FIH Rising Star award boosts Lalremsiami’s Olympic preparations

The forward also spoke about how she overcame a personal loss to represent India in their semi-final win over Chile.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

Indian hockey women’s team’s star forward Lalremsiami demonstrated her mental strength last June when she opted to play in a semi-final clash against Chile in the FIH Series Tournament under difficult personal circumstances.

The 19-year-old had just lost her father Lalthansanga Zote and was emotional but decided to still play for the team.

"It was during the semi-final - just before the match, my father expired and that was a very difficult phase for me. Playing for my team was equally important and I decided to play for the team," she said.

The Indian hockey women’s team went on to win the semi-final 4-2 and booked their berth in the final Olympic qualifiers. Lalremsiami’s inspirational show of courage to fight through personal loss eventually helped her team secure a place in the 2020 Olympics.

Lalremsiami has come a long way since her debut for the Indian hockey team in 2017 and has now taken her game to the next level, winning the FIH's Rising Star of the Year award earlier this month, a feat her father would have been proud of.

The 19-year-old Lalremsiami beat Argentine Julieta Jankunas and the Netherlands’ Frederique Matla after being voted the best upcoming talent in the world through an online poll that considered votes cast by national federations (50%), the press (25%) and fans (25%) to decide the winner.

"I wasn't expecting to win the award because there were some great players nominated for it,” Lalremsiami said. “But when I received it, it made me happy. I am grateful to God.

“I want to thank Hockey India and FIH for their love and support. This award has encouraged me to prepare for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics,” the star forward said.

The Mizo also insisted that following the coach’s commands will be pivotal to the team’s chances of success.

"As a player, be it on the field or off the field, it is very important to maintain discipline,” Lalremsiami pointed out. “When we are in the field, we need to tell our desired structures to the coach. We need to follow that."

The Indian hockey women's team qualified for the 2016 Olympics for just the second time in its history. They were eliminated in the group stage, where they placed sixth and will be eager to go further at Tokyo 2020.