Both players have played established themselves as key members of the national team.

The Indian women’s hockey team forward Vandana Katariya and midfielder Monika expressed that they are ecstatic about being nominated for the prestigious Arjuna Award.

Hockey India announced the nomination of captain Rani for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award while her compatriots Vandana Katariya, Monika and Harmanpreet Singh have been nominated for the Arjuna Award. Vandana thanked her teammates for their undying support and extended her congratulations to her compatriots.

The 28-year-old said, “It’s amazing to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. I am sure this nomination will be a huge motivation factor for us in the upcoming years. I couldn’t have performed at my best if I didn’t have wonderful teammates. They have always been on my side and the entire credit for my performances goes to them.

“It was fantastic to know that Rani has been nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. I would like to congratulate her for the nomination, and Monika and Harmanpreet for being nominated for the Arjuna Award.”

The Forward added that the Indian women’s hockey team has a very balanced side and is very confident of performing on the big stage. Vandana remarked, “We are certainly moving in the right direction at the moment. The balance of the side is brilliant and we have to just keep moving forward. The confidence of our team is high and I am sure we will be able to put up good performances on the big stage. We are evolving very well as a team and have a great mindset at the moment.”

Vandana and Monika have played key roles in the Indian team’s sensational wins in 2019 which includes the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima, Tokyo 2020 Olympics Test Event and the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar.

Monika expressed that she is extremely honoured to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. She said, “I am extremely honoured to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. Heartiest congratulations to Rani for being nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. I would like to extend my congratulations to Vandana and Harmanpreet as well for the Arjuna Award nominations. The nomination will surely motivate me to perform even better for my team. We produced fantastic results in 2019 and hopefully, we will continue our form once we start playing matches.”

The 26-year-old added that the Indian team will give everything to record a great result at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

“All of us have only one goal and that is to do well at the Olympics. We have fine-tuned many of our skills in the recent past and we are ready to give everything we have to put up excellent performances at the quadrennial event next year. We have a good balance of experience and youth in our team and we are technically sound as well. We are eager to do well for our country,” concluded the Midfielder.