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News for 21 August 2019

All the news for Wednesday 21 August 2019

Belfius EuroHockey Championship (Men) 2019 - Day 7
Antwerp, Belgium


20 Aug 2019 13:30     ESP v ENG (Pool A)     2 - 2     Official     Pitch 1    
10     20 Aug 2019 15:45     IRL v GER (Pool B)     0 - 5     Official     Pitch 1    
11     20 Aug 2019 18:00     NED v SCO (Pool B)     6 - 0     Official     Pitch 1    
12     20 Aug 2019 20:30     BEL v WAL (Pool A)     6 - 0

Final pool standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Belgium 3 3 0 0 13 0 13 9
2 Spain 3 1 1 1 7 8 -1 4
3 England 3 0 2 1 4 6 -2 2
4 Wales 3 0 1 2 3 13 -10 1

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Netherlands 3 3 0 0 14 3 11 9
2 Germany 3 2 0 1 16 3 13 6
3 Ireland 3 0 1 2 4 13 -9 1
4 Scotland 3 0 1 2 3 18 -15 1

Pool C

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Ireland 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 1
1 Scotland 1 0 1 0 3 3 0 1
3 England 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1
3 Wales 1 0 1 0 2 2 0 1

FIH Match Centre

Tough day for men’s Home Nation sides as EuroHockey Championships group stages end

Spain v England #EHC2019

England, Scotland and Wales all endured a tough day in Antwerp as the group stages of the 2019 EuroHockey Championships drew to a close.

Danny Kerry’s England missed out on the chance of reaching a sixth straight Euros semi-finals as they could only manage a 2-2 draw with Spain.

Knowing only a victory would see them qualify ahead of their opponents, England were left feeling frustrated after a game in which they had chances to secure the three points.

Scotland’s group campaign came to a stuttering close as they were beaten 6-0 by Netherlands, while Wales lost ??? to Belgium in their final match.

All three sides will now compete with Ireland in Pool C to decide who will finish between fifth and eighth at this year’s event, with the bottom two sides being relegated to the EuroHockey Championships II for 2021.

Spain 2 (0)
Quemada (33’, FG), Arana (43’, FG)

England 2 (1)
Ward (21’, FG), Jackson (52’, PC)

Having drawn with Wales and lost to Belgium, only a victory would have been enough for England to finish in the top two of the group and secure their place in the final four.

They made a great start too, with Sam Ward lifting the ball over Quico Cortes to give his side the lead at half-time.

However goals from Pau Quemada and Diego Arana in the third quarter left England needing to score at least twice in the final quarter to claim the victory.

Ashley Jackson equalised with a stunning flick with eight minutes remaining but despite their best efforts, England’s attackers couldn’t penetrate the Spanish defence again.

That result now means that Great Britain’s men will have to play an Olympic qualifier later this year in order to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Netherlands 6 (3)
Bakker (6’, FG), Brinkman (15’, PC; 37’, FG), van der Weerden (23’, PC), Janssen (58’, PC), Pruijser (60’, PC)

Scotland 0 (0)

Having cruelly been denied what would have been a huge win over Ireland in their previous game, Scotland were hoping to cause another upset against The Netherlands.

However the reigning champions took an early lead through Billy Bakker and never looked back, with Thierry Brinkman adding a second at the end of the quarter.

Mink van der Weerden added a third before half-time before Brinkman scored again in the 37th minute.

Scotland then held their own for the next period, with Lee Morton and Cameron Golden in particular causing problems for the Dutch defence.

But two goals in the final three minutes from Jip Janssen and Mirco Pruijser saw The Netherlands cruise to victory and top the group, while Scotland finished bottom.

Belgium 6 (4)
Hendrickx (15’, PC), Boon (15’, FG), de Kerpel (25’, FG), Charlier (28’, FG; 35’, FG), Briels (41’, FG)

Wales 0 (0)

Wales started the final men’s group game of the tournament knowing they could still reach the semi-finals if they beat the current world champions Belgium by more than four goals.

And while that may have seemed a distant prospect, they more than held their own in the opening quarter against the world’s highest ranked side, only to concede twice in the final minute through goals from Alexander Hendrickx and Tom Boon.

