India on Friday appointed Olympic gold medallist Janneke Schopman as the analytical coach of the women’s hockey team, bolstering the national side’s support staff ahead of the Tokyo Games.
The decorated former Dutch star was part of the team that won a gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver at the 2004 Athens Olympics and has made 212 international appearances.
Schopman will join the team on Saturday at the on-going national Camp at SAI centre in Bengaluru. She will accompany the side for its season-opener in New Zealand, where the will play against the hosts and Great Britain.
“I am really excited to work with the Indian women’s hockey team. I have followed their game for quite a while and I believe they are a very talented and determined group of players. I look forward to contributing to their zest to achieve desired results for India,” said Janneke, who has been appointed till the Tokyo Games.
Schopman had successfully led the side for two years before retirement and was also part of the Netherlands squad that won the World Cup in 2006, and a silver in the 2002 and 2010 edition of the mega-event.
The 42-year-old was the head coach of the USA national women’s hockey team from 2016 to 2019.
Besides, she was also associated with the USA U-21 women’s team and also worked as assistant coach with the USA women’s team from 2014 to 2016 before being promoted to the role of the head coach.
She was also the head coach for U-18 Den Bosch, a domestic club in the Netherlands.
Under her tutelage as head coach, USA won the Hockey World League Round 3 in South Africa, finished third in the Pan Am Cup in 2017 and 2019 and a bronze medal in the FIH Champions Trophy 2016. She almost led her side to a stunning comeback against India in the two-legged Olympic qualifier in Bhubaneshwar last year.
India’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne welcomed the appointment.
“We know each other for a long time and have the same thoughts about hockey and her experience as an Olympic gold medallist and World Cup winner will give the team a good boost in our preparations for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” said Marijne.
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