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India win women's Champions Challenge II

June 28, 2009 18:15 IST
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India became the first winner of the women's Champions Challenge II in hockey history after they defeated Belgium 6-3 in the final in Kazan, Russia, on Saturday.

Ireland took the bronze medal, defeating Ukraine 2-1.

Belarus claimed fifth position after a 2-1 victory over Canada, while Malaysia finished seventh and host Russia eighth.

India played a perfect match, establishing a 2-0 lead by half-time. Rani Rampal scored four goals and emerged the top scorer of the tournament. She was also named young player of the tournament

India skipper Surinder Kaur was named player of the tournament.

Rani scored in the 17th, 38th, 44th and 54th minutes. Veteran Saba Anjum (20th) and Chanchan Devi (49th) were the other scorers.

With this triumph, India qualified for 2011 Champions Challenge I tournament, the winner of which will qualify for 2012 Champions Trophy.

Both sides had their chances in the first 15 minutes, but India opened the scoring when Rani scored the first of her four goals in the 17th minute.

India added another four goals early in the second half, three of them coming from Rani's stick.

The Indians kept attacking after the change of ends with Rani scoring her second goal three minutes into the second half from a penalty- corner.

Riding on captain Valerie Vermeersch's two penalty-corner conversions in the 40th and 49 th minute, Belgium attempted a comeback. However, Rani struck twice to make the scoreline 6-3 with only 15 minutes remaining before Jil Boon could pull one more back from a field goal.

Final ranking:
1. India
2. Belgium
3. Ireland
4. Ukraine
5. Belarus
6. Canada
7. Malaysia
8. Russia

Individual awards:
Fair Play:
Top goalkeeper: Nadine Khouzam (BEL)
Player of tournament: Surinder Kaur (IND)
Young Player of the tournament: Rani Rampal (IND)
Top scorer: Rani Rampal (IND)
Best defender: Stephanie Jameson (CAN)
Most useful player: Nikki Symmons (IRE)

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