The second quarter followed a similar pattern, with Wales defence holding strong until the final few moments as Nicolas de Kerpel and Cedric Charlier added their names to the scoresheet.

Charlier then scored again early in the third quarter before captain Thomas Briels also found the back of the net, although Wales then managed to repel them for the final 19 minutes.

All three sides will now contest Pool C, with their results from the other teams to finish in the bottom two of their pools carried over, meaning each side will start on one point.

As it stands, Wales will face Scotland at 12:30 BST on Thursday 22 August while England will play Ireland at 14:45.

England will then face Scotland at 12:30 on Saturday 24 August before Wales go into battle with Ireland at 14:45.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Spain draw not enough for England’s men

England’s men’s team failed to advance to the semi-finals of the EuroHockey Championships after drawing 2-2 with Spain in an action packed match.

Sam Ward gave England the advantage with a nice chipped finish, however two goals in the third quarter for Spain, courtesy of Pau Quemada and Diego Arana, put England on the brink.

Though Ashley Jackson’s stunning drag flick gave England hope with less than ten minutes remaining, resilient defending from Spain ensured they would progress to the semi-finals.

Match report:

England started well and conjured a good chance within the first two minutes as Roper’s jinking run on the right wing lead to a good ball to Chris Griffiths whose shot was well saved by the outstretched leg of Quico Cortes in goal.

It was a quiet opening quarter with both sides keen to avoid suffering an early setback, the only other notable chance falling to Will Calnan who was picked out beautifully by a David Ames aerial, however his shot on the half-volley flew wide of the target.

Harry Gibson was called into action at the very start of the second-quarter with a superb save and follow up clearance to quell the danger.

England replied with an attacking move of their own, Zach Wallace putting the ball into the danger area where Ward dinked the ball over the prone Cortes to take a 1-0 lead.

A closely battled, cagey opening half ensued where, given the importance of a positive result, both sides looked to maintain possession and limit the chances of their opposition.

Though England took a slender lead into half-time, it was quickly erased as Quemada squeezed the ball in at the near post from close range after Gibson’s earlier save fell back at the Spanish forward’s feet for another attempt on goal.

Similarly to the first-half, chances were coming at a premium with another evenly battled quarter of hockey being played out.

The third quarter proved pivotal for Spain as they scored their second in the 15 minute window as Diego Arana tapped a high ball into the back of the net.

It could have been more but Xavi Lleonart struck the crossbar with his penalty stroke just a minute later.

A frantic final 15 minutes followed as England pressed on looking to overturn the deficit.

England were making numerous circle entries and creating dangerous chances, Phil Roper sweetly striking a reverse stick shot narrowly wide.

Shortly after, Ward had a scorching drag flick stopped on the line by some good defending. However, Jackson wasn’t to be denied just after as his rasping flick sailed into the top corner to level the scores and give England little over 8 minutes to find a winner.

With the ‘keeper withdrawn, the team were advancing into the Spanish D looking to get the decisive goal to see them into the semi-finals, however last ditch challenges were keeping England out.

Though England fought hard, it wasn’t to be enough as Spain held on for a draw. England will now play on Thursday and Saturday in Pool C in the battle for 5th place with the times yet to be confirmed.

Danny Kerry commented: “It was an absorbing game given the stakes. I felt the team controlled the game well apart from a critical five-minute spell after half-time which included a green card. I was pleased to see how we responded to going behind and how we brought the game back level.

“Some good lessons on being a bit calmer in breaking down the deep Spanish defence when we had the extra player will be learned. We will now take the day to get over our disappointment and then regroup for the upcoming games.” 

Spain 2 (0)
Quemada (33’, FG)
Arana (43’, FG)
England 2 (1)
Ward (21’, FG)
Jackson (52’, PC)
England Starting XI: Gibson, Ames, Jackson, Martin, Griffiths, Sloan, Ward, Roper, Dixon, Creed, Gall
England Subs (Used): Willars, Weir, Waller, Sorsby, Calnan, Wallace
England Subs (Not used): Pinner

England Hockey Board Media release

England miss out on semi-final spot

England's hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the Men's EuroHockey Championships in Belgium ended with a 2-2 draw against Spain.

