After making her senior India debut in 2012 and amassing more than 150 international appearances, veteran hockey midfielder Namita Toppo opted to retire on Thursday.
Namita Toppo announces retirement
Toppo, a 27-year-old native of Odisha’s Sundargarh District, competed for India and earned bronze and silver medals at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, respectively. “The past ten years have without a doubt been the best of my life. I always wanted to represent my country on the biggest stages, and I’m thrilled that I was able to do so,” Toppo said in a statement provided by Hockey India.
Toppo is a product of the Sports Hostel in Rourkela, Panposh. She started off by playing for her state team in 2007, and thanks to her success there, she was chosen to represent India at the U-18 Girls Asia Cup in Bangkok, Thailand in 2011. India took home the bronze medal. In 2012’s FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin, she was first chosen to compete for the senior national squad.
When the 2013 FIH Women’s Junior World Cup took place in Mönchengladbach, Germany, she was a member of the Indian junior squad that took home the bronze medal. Toppo competed in prestigious competitions such as the 2013 FIH Women’s World League Round 2 and the 2013 Third Women’s Asian Champions Trophy, where India took home the gold and silver, respectively.
She also competed at the 2014 Asian Games, where India earned a bronze medal, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and the 2016 Rio Olympics. The two-time Asian Games medalist was recognised by Hockey India for her commitment to the nation’s sport. “Namita has significantly impacted Indian hockey. Namita has not only given her all on the field, but she has also been the ideal role model for the squad’s young players, according to chief coach of the national team Janneke Schopman.”
She added that Toppo is not just a fantastic hockey player, but also one of the most generous persons she know. She is incredibly considerate and constantly prioritises the team.