Jakarta, September 1: Indian women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal was on Saturday (September 1) selected as India's flag-bearer for the closing ceremony of the 18th Asian Games.
"Rani will be the flag-bearer for tomorrow's ceremony," Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narinder Batra said. Batra is also heading world hockey body, FIH. Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was India's flag-bearer at the opening ceremony. Chopra went on to win the gold medal comfortably.
Rani led India to a silver medal finish at the Asian Games on Friday. They made their first final in 20 years but ended up losing to Japan 1-2.
Winning for our country is always a special moment. Will continue to work hard and achieve more. pic.twitter.com/Hs4oj99Ewz— Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) September 1, 2018
The 23-year-old, who is coming back from an injury, was in tears after the final even though it was not such a bad result considering the team had got bronze four years ago at Incheon. Many of India's 550-plus athletes have gone back home after competition.
The choice of the closing ceremony flag-bearer depends on the availability of the athletes.
oming into the match, the Indians were favourites to the title as they are ranked five places above Japan at ninth in the world rankings. But the Japanese matched India stick for stick and took the lead in the 11th minute when Minami Shimizu converted their first penalty corner.
We were disappointed after the match as this was a chance to directly qualify for Tokyo Olympics&we missed it.We couldn't create history.There's definitely disappointment in us but I think we should rejoice the silver:Rani Rampal,captain of Indian women's hockey team in #Jakarta pic.twitter.com/m5cnHvwYqH— ANI (@ANI) August 31, 2018
India, however, did not give up and pressed hard for the equaliser which came in the 25th minute when Neha Goyal deflected in a Navneet Kaur reverse hit pass, as both the teams went into the breather locked at 1-1. The Japanese, however, came out rejuvenated after the change of ends and restored their lead through another penalty corner conversion, by skipper Motomi Kawamura in the 44th minute.