Sam Ward gave England the lead but Spain went in front with two third-quarter goals before Ashley Jackson levelled from a penalty corner.

England fall into the relegation pool, and will be joined by Wales.

Scotland and Ireland, who finished in the bottom two of Pool B, will also be in the relegation pool.

England drew 2-2 with Wales in their opening match on Saturday and a 2-0 loss to Belgium on Monday meant Danny Kerry's side had to beat Spain to finish in the top two of Pool A.

Ward gave England a 21st-minute lead, but goals from Pau Quemada and Diego Arana gave the Spaniards the advantage. Jackson equalised with less than nine minutes remaining but England could not find a winner.

Wales needed to beat world champions Belgium by a three-goal margin on Tuesday to advance into the semi-finals, but the hosts won 6-0.

Scotland fell to a 6-0 loss to the Netherlands after Germany had beaten Ireland 5-0 in Tuesday's other matches.

The bottom two countries in the four-nation relegation pool will be eliminated from the top tier of European hockey.

BBC Sport

Ireland v Germany, Men's Euro Hockey Champs Match Report

A tough day for the Irish Men’s squad sees them defeated 5 – 0 by Germany in their final pool match of the Euro Hockey Championships in Antwerp.

Ireland had a promising start with Daragh Walsh securing a penalty corner for Ireland in the second minute of the game, but German keeper Aly was able to keep Shane O’Donoghue’s drag flick from crossing the line and putting Ireland on the score board.

Germany went on to score two goals from two penalty corners from Wellen and Grambusch in the opening quarter. Opportunities from Ireland came from Eugene Magee and Kirk Shimmins, but with both going wide and hitting the side of the goal the score remained Ireland 0 – 2 Germany.

The second quarter saw Germany dominate in the opening minutes, forcing Ireland to play defensively. Paul Gleghorne played well to prevent an opportunity for Germany when Ingram stepped left to defend one threat and the ball passed to his right towards Germany’s Ruhr not far from the goal line. A penalty corner to Germany in the final second of the quarter was well saved by Ingram to keep the score Ireland 0 – 2 Germany as the sides broke for half time.

Despite starting the defensively in the second quarter, Ireland gained momentum throughout and this was clear as the sides met again after half time.

Jamie Carr was on form with a number of excellent saves in the third quarter. A more assertive Ireland applying pressure saw a few missed opportunities; Sean Murray was able to find Eugene Magee with a chance which was sent wide again, while shortly after Magee found Robson nicely, who brought the ball to the circle and pushed to Tim Cross who slipped past it letting the ball go wide.

German defence was strong in the final quarter as Ireland secured two penalty corners, neither converting to a goal. Jamie Carr was taken off as Ireland attempted to put a goal on the score board by increasing their outfielder numbers. Germany continued to apply pressure and secured a further three goals in the final five minutes, with the last goal coming from a penalty corner which saw Lee Cole narrowly miss getting his stick to the ball to prevent the final goal.

“It’s a disappointing score line obviously”, said Men’s Captain Jonathan Bell. “We were in the game for large parts of the match, and we were still on the hunt at half time. Obviously two nil is a long way back when you’re playing someone like Germany, but if we’d got it to two one it could have been a different game.

“We pulled the keeper at the end to bring on an extra outfielder and they hit us with three goals which was tough on the score line.

“However, there were a lot of positives in the performance compared to the performance against Holland and we’ll have to carry that into the relegation pool. We’ll bring that energy and intent to those next two games. In tournament hockey your next match is always your most important match, so for us now it’s all eyes on the next game.”

The Irish Men now enter the relegation pool with Scotland and England. Wales will need to beat Belgium by 4 or more goals to avoid the relegation pool.

Next up, the Irish Women will take on Germany in their final pool game tomorrow at 10:15 Irish time, the Irish Men will take the pitch again on Thursday at 14:45 Irish time against the 3rd place finisher of Pool A.

