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India at FIH Women's Junior World Cup: A Brief History

Reserved for players below 21 years old, the Netherlands is the most successful team in the tournament. The peak of India's performance was in the 2013 edition, where they won a bronze medal.

India at FIH Womens Junior World Cup: A Brief History

Indian goalkeeper in action during the team's bronze medal-winning performance at the 2013 edition of the FIH Women's Junior World Cup.


Navneet Oberoi

Updated: 28 Nov 2023 9:08 AM GMT

Months after securing their inaugural title in the Women's Junior Asia Cup, India aims for another podium finish at the 2023 FIH Women's Junior World Cup starting in Santiago, Chile. Led by Preeti, India kicks off their campaign on November 29 against Canada.

Under the guidance of women’s team chief coach Janneke Schopman several junior players have debuted and become integral members of the senior squad.

The World Cup in Chile serves as an opportunity for Preeti and her teammates to showcase their abilities and potentially vie for a spot in the Indian squad for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

As India prepares to commence their campaign with high hopes, here's a look back on their journey in the Junior Hockey Women's World Cup:

The Junior Women's Hockey World Cup, overseen by the International Hockey Federation (FIH), was inaugurated in 1989.

Reserved for players below 21 years old, this biennial competition highlighted the supremacy of four teams. The Netherlands is the most successful team in the tournament with four titles, followed by Korea and Argentina, while Germany has claimed the title once.

India marks its sixth appearance in the Junior World Cup in 2023, entering the arena for the first time in 2001. The peak of their performance was in the 2013 edition hosted in Germany, where they celebrated a notable achievement with a bronze medal.

However, the team encountered a setback in 2022, falling short of another podium finish after a heart-wrenching loss to England in the bronze medal match. Despite the disappointment, India's recurrent presence underscores their dedication to competing at the highest level, as they navigate the challenges and successes that define their Junior World Cup legacy.

Reflecting on Team India's journey, the young women's side faced a tentative beginning, initially grappling to find their footing against dominant opponents. In their debut season in Argentina, India secured a 9th-place finish.

However, the subsequent World Cups showed a fluctuating trajectory as India slipped to the 11th spot in the 2005 campaign held in Chile. Despite efforts, the 2009 edition in the United States mirrored their performance in the debut, closing with a 9th-place finish once again. The young team navigated challenges in their early years, striving for consistency on the global stage.

The turning point for the junior girls came in 2013 when they captivated the hockey world with a remarkable comeback, securing a bronze medal in the FIH Junior Hockey World Cup at Monchengladbach, Germany.

The bronze medal-winning Indian team celebrating at the FIH Women's Junior World Cup in 2013 in Germany.

They achieved this milestone by defeating higher-ranked England 3-2 in a penalty shootout during the third-fourth-place playoff match. This marked a crucial moment for Indian junior hockey on the global stage.

The young Indian girls exhibited continuous improvement with each game, showcasing escalating quality and effort that translated into visible results.

Their progression was evident in victories against higher-ranked teams such as New Zealand and Spain. Former senior women's skipper Rani Rampal was rightfully recognized as the player of the tournament, lauded for her outstanding performance throughout the World Cup.

In the 2022 edition, India's pursuit of their first FIH Women's Hockey Junior World Cup title concluded with a semifinal loss to the tournament's most successful side, the Netherlands, in Potchefstroom, South Africa. The final scoreline stood at 3-0 in favour of the Netherlands.

India proceeded to the bronze medal match against England in the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup 2022.

Despite dominating the regulation time, the Indian women's hockey team faced heartbreak as they conceded a late goal to England. The match ended in a 2-2 draw in regulation time, and India ultimately fell to England 3-0 in the shootout.

The Indian women's journey in the junior world cups has seen fluctuations, but this time, they aim to capitalise on the opportunity.

Led by Preeti, India kicks off their campaign on November 29, facing Canada on the tournament's opening day.

India at FIH Women's Junior World Cup: A Brief History

Debut: 2001, Argentina

2001: 9th

2005: 11th

2009: 9th

2013: 3rd

2022: 4th

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