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Nikki Pradhan: First IndianWoman Hockey player to Play in Olympics

Hockey is the National Game of India. There are many renowned hockey players in India who has been recognized worldwide.

Nikki Pradhan who was born on 8 December, 1993 is the first female Indian field Hockey player from Jharkhand to represent India in the Olympics. Pradhan’s journey of Hockey was started at a young age under the guidance of her coach Dasrath Mahto. She got admitted in the Bariatu Girls' Hockey Center, Ranchi in 2005. The first time she played for India in U-17 Asia Cup in Bangkok in 2011. But, unfortunately, she could not get selected for the India's Junior National Hockey Championship in 2011-2012. Nikki was also a part of the U-21 Women's Hockey Team which won the silver medal in the Asia Cup. But she could not play due to an injury until the beginning of 2015. After recovering from that injury she made her debut for the Senior Indian Team and joined the senior camp in August 2015 and also participated in the 2012 Asia Cup in the under-21 category. Later on she got selected as a member of the squad of Indian Women's Hockey team, which in 2016 represented India in Rio Olympics, Brazil. The team of 16 members played amazingly well and marked the comeback of Indian Women Hockey in Olympics after 36 years long wait at the World League Semifinals in 2015.  Pradhan was playing as the midfielder of the Indian Women's Hockey team that time with Renuka Yadav, Llima Minz, Monika and Navjot Kaur under the captainship of Sushila Chanu.  She was the sixth Hockey player from Jharkhand to play in Olympics but was the first woman Hockey player to play in Olympics, from Jharkhand. She has motivated women to fight against all odds.

By: Anita Aishvarya

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