Indian women's hockey team defender Sunita Lakra retires due to a collapse of injuries

(Eds: Update with the statement of the captain of India Rani Rampal)

New Delhi, January 2 () The Indian women's hockey team defender Sunita Lakra, who was part of the silver winning team at the 2018 Asian Games, announced Thursday her international retirement, citing a knee injury that would require other surgery

The 28-year-old said that the persistent injury has gotten in her dream of being part of the Tokyo Olympic Games campaign in India this year.

Today is a very emotional day for me, as I have decided to retire from International Hockey, he said in a statement issued by Hockey India.

In the team since 2008, Lakra captained to India during the 2018 Asian Champions Trophy, leading the team to second place in the event. In total, he played 139 games for India and his achievements also included being part of the team that claimed the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games.

I was very fortunate to have played at the Rio Olympics in 2016, India's first appearance in more than three decades. As much as I want to be part of the Indian team while preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, my knee injuries have shortened my dream.

The doctors told me that I would need another knee surgery in the next few days and I'm not sure how long it would take before recovering completely, he explained.

Lakra said that after recovering, she would continue to appear in domestic hockey.

According to my treatment, I will play national hockey and play for NALCO, which has supported my career by providing me with a job, he said.

I have come a long way in the sport and I have great memories with the Indian team that has stood firm by my side and the girls were always my family away from home, he added.

Lakra thanked his teammates and head coach Sjoerd Marijne for his support.

I sincerely thank Hockey India who made sure I received the best treatment during my injury and I am grateful for their incomparable support for women's hockey.

My family, my husband and my friends in Odisha have been my biggest supporters and I want to thank you for helping me pursue my passion for hockey. He could not have come this far without his breath, he said.

The captain of India, Rani Rampal, said he would miss Lakra. Congratulations @ sunitalakraodisha26 for a wonderful bearer. I will definitely miss the best moments we've shared in the field and in the locker room for more than a decade. Praying for his recovery soon and all the best for his future efforts, he tweeted. PM PM

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