Ireland 0
Germany 5
(N Wellen, T Grambusch, M Hellwig, F Fuchs, L Windfeder)

Ireland: J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorne, C Harte, M Ingram
Subs: J Carr, T Cross, S Murray, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole

Germany: M Muller, M Grambusch, L Windfeder M Haner, T Herzbruch, C Ruhr, M Zwicker, F Fuchs, T Oruz, J Grosse, V Aly
Subs: N Wellen, D Nguyen, T Grambusch, D Linnekogel, F Wienke, T Walter, M Hellwig

Irish Hockey Association media release

Ireland set for home nations dust up after loss to Germany

Michael Robson battles with Martin Zwicker. Pic: Koen Suyk / World Sport Pics

Ireland’s men have two huge tussles ahead of them to stay in the top tier of European hockey after their 5-0 loss to Germany in Antwerp.

Two early concessions cost them dear against Germany and while their defensive integrity improved, the Green Machine have plenty to ponder ahead of a mini home nations in the relegation pool.

Needing a win to nab a place in the semi-finals, coach Alexander Cox withdrew goalkeeper Jamie Carr for the last six minutes for an extra outfielder in a last ditch bid to comeback.

But it backfired and Germany struck three more times via Malte Hellwig, Florian Fuchs and Lukas Windfeder.

The early goals, though, repeated the rough opening against the Netherlands in game one, again giving the side a mountain to climb.

“We really have to learn our lessons and learn them pretty fast,” Conor Harte said. “We can’t concede so early. We have to throw the first punch to be on the front foot or you’re chasing. With the ball, we played ok. It wasn’t really a 5-0 game – they had corners, we had corners.”

The result means Ireland are in the four-team relegation pool alongside Wales, England and Scotland all carrying one point through. The bottom two will be relegated.

“We’ve been here before,” Harte added. “We have to use the experience in our group; it’s all about the next game and learning what we can from what was good today – because it was good. There are positives to take.

“It’s almost a Celtic Cup from years ago and every team is scrapping for their lives. It’s a dogfight there but no better group to want a dogfight to go at.”

Ireland did win the first corner inside two minutes but a strong save from Victor Aly repelled the chance and Germany were soon in the ascendancy.

Timur Oruz’s driving runs were a feature and he slipped a ball into Niklas Wellen, peeling away from goal before unleashing an accurate reverse-stick shot past Mark Ingram.

The Irish goalkeeper was impressive in the first half with a series of good blocks but he was powerless to deny Tom Grambusch from a corner spin move; 2-0 with eight minutes gone.

Germany were rampant at this stage with Ingram sliding out to deny Oruz and then somehow diving at the feet of Florian Fuchs to keep out a third.

Jamie Carr makes save. Pic: rank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Paul Gleghorne got in a top touch just before Christopher Ruhr was about to score and the half ended with Ingram kicking away a Lukas Windfeder drag-flick.

The second half was an even affair with both sides earning corners that could have changed the course of the game.

After a number of video reviews, the Irish kept out a series of penalty corners while Jamie Carr – who entered the game at half-time – made some super stops as well.

Ireland came to life in the last ten minutes with some forceful attacks via Shane O’Donoghue. Germany stood firm, however, and Malte Hellwig walked in their third goal with six minutes to go once Carr had been replaced by an extra outfielder.

Florian Fuchs rolled in the next goal before Lukas Windfeder netted from a final minute penalty corner.

“We knew we were up against it from the get go,” Eugene Magee added. “Germany are a world-class side, outstanding defence, forwards and midfield.

“We tried hard – we played some good hockey in the first-half, they got two goals up early doors and it’s hard to claw your way back after that. You have to take more risks than normal and it didn’t work out. Germany took full advantage.”

Coach Alexander Cox. Pic: Koen Suyk / World Sport Pics

As for the challenge ahead, he added: “It’s completely different teams now. Wales are a force to be reckoned with, a good strong side, and England pull out the performances when they need to. But we will put our name in the hat and hope for the best.

“Carrying the points through is a litle bit strange and Scotland was where we had to battle being two goals down. Hopefully we can find our spirit for the next two.”

