19 year old hockey player Lalremsiami, from Mizoram played in the FIH Hockey Series semi-final against Chile, a day after being informed of her father Lalthansanga Zote’s death. He died of a heart attack on Friday morning. She returned to her village in Kolasib district on Tuesday.
She was given the option of flying back home for her father’s funeral by the team coach, Sjoerd Marijine, but she decided against it.
According to a report in news website DNA, she said that she had wanted to make her father proud and so she decided to play on and ensure that her team qualified.
The young player, nicknamed Siami by her teammates, played an integral part in India’s match against Chile which they won, 4-2. The Indian team not only won the Hockey Series Final which took place in Hiroshima but also managed to secure a spot for India in the FIH Olympic qualifiers.
“Indian women hockey player Lalremsiami's father expired when India was to play a crucial semifinal at Hiroshima that would determine if India's Olympics dream would be alive. She told the coach, 'I want to make my father proud. I want to stay, play and make sure India qualifies,” tweeted Kiren Rijiju, Youth Affairs and Sports minister.
“I salute Lalremsiami and Congratulations to Indian Women Hockey Team,” he added.
The win adds to the Indian women’s hockey team’s successful run which started with them qualifying in the Rio Olympics in 2016 after a 36-year break.