News for 22 December 2013

All the news for Sudnday 22 December 2013

Men’s hockey team romp to gold as expected

The Malaysian fans cheer the national hockey team on to the gold medal in the men's final against Singapore on Saturday.

NAYPYITAW: A superb first-half performance paved the way for the Malaysian men’s hockey side to win the SEA Games gold medal with a commanding 5-0 victory over Singapore at the Thein Phyu Hockey Stadium in Yangon.

Four goals in 25 minutes of the first half effectively killed off the tie and secured Malaysian men’s hockey a record 14th gold medal in the biennial Games.

Realising that Singapore will be parking the bus in front of their goal, Malaysia opted to go for an early goal yesterday.

Tai Beng Hai’s side only needed to wait for seven minutes to score the opening goal through Azreen Nasir.

Singapore had no answer to Malaysia’s fast-paced attacks and it did not come as a surprise when Muhammad Azami Adabi doubled the lead in the 19th minute.

Dangerous Lee made it 3-0 in the 26th minute, and Azami then scored his second of the match and Malaysia’s fourth three minutes before the breather.

With the gold medal effectively in the bag, the Malaysians took their foot off the pedal in the second half but still dominated their opponents.

Ahmad Kazamirun Nasruddin hammered the final nail in Singapore’s coffin with a penalty stroke conversion seven minutes from the end to confirm Malaysia’s status as South-East Asian hockey kings.

“Despite not bringing our best players, we have delivered the gold medal as expected,” said Beng Hai.

“We did not face much difficulties overcoming our opponents in Myanmar. I am proud to lead the team, who won Malaysia’s 41st gold medal here and allowing us to surpass the target. I hope we can continue to dominate hockey in the region.”

Team captain Mohd Shahrun Nabil, who was featuring in his first SEA Games in Myanmar despite having earned close to 200 caps for Malaysia, was also ecstatic.

“Despite being the captain of the national team, I have never played in the SEA Games because it was always the juniors who were selected.

“This is the first time that I am leading the mixed squad of senior and junior players here. There were no communication problems on the pitch and everyone got on just fine. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience here,” said the 28-year-old Shahrun.

In the third place playoff, hosts Myanmar pulled off a stunner by upsetting Thailand 2-0 to win the bronze.

The men’s victory yesterday completed a double sweep in hockey for Malaysia after the women had defeated Thailand 6-1 in the final to bag the gold on Friday.

The Star of Malaysia

Malaysia thrash Singapore for their 14th title

MALAYSIA won their 14th Sea Games gold medal in men's hockey with a 5-0 thrashing of Singapore at Theinphyu Stadium in Yangon yesterday.

Tai Beng Hai's side started aggressively and were rewarded in the seventh minute through Dangerous Lee's goal from open play. Dedi Ariyadi Jumaidi (19th), Norhizzat Sumantri (26th) and Azammi Adabi (32nd) added the other goals from field attempts for a 4-0 lead at half-time.

Singapore, however, tightened their game and limited Malaysia's opportunities after the breather. Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin netted a fifth off a penalty for Malaysia seven minutes from time.

Myanmar served a surprise by overcoming Thailand 2-0 for the bronze medal in an earlier match.

"I am delighted as my team achieved their target with an impressive result in the final," said Beng Hai.

"Three of our 18 players were unavailable for the final due to injury.

"We, however, managed to dominate proceedings and score early goals in the first half.

"It was not easy at first as Singapore tried to play it tight at the back and luckily we found breakthroughs in their semi-circle for goals."

Goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin hopes the win will spur the younger players to greater success in the future.

"We brought a mixed team with several youth players who were not selected for the recent Junior World Cup in New Delhi.

"They played well and hopefully, they will gain from this experience," said Roslan.

New Straits Times

2013: A year in review – South African hockey

Jon Cook

Picture: Plate Pictures

It has been a year of success and disappointment for the South African women’s hockey team and the national men’s side.

At international level it is well to remember that for various reasons senior players do not play in all the matches, rest being one, which has an influence on results, while certain tournaments are part of building processes towards greater goals. The aim to build a bigger pool of players is an example.

In January the SA women lost a Test series 4-0 to Belgium before winning the World League Round 2 event (WLR2). In February the world No 11-ranked SA women were beaten 4-2 by world No 1 the Netherlands in the final of the Investec Challenge. All took place in Cape Town.

In February, talismanic SA men’s captain Austin Smith’s Ranchi Rhinos won the inaugural Hockey India League.

In March the world No 12 SA men under new head coach Charlie Pereira came second at WLR2 in Brazil, while Marsha Cox (née Marescia), right, the iconic SA women’s captain, was honoured by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula for reaching the 300-Test milestone.