Belfius EuroHockey Championships

Men’s Pool B:
Ireland 0
Germany 5 (N Wellen, T Grambusch, M Hellwig, F Fuchs, L Windfeder)

Ireland: M Ingram, J Jackson, J Bell, E Magee, K Shimmins, S O’Donoghue, M Robson, B Walker, D Walsh, P Gleghorme, C Harte
Subs: T Cross, S Murray, J Duncan, L Cole, S Loughrey, S Cole, J Carr

Germany: V Aly, M Muller, M Grambusch, L Windfeder, M Haner, T Herzbruch, C Ruhr, M Zwicker, F Fuchs, T Oruz, J Grosse
Subs: N Wellen, D Nguyen, T Grambusch, D Linnekogel, F Weinke, M Hellwig, T Walter

The Hook

Ireland men's semi-final hopes ended by Germany

Ireland men's hopes of reaching the semi-finals at the EuroHockey Championship in Antwerp were ended in a 5-0 defeat by Germany.

The Irish needed a surprise win to reach the last four but Germany took control with first-quarter goals from Niklas Wellen and Tom Grambusch.

Ireland forced four penalty corners but Shane O'Donoghue's efforts were saved.

Malte Hellwig, Florian Fuchs and Lukas Windfeder added late goals from Germany after Ireland had pulled their goalie.

Germany went into the game as strong favourites having hammered Scotland 9-0 earlier in Pool B with Ireland struggling to draw 3-3 with the Scots on Sunday.

The Germans are seventh in the world rankings - four places ahead of Ireland.

Ireland goalkeepers Mark Ingram and Jamie Carr made a series of superb saves although the Irish did produce a few decent attacking moments when trailing 2-0.

Germany keeper Victor Aly saved O'Donoghue's first penalty corner in the second minute but the Germans took the lead two minutes later as Wellen produced a superb angled finish.

Within four minutes, Grambusch doubled Germany's lead from a penalty corner after a driven ball from long range had clipped Stuart Loughrey's foot.

Early Germany goals cost Ireland says Eugene Magee

Ingram twice denied Fuchs to keep Ireland in the contest before Aly stopped O'Donoghue's second penalty corner at the start of the second quarter.

As Germany continued to create the better chances, Ingram's replacement Carr made three great saves, including tipping over a piledriver of a penalty corner from Grambusch just before the end of the third quarter.

Aly produced another fine save to deny John Jackson after another O'Donoghue penalty corner had been blocked before Hellwig tapped in Germany's third with six minutes left after Ireland had gambled by withdrawing their keeper.

Fuchs added another empty net goal with just over a minute left and the Irish had to face a further penalty corner without a keeper in the closing seconds which Windfeder hammered to the net.

Ireland's defeat means they go on to the four-team relegation group as Germany progress to the semi-finals along with the Netherlands.

BBC Sport

Battling Scotland men defeated by the Netherlands in Antwerp

A battling Scotland performance saw the Blue Sticks lose 6-0 to the Netherlands in their final Pool B match in the Belfius EuroHockey Championships in Antwerp. The Scots defended well but extremely clinical Dutch finishing, particularly from penalty corners, saw the world’s third ranked team take victory. Scotland will now enter Pool C in the tournament and fight to avoid relegation.

The Dutch quality could be seen from the first whistle but Scotland were competing and doing a good job of negating the early pressure.

Despite the Scottish effort, the Dutch struck, and took the lead over Scotland with an excellent low finish by Billy Bakker. From the right of the D Bakker absolutely smashed it low into the bottom left corner to make it 1-0.

Right at the end of the opening quarter the Netherlands went 2-0 ahead. A good save by Tommy Alexander at a penalty corner resulted in the ball being popped home on the rebound by Thierry Brinkman.


The second half saw more Dutch pressure and a tremendous save by David Forrester, diving to his left from point blank range, denied another goal.

Scotland emerged into the game and began creating chances. Kenny Bain tried to pick out Alan Forsyth but the pass across the D just evaded him.

As half time approached a third goal went the way of the Netherlands. A tremendous drag flick by Mink Van Der Weerden into the top left corner made it 3-0 to the Netherlands.

An excellent save at the start of the second half by Forrester denied a sweet improvised touch towards goal from a powerful pass into the D. Moments later the Netherlands scored another and it came when the ball deflected off Scottish stick after a powerful pass by Brinkman across goal.

