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Dashing forward Mumtaz leaves stereotypes behind– enthralls fans with a stellar performance in hockey World Cup

With her superlative performance in the ongoing junior hockey World Cup, Mumtaz Khan has become a role model for many back home (Image courtesy: Instagram/@_mumtaz_khan__9)

Salima Tete-led Indian team beat fancied Germany 2-1 in their pool match on Sunday to book their place in the quarterfinals of the FIH Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup taking place in South Africa's Potchefstroom.

While goalkeeper Bichu Devi Kharibam was adjudged 'Player of the Match' for her brilliant saves, Lalremsiami (2') and Mumtaz Khan (25') scored a goal each in 2-1 win which gives India the top position in Pool D with two wins and six points.

After Lalremsiami put India ahead, forward Mumtaz Khan made it 2-0 just before the half time, perfectly deflecting a strike from Reet at the far post.

Daughter of Hafeez Khan, a vegetable seller in Lucknow, it has been a memorable tournament for Mumtaz so far.

With her superlative performance, Mumtaz, who chose hockey by coincidence, has become a role model for many back home.

It was in 2011 that Mumtaz was spotted by local hockey coach Neelam Siddiqui during a sports event at her school in Agra.

"I didn't really know much about the sport back then because I was so young, but as I started watching and playing it, I started developing a real interest," Mumtaz, now a leading junior hockey player of the country, told Hockey India.

Initially, helping her parents financially was all that was on Mumtaz's mind.

"I come from a very humble background so one of the factors in me playing hockey was that I might be able to help my parents. I have been fortunate enough to have represented the Indian Junior Women's Team and have always aimed at giving my all on the pitch, and I am hoping that it can translate into a bright future for us off the field," she told the federation website.

As she led India to a silver medal at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, Mumtaz's performance was also lauded by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"I know that whatever I have done so far is nothing as compared to what I want to achieve in my career, so I don't want to get too ahead of myself. I want to ensure I am taking small baby steps, and doing the right things always. I am happy to have the support of my parents and my coaches, and my dream is to repay their faith in whatever way possible," she says.

"It is no secret that I have had difficult moments personally, and sometimes it has been difficult for my parents also, but I am glad that they have always supported me no matter what, and I can't wait to make them happy," Mumtaz added.

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