Odisha’s Hockey Juggernaut, HAO, Enters Into Quarter-Finals

Odisha’s Hockey Juggernaut, HAO, Enters Into Quarter-Finals

Pune: The Hockey Association of Odisha (HAO) clinched a significant victory against Hockey Chandigarh at the 14th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2024, affirming their lead in their pool and securing a quarter-final berth. Head Coach Sujit Lakra shared insights on their upcoming match against Haryana after the impressive 6-1 win, highlighting Odisha’s grassroots development programs and the escalating competition from other states.

In the quarterfinals, HAO will confront the seasoned hockey players from Haryana. Coach Sujit Lakra emphasized their focus on execution, acknowledging Haryana’s strength but emphasizing their commitment to their roles and practiced strategies. He encouraged his players to maintain composure and take pride in representing Odisha.

HAO boasts three players from the Indian Women’s Hockey Team: Mariana Kujur, Ajmina Kujur, and Jyoti Chhatri. Coach Lakra praised their impact, citing their motivational influence, experience in pressure situations, and tactical contributions.

Consistently formidable in the Senior Women National Championship, HAO finished fifth in the previous edition and claimed the championship before that. Lakra credited Odisha’s robust hockey ecosystem, including grassroots initiatives and infrastructure like 23 Hockey Training Centers, Sports Hostels, and the Odisha Naval Tata Hockey High-Performance Centre.

Lakra highlighted the intensified competition at the championships and commended Hockey India’s efforts in supporting member associations. He praised initiatives like providing playing equipment to states, recognizing their role in fostering growth and enhancing the game’s quality annually.