Scotland got up the pitch through a Morton solo run and also through pressure by Alan Forsyth but the Blue Sticks were unable to carve the Dutch open.

Some more excellent play by Morton on the right opened the Netherlands defence up, he fizzed the ball in for Kenny Bain and his deflection was well saved to deny Scotland the goal right at the end of the third quarter.

Herzberger had a great chance to make it 5-0 early in the fourth but crashed his shot over the Scottish bar with just Forrester to beat.

Cammy Golden created a chance for Scotland when he went on a lovely run and found Bain but his shot hit the side net. Golden a short time later broke down the right and played in Forsyth, who dived at the ball but couldn’t make enough of a deflection to snare a goal for Scotland.

The Dutch scored two late goals through penalty corners. Another excellent drag flick put them 5-0 ahead – it was finished low to the right corner by Jip Jansen; then another penalty corner right at the end of the match saw a rebound converted by Mirco Pruijser for 6-0.

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Scotland's EuroHockey Championship dream crushed by Netherlands

Scotland's men had their slim hopes of EuroHockey Championship progression snuffed out in a 6-0 rout to world champions, Netherlands.

Knowing only a large victory and luck elsewhere would keep their hopes alive, Gareth Hall's side never looked like pulling off a miracle in Antwerp.

The Scots were 3-0 down by the interval and finish bottom of Pool B with a single point.

They will now play-off in Pool C with the bottom two sides being relegated.

Billy Bakker opened the scoring after just six minutes before Thierry Brinkman doubled the advantage.

Mink van der Weerden ensured a 3-0 lead by half-time, with Brinkman, Jip Janssen and Mircu Pruyser completing the one-sided victory.

BBC Sport

Belfius EuroHockey Championship (Women) 2019
Antwerp, Belgium

Fixtures (GMT +2)

21 Aug 2019 10:00     ENG v BLR (Pool B)
21 Aug 2019 12:15     IRL v GER (Pool B)    
21 Aug 2019 18:00     NED v RUS (Pool A)    
21 Aug 2019 20:30     BEL v ESP (Pool A)    

Pool Standings

Pool A

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Belgium 2 1 1 0 5 2 3 4
2 Spain 2 1 1 0 2 1 1 4
3 Netherlands 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2
4 Russia 2 0 0 2 1 5 -4 0

Pool B

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 Germany 2 1 1 0 14 1 13 4
2 England 2 1 1 0 3 2 1 4
3 Ireland 2 1 0 1 12 2 10 3
4 Belarus 2 0 0 2 0 24 -24 0

FIH Match Centre

Ready Steady Tokyo Hockey (Men) - Finals
Tokyo (JPN)


20 Aug 2019 09:30     MAS v NZL (RR)     1 - 3
20 Aug 2019 11:45     IND v JPN (RR)     6 - 3

21 Aug 2019 09:30     JPN v MAS (3 / 4)     6 - 1
21 Aug 2019 12:00     NZL v IND (Final)     0 - 5

Final pool standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 New Zealand 3 3 0 0 9 5 4 9
2 India 3 2 0 1 13 5 8 6
3 Japan 3 1 0 2 9 11 -2 3
4 Malaysia 3 0 0 3 2 12 -10 0

FIH Match Centre

Ready Steady Tokyo Hockey (Women) - Finals
Tokyo (JPN)


20 Aug 2019 17:30     AUS v JPN (RR)     2 - 2
20 Aug 2019 19:45     CHN v IND (RR)     0 - 0

Fixtures (GMT +9)

21 Aug 2019 17:30     CHN v AUS (3 / 4)
21 Aug 2019 19:45     IND v JPN (Final)    

Final Pool Standings

Rank Team Played Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Difference Points
1 India 3 1 2 0 4 3 1 5
2 Japan 3 1 1 1 5 5 0 4
3 China 3 1 1 1 4 4 0 4
4 Australia 3 0 2 1 6 7 -1 2

FIH Match Centre

Both Indian teams and Japan’s Women complete line-up for Finals

Tokyo, Japan: Thanks to a prolific scoring (6-3) and a performance partly similar to the one against Japan at the FIH Series Finals event in Bhubaneswar in June, India today reached the Final of the Ready Steady Tokyo hockey Test event.

