Odisha Women created history, as they defeated Maharashtra 17-5 in the final to win the Gold Medal in Women’s Rugby event at the 35th National Games in Kerala. They had defeated West Bengal in the final. In the group stage, they had beaten Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Jammu & Kashmir. Interestingly, they won all their matches comprehensively, leaving their rivals no chance to bounce back.
Prior to the departure, Odisha skipper Laxmipriya Sahoo had promised either a Silver or Gold. And, she did not let the people of her state down. Despite lack of proper government support, they have proved their mettle. Most of the members of the team are tribal girls from KISS.
Members of the current Odisha Women’s Rugby team, Laxmipriya Sahoo, Meenarani Hembram, Sanjukta Munda, Bhagyalaxmi Barik and Hupi Majhi, have been chosen for the national team for the 2016 Rio Olympics in Brazil. Other team members Bhanumati Bage, Sujata Pradhan, Sasmita Moharana and Sabita Munda will take part in the Federation’s Rugby-7s France Tour this year.
Earlier, Odisha got two bronze medals today, when Dutee Chand bagged third place in Women’s 200m (she had won Gold in 100m) and Amiya Mallick too came third in Men’s 200m. Odisha now placed at 15th place with 6 Gold, 5 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. Services lead the medal tally.