Midfielder Namit Toppo, who played 168 matches for the Indian women’s hockey team since making her senior debut in 2012, announced her retirement on Thursday.
Namita Toppo featured in the 2016 Rio Olympics and played a role in India’s bronze and silver medals wins at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Games, respectively.
"The last 10 years have definitely been the best years of my life. I had a dream to play for my country on the biggest stages and I am so happy that I have been able to achieve that. I hope I have made a huge impact and I am very thrilled to see the way the Indian women's hockey team has progressed in the last decade,” Namita Toppo told Hockey India.
“I will keep cheering and supporting the team while I move on to a new chapter in my life. I could not have achieved this without the support of my teammates. I also thank all the coaches I have trained under," the 27-year-old Namita Toppo added.
Namita Toppo is a product of the Sports Hostel, Panposh, Rourkela which is located in her native state of Odisha. She first represented her state team in 2007 and her performances in the domestic competitions saw her break into the Indian squad for the Girls U-18 Hockey Asia Cup 2011 in Bangkok, where the Indian women's hockey team won the bronze medal.
Namita Toppo was first picked for the senior Indian women’s hockey team in 2012 when she participated in the FIH Champions Challenge I in Dublin.
The following year, she was part of the Indian setup which won the bronze medal at the FIH Hockey Junior World Cup Women 2013 held in Monchengladbach, Germany. There was no looking back for Namita since, as she took part in major tournaments like FIH Women’s World League Round 2 in 2013 where India won gold and Women’s Asian Champions Trophy 2013, where India finished with silver.
The experienced midfielder was also part of India’s Commonwealth Games 2014 team and won the silver medal at the Women’s Asia Cup 2017l.
Indian women's hockey team chief coach Janneke Schopman hailed Namita’s contributions towards the team and said, “Apart from giving everything on the field, Namita has also been a perfect role-model for the youngsters in the team. Not many players get a chance to play 168 matches for their national teams and Namita has earned each one of those caps.”
“Apart from being a great hockey player Namita is one of the kindest people I know. She is very thoughtful and she always puts the team first. I would like to wish her all the very best for the future."