'Arjuna Award nomination huge motivation for us': Indian Women's hockey players Vandana, Monika

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Indian women's hockey team forward Vandana Katariya and midfielder Monika are ecstatic about being nominated for the Arjuna Award.

"It's amazing to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. I am sure this nomination will be a huge motivation factor for us in the upcoming years. I couldn't have performed at my best if I didn't have wonderful teammates. They have always been on my side and the entire credit for my performances goes to them," said Vandana.

Indian women's hockey team

Indian team after winning the qualifiersTwitter/Hockey India

Vandana Katariya and Monika have been nominated for the Arjuna Award

Along with Vandana and Monika, Harmanpreet Singh has been nominated for the Arjuna Award while captain Rani has been recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

"It was fantastic to know that Rani has been nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. I would like to congratulate her for the nomination, and Monika and Harmanpreet for being nominated for the Arjuna Award," said the 28-year-old.

The forward added that the team has a very balanced side and is very confident of performing on the big stage. "We are certainly moving in the right direction at the moment. The balance of the side is brilliant and we have to just keep moving forward," said Vandana.

"The confidence of our team is high and I am sure we will be able to put up good performances on the big stage. We are evolving very well as a team and have a great mindset at the moment."

Indian women's hockey team

Indian women in action during their final against Japan in FIH Series Finals

Vandana, who has over 200 international caps and Monika with 150 international caps, have played key roles in India's sensational wins in 2019 which include the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima, Tokyo 2020 Olympics Test Event and the Olympic Qualifiers in Bhubaneswar.

Monika expressed that she is extremely honoured to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. "I am extremely honoured to be nominated for the Arjuna Award. Heartiest congratulations to Rani for being nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. I would like to extend my congratulations to Vandana and Harmanpreet as well for the Arjuna Award nominations. The nomination will surely motivate me to perform even better for my team. We produced fantastic results in 2019 and hopefully, we will continue our form once we start playing matches," said Monika.

The 26-year-old added that the team will give everything to record a great result at the Olympics next year. "All of us have only one goal and that is to do well at the Olympics. We have fine-tuned many of our skills in the recent past and we are ready to give everything we have to put up excellent performances at the quadrennial event next year," said the midfielder.

"We have a good balance of experience and youth in our team and we are technically sound as well. We are eager to do well for our country," she added.

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