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Defender Sunita Lakra bids adieu to international hockey due to injury

Overall, she has featured in 139 matches for India during her career.

 

Defender Sunita Lakra bids adieu to international hockey due to injury

Indian women's hockey team defender Sunita Lakra has announced that she is calling curtains on her international career due to a knee injury.

Announcing the news, the 28-year-old said that she desperately wanted to be a part of the Indian team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but her dream has been cut short due to a knee injury which would require another surgery in the coming days. 

"Today is a very emotional day for me as I have decided to retire from International Hockey. I had been part of this wonderful journey with the Indian Women's Hockey Team since 2008 and through this journey we have seen many ups and downs but we remained as one unit, giving each other the strength and motivation to remain strong and fight all the odds to excel and bring laurels to the country," Hockey India official website quoted Lakra as saying. 

"I was very fortunate to have played at the Rio Olympics in 2016, India's first appearance in over 3 decades. Many people told me it was a historic moment for women's hockey in India but I always believed this team can achieve so much more. As much as I wish to be part of the Indian team as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics, my knee injuries have cut short my dream. I have been told by the doctors that I would be requiring another knee surgery in the coming days and I am unsure how long it would take before I fully recover," she added. 

Lakra, however, confirmed that she would continue to play domestic hockey and for National Aluminium Company (NALCO) following her recovery. 

The Indian defender also thanked Hockey India, her teammates, and chief coach Sjoerd Marijne for their support during her international career as well as during her injury.

"I would like to thank my teammates, Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne and the team support staff. My heartfelt thanks to Hockey India who ensured I was given the best treatment during my injury and I am grateful for their unparalleled support to women's hockey," she stated. 

Lakra, who joined the Indian women's hockey team in 2008, has led the Women in Blue to a runner-up finish in the Asian Champions Trophy in the same year. She was also part of the side that clinched a bronze medal in the 2014 edition and a silver in the 2018 edition of the Asian Games. 

Overall, she has featured in 139 matches for India during her career.

 

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