As many as 25 athletes from their respective sports have been nominated by their international federations. According to a statement by Hockey India, the FIH has put forward Rani’s name overseeing her excellent performances as well as the 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,” stated the president of Hockey India Mohd. Mushtaque Ahmad.
However, the winner will be decided by online voting, the deadline for which closes on January 30.
“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.
Rani dramatically guided the India Eves to a place in the Tokyo Olympics with the winner against the United States in the qualifiers held in Bhubaneswar last year. The team ultimately defeated the Americans by an aggregate of 6-5.
It is happening for the first time that Indian women are participating in two successive Games.
In its sixth edition, the WGA initiative honours and recognises an athlete or a team for stunning performances on the ground or for social commitment or fair behaviour in particular.
In the last edition, Russia’s Acrobatic Gymnastics duo of Mariia Chernova and Georgii Pataraia had won the title with 159,348 votes.
They were followed by the American Powerlifter Jennifer Thompson who got 152,865 votes.