Know Your Olympian: Sushila Chanu, The Women’s Hockey Team Captain

A junior ticket collector in Central Mumbai Railway, Sushila is now ready to lead the women’s hockey team in Rio.

2 min read
Indian women’s hockey team captain Sunita Chanu at the team announcement ceremony in New Delhi on Tuesday. (Photo: Reuters)

Sushila Chanu Pukhrambam is the current captain of the Indian women’s hockey team that has qualified for the Olympic Games after 36 years.

The soft spoken midfielder has always shown immense dedication to the game, paying great importance to detail, specially her fitness.

The halfback is also currently employed as the junior ticket collector in the Central Mumbai Railway.

Born on 25 February 1992 to Pukhrambam Shyamsundar and Pukhrambam Ongbi Lata, Chanu comes from very humble backgrounds in Imphal, Manipur.

Her father is a driver, her mother is a homemaker.

Raised in a family of sports lovers, Sushila picked up her first hockey stick at the age of 11 with encouragement from her uncle. However, Chanuwas first drawn toward sports were when she went to watch a football match during the 1999 National Games that were hosted in Manipur.

Manipuri hockey players Sanggai Chanu, Tingonleima Chanu and Surajlata Devi that represented India in International Hockey was what attracted her to the game.

(Photo Courtesy: <a href="">Facebook/Hockey India</a>)
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Hockey India)

Road to Rio

Sushila broke into the scene when she led the Indian junior team to a bronze medal at the 2013 Junior World Cup at Monchengladbach, Germany.

Soon after, she made her international debut and her impact on the Indian defense led to the team reaching the semis of the 2015 Hockey World League. The 24-year old then captained the women’s senior team at the four-nation tournament in Australia that were held in May.

However, Sushila faced a setback with a major knee injury that could have ended with a knee reconstruction surgery. But with strenuous exercise and physiotherapy, Chanu returned to training within 8 weeks.

On Tuesday, the veteran of 112 international matches was picked as the captain of the women’s hockey team for the Rio Olympics this August.

Wishing Sushila Chanu and her band of extraordinary achievers all the luck in Rio.

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