For tomorrow’s Gold Medal match, they will meet New Zealand, who defeated them in the group stage. The Oceanians, who were already qualified for the Final before their last group stage match, recorded a third consecutive win in this tournament, this time against Malaysia (3-1). The Bronze Medal match will involve the home team and Malaysia.

In the Women’s competition, every scenario was possible before the last group matches. There was no winner at the end of the first game between Japan and Australia (2-2), which meant that the Hockeyroos could no longer reach the Final while Japan’s fate was entirely depending on the result of the match between India and China.

There again, the match ended up with a draw (0-0). Japan and China were equal on points and goal difference in the standings. However, the scoreless result of this match enabled Japan to qualify for the Final since they scored more goals than China in the overall group stage.

Japan will therefore play India, who topped the group with 5 points, while China and Australia will be opposed for the Bronze Medal match.

The Gold Medal and Bronze Medal matches will be played tomorrow, 21 August, as follows (local time):

09:30    Japan – Malaysia (Bronze Medal match - Men)
12:00    New Zealand - India (Gold Medal match - Men)
17:30    China - Australia (Bronze Medal match - Women)
19:45    India - Japan (Gold Medal match - Women)


FIH site

Olympic Test Event: India men, women make it to the final

Mandeep stars with a hat-trick as men swamp Japan; women hold China goalless

Star of the match: Mandeep Singh was at his fluent best as India outplayed Japan. Photo Credit: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Striker Mandeep Singh struck a fine hat-trick to help the Indian men’s hockey team beat host Japan 6-3 and enter the final in the Olympic Test Event here on Tuesday.

The Indian team bounced back from its 1-2 loss against New Zealand with an impressive display in its third match at the Oi Hockey Stadium here. India again faces New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday.

Mandeep found the target in the 9th, 29th and 30th minutes while Nilakanta Sharma (3), Nilam Sanjeep Xess (7) and Gurjant Singh (41) were the other scorers for India.

Kentaro Fukuda (25th), Kenta Tanaka (36th) and Kazuma Murata (52nd) scored the goals for Japan.

Excellent story

Nilakanta gave India an excellent start through a field goal in the third minute. Buoyed by the early lead, the Indian team put tremendous pressure on the Japan defence as Gurjant Singh took a shot on goal, but saw his effort going wide of the post. Soon Nilam Sanjeep converted a penalty-corner for the team to go 2-0 up.

India continued to be aggressive and Mandeep found the back of the net with an excellent field goal in the ninth minute.

Japan tried to make inroads in the last few minutes of the first quarter and won a penalty corner. Gurinder Singh positioned himself brilliantly and defended the shot on the goal line. India led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.

Japan managed to open its account through Kentaro Fukuda who scored a field goal in the 25th minute, but Mandeep stuck in quick succession in the 29th and 30th to help India take a 5-1 lead.

Japan started the third quarter on an aggressive note and found a field goal through Kenta Tanaka in the 36th minute.

India forward Gurjant found the back of the net in the 41st minute to make it 6-2. Japan scored its third goal through Kazuma Murata in the 52nd minute.

The win put India in the second spot in the points table and its faces topper New Zealand in the summit clash on Wednesday.

Women impressive

Following an impressive performance against Australia, the Indian women’s team on Tuesday secured its place in the final of the Olympic test event by playing out a 0-0 draw against China here.

The Indian team looked in good rhythm during the initial stages of the first quarter, and constantly built pressure on the Chinese defence.

The side looked comfortable in possession, and rotated the ball well to threaten the opponents in the opening 10 minutes, which also reflected when it won its first penalty corner in the 8th minute.

India’s penalty corner expert Gurjit Kaur stepped up to take the set-piece, but could not find the back of the net as the Chinese Goalkeeper Dongxiao Li deflected the ball away from danger.

India started the second quarter also with great attacking flair, and won another penalty corner in the 17th minute. Gurjit Kaur tried to aim for the other side this time, but her try was again denied by Li. The following minutes saw both the teams battle it out in midfield, with neither team giving much space and time to their opponents.

China needed the victory to make sure that they progress to the final but India’s defence was up to the task.