In May, the SA men beat Malaysia 3-0 in a four-Test series at home.

In June the SA women beat Scotland 2-1 in a four-Test series in Edinburgh before ending a disappointing seventh at the Investec World League semifinal event in London, this after losing 3-1 to world No 2 Argentina in the quarterfinals.

In July, the SA men ended a disappointing eighth at their WL semifinal event in Johor, Malaysia. Despite losing key players Smith and Jonty Robinson to Dengue Fever, meltdown at key moments cost SA dearly. Against Japan in the quarterfinals, South Africa – after leading 2-1 until 90 seconds from the end – conceded an own goal. The Japanese won a penalty shootout 1-0.

SA then imploded, losing to world No 5 Pakistan, conceding three goals in five minutes to end eighth. An exasperated Pereira said that unless a main sponsor was found to enable SA to play 50 Tests a year and regularly train as a group, the players would find it very difficult to learn how to handle high pressure at major events.

In November the SA women qualified for the 2014 World Cup by beating Ghana 3-2 in the Africa Cup final in Nairobi after trailing for much of the game, this despite having a massive 22 shots, while the SA men qualified by beating Egypt 2-0.

In December, the SA men, coming off an intense week-long camp, were whitewashed 5-0 by a polished Argentina in a Test series in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Citizen

Five-star Imran leads Army to win

M Imran scored five goals for Army as the team steamrollered PTV 8-1 in Pakistan's ongoing 60th NBP National Hockey Championship on Saturday in Lahore.

According to a press release issued by the Pakistan Hockey Federation, three of the captain’s goals came in the first half while the latter two were scored in the 63rd and 67th minute respectively.

Army’s M Rizwan Sr contributed a brace to the total as Waqas Butt struck the lone goal for PTV.

Meanwhile, PIA beat NBP 3-2 in the second match of the day with the winnings team’s Atiq, Kashif Ali and Shafqat Rasool all successfully finding the net.

The Express Tribune

Surjit Academy clinch Maharaja Ranjit Singh junior Gold Cup

Amritsar - Surjit Academy, Jalandhar, clinched the 11th Maharaja Ranjit Singh Junior Gold Cup hockey tournament by beating Sports School, Jalandhar, 1-0 at Guru Nanak Dev University on Saturday.

In the final of the women’s Test series, Punjab XI (Pakistan) beat Punjab XI (India) 1-0. Manpreet Kaur scored a field goal in the 10th minute, which subsequently proved enough for the Pakistan side.

The junior final turned out to be an exciting affair with both the teams ignoring the dense fog and the chilly conditions to put in their all.

The winning team played as a well-oiled machine, weaving together stunning moves at the front and holding up the fort at the back.

Shamsher Singh scored an early goal for Surjit Academy in the 4th minute and the team held to take the title and the prize money of Rs 51000.

Harjit Singh of Surjit Academy was declared the best player of the tournament.

The Tribune

BSF to face Jarkhad academy in the final

Patiala - BSF, Jalandhar, and Sports Academy, Jarkhad, entered the final of the 38th Liberals All India Hockey Tournament here today. Sports Acedemy, Jarkhad, ousted Sikh Regimental Centre (SRC) 2-1 in the first semifinal, while BSF got the better of EME, Jalandhar, in the penalty shootout to make their way into the final after their game was washed out.

Centre half Daljit Singh of Jarkhad academy surprised the army defence in the 7th minute when he combined with inside right Ravinder Singh to hoodwink a couple of defenders before placing the ball into the net. SRC failed to break into Jarkhad defence in spite of some good moves initiated by centre half Baljit Singh.

The Tribune

Deepali’s hat-trick helps RCF win big

Ludhiana - Rail Coach Factory (RCF), Kapurthala, and MP academy, Gwalior, scripted easy victories in the women’s section of the All India Sahibzada Ajit Singh hockey tournament at the Punjab Agricultural University on Saturday.

RCF twice came from behind to beat Chandigarh XI 5-2, while MP academy overpowered Sonepat XI 5-3.

After a few initial hiccups, RCF, who were held by MP academy to a 2-2 draw yesterday, managed to overpower Chandigarh XI today. Saroj converted a penalty corner to give Chandigarh XI the lead in the ninth minute. But their joy was short-lived as the rail women scored the equalizer four minutes later through Deepali Thakur.

The Chandigarh outfit again went ahead when Anjali found the target in the 24th minute. However, RCF restored parity in the 32nd minute as Amandeep Kaur dodged her way through the opposition defence before catching the goalkeeper on the wrong foot. In the second half, RCF was a changed side as it launched a series of attacks. Deepali scored a hat-trick to wrap up the issue 5-2.

