Months after clinching their first women’s Junior Asia Cup title, India are gunning to finish on the podium once again at the 2023 FIH Women’s Junior World Cup which gets underway in Santiago, Chile.

Led by Preeti, India begin their campaign on December 29, the opening day of the tournament, against Canada.

Since taking over as chief coach of the senior women’s team, Janneke Schopman has debuted many junior players who have gone on and become mainstays in the senior squad.

For Preeti and Co, the World Cup in Chile presents them with an opportunity to show their capabilities and even put their name in the ring for a potential place in the Indian squad for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

India at the World Cup

This is India’s sixth appearance at the women’s Junior World Cup with their first appearance coming in 2001. India’s best showing came in the 2013 edition in Germany where they finished with a bronze medal.

The team missed out on another podium finish in 2022 after a loss to England in in the shootout in the bronze medal match.

All-time list of Medallists

Year Host Gold Silver Bronze
1989 Ottawa, Canada West Germany South Korea Soviet Union
1993 Terrassa, Spain Argentina Australia Germany
1997 Seongnam, South Korea Netherlands Australia Argentina
2001 Buenos Aires, Argentina South Korea Argentina Australia
2005 Santiago, Chile South Korea Germany Netherlands
2009 Boston, USA Netherlands Argentina South Korea
2013 Monchengladbach, Germany Netherlands Argentina India
2016 Santiago, Chile Argentina Netherlands Australia
2022 Potchefstroom, South Africa Netherlands Germany England

Finals of Women’s Junior Hockey World Cup

2022: Netherlands 3-1 Germany

2016: Argentina 4-2 Netherlands

2013: Netherlands 1 (4)-(2) 1 Argentina

2009: Netherlands 3-0 Argentina

2005: South Korea 1-0 Germany

2001: South Korea 2 (4)-(3) 2 Argentina

1997: Netherlands 2-0 Australia

1993: Argentina 2-1 Australia

1989: West Germany 2-0 South Korea

Pool A: Australia, Chile, Netherlands, South Africa

Pool B: Argentina, South Korea, Spain, Zimbabwe

Pool C: Belgium, Canada, Germany, India

Pool D: England, Japan, New Zealand, United States

A top two finish in the Pool is the only way to secure a place in the quarter-finals 

India’s campaign

India are drawn in Pool C with Germany, Canada and Belgium. Junior world No 3 Germany won the inaugural edition in 1989 where they competed as West Germany. They also finished runner-up in the 2005 edition (which was also held in Chile) and the 2022 edition in South Africa.

India and Germany were drawn in the same pool in 2022 where goals from Lalremsiami and Mumtaz Khan helped India emerge victorious.

The Germans will be world No 6 India’s biggest rivals in the group. However, they will also need to be wary of a rising Belgium team. Belgium finished as runners-up at the 2022 Women’s EuroHockey Junior Championship after losing to Germany via penalty shootouts.

The matches will be broadcast on Viacom Sports 18 – 3 and Sports 18 – 1 HD, as well as live-streamed on JioCinema.

India’s squad for the World Cup

Goalkeepers: Khushboo, Madhuri Kindo

Defenders: Neelam, Preeti, Jyoti Singh, Ropni Kumari

Midfielders: Mahima Tete, Manju Chorsiya, Jyoti Chhatri, Hina Bano, Sujata Kujur, Rutuja Pisal

Forwards: Sakshi Rana, Mumtaz Khan, Annu, Deepika Soreng, Dipi Monika Toppo, Sunelita Toppo 

India’s Pool Matches

November 29: Vs Canada at 10.30pm IST

December 1: Vs Germany at 1.00am IST

December 2: Vs Belgium at 6.30pm IST