New Delhi, Feb 14 : India's young striker Lalremsiami has dedicated the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 Award to her late father and believes the honour serves as a great motivation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
"I had a mixed year in 2019, and it was a huge personal loss for me when I lost my father. He always motivated me to do well, and I am sure he would be giving his blessings from above. I would like to dedicate this award to him," said the youngster, who won her first gold medal with the Indian team in 2017 when they won the Women's Asia Cup.
"The award obviously serves as a great motivation for the upcoming Olympics, and gives me more confidence and belief to go on and do my best for the team for years to come," she added.
On June 21 2019, when the Indian eves were preparing to take on Chile in their semi-final match of the FIH Series Finals 2019 in Hiroshima, Lalremsiami received tragic news from her home, her father Lalthansanga Zote, had passed away due to a heart attack.
However, the 19-year-old Lalremsiami showed great strength and composure to tell her chief coach Sjoerd Marijne that she will be playing the match on the next day, and the youngster helped her team win the important competition and progress to the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers which took place later in the year.
Hailing from Mizoram, Lalremsiami also helped her team win the Olympic Test Event in Tokyo late last year, and then the Olympic Qualifiers, which saw India book their berth at the Tokyo Olympics.
Lalremsiami considers her senior team captain Rani as her role model and having received the award from the veteran was the icing on the cake.
"I was visiting Delhi to meet my sister, so Rani di told me she will pick me up from the airport. But when I came outside, I was given a wonderful surprise by Rani di and Hockey India's CEO Elena Norman along with the staff.
"I wasn't expecting to win the award because there were some great players nominated for it, but when I received the trophy from my role model and saw my name on the poster at the airport, it made me really happy," said the youngster.