In the second match, Sonepat XI, which had squeezed 2-1 past Chandigarh XI yesterday, fought valiantly against MP academy before going down 5-3. The two sides were tied 2-2 at half time. Neha sounded the board in the 40th minute to put Sonepat XI ahead but eight minutes later, Diksha brought MP academy back on level terms. RCF’s Priyanka scored a hat-trick and take the match away from the Gwalior girls.

The Tribune

Bangalore University are all India hockey champions

Sunil Subbaiah

BANGALORE: Bangalore University regained the All India Inter-University hockey title after 22 years, comprehensively defeating Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Uttar Pradesh 3-1 in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh, on Saturday. Bangalore University were national champions in 1969, 1986, 1988 1990 and 1991.

The varsity team had maintained an all-win record as they emerged champions of South Zone days before they won the all India title. In the final, they had beaten Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu 3-0. The event was held at the same venue before the start of the All India tournament. Bangalore, which bagged 18 consecutive South Zone titles from 1980 to 1998 under coach MP Subbaiah, last emerged champions in 2008, ousting Madras University in Bangalore.

Bangalore University were off to a disastrous start in the all India meet, losing to Purvanchal 1-3. However, they recovered in time to win all their matches to set up a revenge tie against Purvanchal in the final.

The 18-member team, coached by lifetime achievement awardee Manohar Khatge, was made up of 12 players from the Sports Authority of India and six from the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports (DYES).

Striker Basavaraj sizzled with eight goals to emerge as the top-scorer of the tournament.

BU director of physical education R Munireddy said the team would be honoured with cash awards for their stupendous show. "We will give away Rs 10,000 to each of the 18 players," Reddy told TOI.

BU Vice-Chancellor B Thimme Gowda and registrar KK Seethamma expressed happiness over the hockey team's title triumph. "I am elated," Gowda told TOI. "We have arranged a get-together on Monday where the team will be honoured."

Road to Glory

League (Only BU scorers in brackets): BU lost to Purvanchal University 1-3 (Basavaraj)

bt Shivaji University, Kholapur 3-1 (Kusha, Basavaraj, Chengappa).

bt Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University 2-1 (Umesh KR, Sheshegowda).

bt Kurukshetra University, Haryana (Umesh KR).

Quarterfinal: bt Punjab University, Patiala 2-0 (Umesh KR, Basavaraj).

Semifinal: bt Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapith, Varanasi 1-0 (Basavaraj).

Final: bt Veer Bahadur Singh Purvanchal University, Uttar Pradesh 3-1 (Umesh KR, Basavaraj, Kusha JP).

South Zone final: Bangalore bt Bharathidasan University, Tamil Nadu, 3-0 (Kusha JP, Deepak Bijawad, Nirmal Chinnappa).

The team: Jagdeep Dayal, Deepak Bijawad (Captain), Nirmal Chinnappa, PR Aiyappa, Umesh KR, Basavaraj, Regan, Subbaiah CA, Ponnanna PE, MM Achaiah, BM Chengappa, Sheikh Faran Adil, Suresh, Abhishek, Mahan Gowda, Sheshe Gowda, Mylari, Kusha JP. Coach: Manohar Khatge. Manager: Mohammad Ilyas.

The Times of India

Stick shift

Rashneel Kumar

Australian Country's Jaz Hill takes a swing at the ball as Fiji's Tiara Dutta comes in to defend at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala Bay, Suva yesterday. The visiting side won the match 1-0 to make a clean sweep of the three-match series. Picture: AT

THE introduction of the latest technology has brought amazing results for Fiji Hockey and the federation is ready to embrace the change for a brighter future.

The "line breaker" technology which the national side used in the series of matches against the Australian Country side gives analysis on players' performance and allows coaches to gauge their opposition.

This technology was brought in by International Master coach Doctor Burt Bunnik who has been assisting the Fiji Hockey Federation as its High Performance Unit technical advisor.

With the help of this computer aided technology, the Fiji HPU men's team defeated the visiting Australian Country side in the three-match series which finished yesterday.

The Hector Smith Sr-coached side won the first match 2-1 while the second match was abandoned because of heavy rain and lightning on Thursday.

In the final match, the national side hammered the Australian Country 3-0 at the National Hockey Centre in Laucala.

Fiji's goals were scored by skipper Hector Smith Jr, Leevan Dutta and Tevita King.

The Fiji HPU women's side lost all its three matches 0-1.

Smith Sr said the technology helped the team to minimise its mistakes while defending and helped co-ordinate its attack.

"It sort of plays it out to the players during our team talk prior to the game so we tidy up on those aspect of it to see where we were exposed badly in our first game then see how we can minimise the opportunities given to them," he said.

