India women's hockey captain Rani Rampal has been nominated for the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019 award. Rani was instrumental in India qualifying for the first time in back-to-back Olympic Games.
The 25 athletes nominated for this award from 25 sports have been recommended by their international federations and in Rani's case, the FIH has recommended her name for the award for her outstanding performance and her ability to lead by example.
"We at Hockey India are elated by the news of Rani being nominated for the World Games Athlete of the Year 2019. She indeed is a huge inspiration to many in the country and has made her own mark in the sport. We are very proud of her achievements and contribution to women's hockey in India," Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad, President Hockey India said while congratulating Rani.
"We hope this nomination comes as an inspiration to many other aspiring players who wish to emulate Rani's success. We urge all hockey fans to vote for Rani and also continue to support Rani and the Indian women's team as they prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," he added.
This will be the sixth edition of the IWGA initiative that recognises and honours an athlete or a team for their outstanding performance in 2019, or for their social commitment or particularly fair behaviour.
Last year, the acrobatic gymnastics couple Mariia Chernova and Georgii Pataraia (Russia) won the title with 159,348 votes, just ahead of American powerlifter Jennifer Thompson with 152,865 votes.