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Top five achievements of Janneke Schopman as coach of Indian women's hockey team

Published at :March 22, 2024 at 10:33 PM
Modified at :March 22, 2024 at 10:33 PM
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(Courtesy : Hockey India)

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Schopman recently resigned as Indian women’s hockey coach.

On February 23, 2024, Janneke Schopman resigned as coach of India’s women’s hockey team, citing gender discrimination by Indian officials. She alleged unequal treatment compared to the men’s team coach and a sense of isolation over the past two years. Schopman’s resignation followed a high-profile interview to Indian Express where she criticized the Indian hockey authorities.

Schopman’s coaching stint with India was a mix of success and challenges. She initially joined as an analytical coach, contributing to the team’s historic fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics. She then became head coach and led the squad to a bronze medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, breaking a 16-year drought for India. Despite these achievements, she felt her treatment was unfair, prompting her resignation

Despite the challenges, Schopman had some glaring achievements as the coach of the Indian women’s hockey team. Here are five of them:

Commonwealth Games 2022 Bronze Medal

After 16 years, India’s women’s hockey team secured a medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Their last medal win was a silver in 2006. This victory was particularly significant under coach Janneke Schopman, who led the team to an impressive performance.

Underdog win at FIH Nations Cup 2022

Under captain Savita Punia, the Indian women’s hockey team emerged victorious in the inaugural FIH Nations Cup in Spain. They defeated Spain 1-0 in the final, which took place from December 11–17, 2022. Notably, this victory was also led by coach Schopman.

Bronze medal at Asia Cup 2022

Despite missing out on direct Olympic qualification, India rallied to claim the bronze medal at the Asia Cup 2022 with a 2-1 victory over Japan. This result represented a resurgence for the team and a notable accomplishment for Coach Schopman, although some believe India had the potential to secure the gold medal.

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Improved team’s ranking

Under Schopman’s leadership since 2020, the Indian women’s hockey team has witnessed a significant surge in their international ranking. From an initial position of 10th globally, they ascended to No. 6 briefly, marking their highest-ever ranking. The achievement was particularly encouraging given the challenges the team has faced in recent times. It also reflects well on the former coach’s efforts in laying the foundation for the team’s success.

Gold at Asian Champions Trophy 2023

Last year in Ranchi, India emerged victorious in the women’s Asian champions trophy, defeating Japan 4-0 in the championship match. Win marked the team’s second championship title, following their previous success in 2016. Schopman deserved significant credit for devising an effective strategy that led to India’s dominance throughout the final match.

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