"Technology is a huge part (in sports) now.

"We don't have that luxury and we can't go to the change room at half time and bring it up to the board and say 'look at this, this is where they are coming from'."

Smith Sr said they have to continue performing well in order to attract sponsors and get modern technology to assist them with their preparation.

He said they have set a benchmark for the players who wanted to make the national team in the upcoming season.

Smith Sr added they needed to change a few things in order to ensure consistency in their performance.

"We are all trying to make our country proud and it's hard especially when the major sports seem to get the biggest cut of the pie.

"We want to improve our rankings. We have moved up from 72 to 53 and we want to go even further right up the ladder.

"In the Dutch team if you don't reach 14 in the beep test, the coach doesn't look at you, as for us, we are lucky if we get one or two in the 14 zone.

"That's the same for most sports here if I'm not mistaken, so now we are trying to set out a benchmark as the minimum on 12 to go into the national team.

"The responsibility is now on the individuals to get to 12 and claim their place in the team."

The Fiji Times

Nancoo’s Edge continues winning tradition

Rachael Thompson-King

T&T’s Kelvin Nancoo achieved what he wanted most at the recently concluded United States Field Hockey Association’s National Hockey Festival (USFHA), by winning the Under-14 crown in memory of his deceased brother Kenwin Lancelot Nancoo, who founded the Edge field hockey club, nine years ago. Kenwin died on February 28, 2011.

Nancoo pledged to win the 2011 Championship in his brother’s honour and he did. This year, he wanted to continue the winning tradition of the Edge by winning the U-14 title and the young players did just that at Palm Spring in Florida. Unfortunately, the New Jersey-based team finished second in the U-16 category and third in the U-19 division.

The four-day event was held during the Thanksgiving weekend (November 28) and some 300 teams participated. The top international coach won his 19th national title in nine years.

Ahead of the tournament, Nancoo told his Edge players that if he ever wanted to win a championship, it was this one.

“This one is for Kenwin,” he said. “I knew the players never once thought losing was an option. This is one of the most talented young Edge teams ever. It rivals the Edge team which was marshaled by Princeton and national standout Michelle Cesan.”

The young Edge team spearheaded by Gabby Andretta, Elizabeth Romano, Jordan McGinley and Taylor Gladd played well throughout the competition scoring 42 goals, having five scored against them. The supporting cast of Olivia Graham, who Nancoo says will be a 'terror' in two year times, Hana Charnley, Lauren McCloughen, Kate De Marco, Grace Coleman, Elizabeth Denehy and Ali McCarthy, all played superbly.

“We had a real team which knew that winning depended on a team effort. They had to play for each other and though in some games some players were not at their best, collectively them were the best team on show.”

“The Edge won its six matches, ensuring Kenwin’s legacy continued. They were a testimony to the selflessness with which he lived and the loyalty which he had to his club and friends. That spirit transcends all boundaries. That is what the Edge is about,” said Nancoo, who indicated that this was one of the motivating factors in the team’s great performance.

Nancoo became the first Trinidadian to coach a team to win a major outdoor hockey title in the United States. He repeated the feat in the national indoor tournament.

“The players were excellent. The attack was great and their defensive play was just as good. I am certain they have demoralised some of their rivals,” Nancoo said.

“We see winning a bit differently from others and we see a great victory when our scholar/athletes get recruited to a school of their choice. This is where we know they will be successful not only in field hockey along but academia also.

“It is really fantastic, when we have players going to US colleges including two at Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, Richmond, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Le High, Colby, and Holy Cross, just to name a few.”

His coaching skill has forced coaches to think twice about their strategies, and they have shown appreciation for the talent of this T&T son. Nancoo’s coaching skill is recognised as far away as India, Holland and Germany, all first-rate hockey nations.

His passion for coaching is equal to the joy exhibited by his charges on the playing field. Coaching for Nancoo is fun, not survival.

But even as his career in education unfolds, the principal of St Michael School for Boys expertise and recognition as a coach in several disciplines grows, not only locally but internationally. He has intimate and detailed knowledge of sports and has been well schooled in the basics and in the latest development of coaching at top international level.

Nancoo attended several hockey coaching courses between 1993 and 2011 that have sharpened his skills and given him the ability to use the latest coaching techniques to assist his teams.

Nancoo look forward to the National Indoor Tournament where he hopes the Edge will win another title or two as they keep the winning tradition going.

He said, “I would like to thank all the coaches who worked with our teams over the year, for a job well done. I must thank Brian Garcia, Laura Whalen, Kim Eng, Molly Johnson, and Krista Romano.”

The Trinidad Guardian