FIH Nations Cup which helped the team qualify for the FIH Pro League 2023-24.
"It is a very special moment for me to complete 250 International caps for India. The journey to this moment has seen several highs and lows and this milestone could not have been possible without the support of my teammates. I also thank Hockey India, SAI and Odisha Govt for their continued support for the Indian Women's Team. We have many more targets to achieve and this milestone has only motivated me more to keep going strong," stated Savita as she received the 250th milestone jersey from chief coach Janneke Schopman.
Congratulating Savita, Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said, "Savita has been a pillar of strength for Indian Women's Hockey, standing strong in the goalpost. I congratulate her on completing this incredible milestone of completing 250 International Caps. She has been a huge inspiration to an entire generation of aspiring hockey players. I wish her the best in taking Indian Women's Hockey to new heights." (ANI)