With five points from three matches, India topped the points table, and will now face host Japan in the final on Wednesday.

The Hindu

OTE FINAL: India wins the title majestically

s2h Team

A couple of days ago, India took a second minute lead against New Zealand only to lose 1-2 in the round robin match, their heart-breaking losing goal coming seconds before hooter through Sam Lane's stick. Perhaps learning their lessons, the young Indian team saw to it today that their same rival in the OTE final do not score even a solitary goal. The Indian team on 'test' achieved this by posing an intimidating 5-0 lead at half-time which turned out to be the final score too. Harmanpreet Singh's experimental outfit has outdone themselves by clinching the title on the first tournament held on the Oi Hockey Stadium, which will host the Olympic hockey event a year from now.

By winning three of the four matches handsomely including the final today, India has established its preeminent position in a limited sense.

Harmapnpreet Singh gave early opening for India in the first quarter before Shamsher Singh expanded it shortly after the start of second quarter. The much expected Olympic Test Event final between the Asian giant India and Pro-league team New Zealand started brightly for the former who lost to the same rival in the round robin encounter. With four goals in the productive second quarter, India lead New Zealand 5-0 at half time. One of the highest score in any final for India at half time.

Resilent striker Nilakanta Sharma punched the fragile Kiwis' citadel in the 22nd minute whereas talented start Gursahibjit added another one (4-0) in the 26th minute.

Mandeep Singh bounced on to a penalty corner rebound in the 27th minute to give India 5-0 lead at that time, which also remained the lemon time score.

In fact India struck three goals in the space of five minutes from Nilakanta's goal in the 22nd minute.

Its a rare feat for India where its both men's and women's team have entered the final. Yesterday on the last day of the league matches, Indian girls drew China to make it to the final after Indian men took their appointed place by pilloring Japan 6-3.

Earlier in the day, Japan retrieved enormous prestige in the bronze medal match, defeating Malaysia 6-1

India alone scored as many as 18 goals out of the 45 the tournament witnessed. Mandeep Singh with six goals is the topper.


Vantage Black Sticks fall to India, 5-0, in final at Ready, Steady, Tokyo

The Vantage Black Sticks have fallen 5-0 to world-ranked No. 5 India in the final game of the Ready, Steady Tokyo Olympic test event.

Like the round robin game, India’s captain Harmanpreet Singh drag-flicked one into the goal early in the game (7th minute of play) to give the Indian men a 1-0 lead over the Vantage Black Sticks.

Singh Shamsher then returned in the 2nd quarter to convert a goal in the 18th minute, extending the Indian lead, 2-0.

India’s Nilakanta Sharma also managed to find the back of the net a few minutes later to make the score 3-0.

With only a few minutes remaining in the half India broke through the Vantage Black Sticks defence twice more to extend their lead further, 5-0. Goals to Gursahibjit Singh and Mandeep Singh.

After a heat break and 5 India goals, the first half came to a close, India with the advantage.

The second half saw little action from either side. With a few minutes remaining in the last quarter, the Vantage Black Sticks pulled their keeper from goal to try and force a goal with 11 players on the field. Unfortunately time ran out for New Zealand, leaving India with a 5-0 win and a 2nd-place finish for themselves at the tournament.

With the Ready, Steady, Tokyo Olympic test event complete, the Vantage Black Sticks will return to New Zealand to prepare for the Oceania Cup in Rockhampton, Australia next month. If the men win the Oceania Cup they’ll punch their ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.


India: Harmanpreet Singh (’7), Singh Shamsher (’18), Nilakanta Sharma (’22), Gursahhibjit Singh (26’), Mandeep Singh (’27)

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Indian men’s team hammers New Zealand 5-0 to win Olympic Test Event

India had lost 1-2 to New Zealand earlier in round robin league-stage.

Nic Woods (C) of New Zealand in action against Gurjant Singh (R) of India in the Men’s Final match between New Zealand and India on day four of the Hockey Tokyo 2020 Test Event at Oi Hockey Stadium on August 21, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. Photo Credit: Getty Images

The Indian men’s hockey team won the Olympic Test event here on Wednesday, beating New Zealand 5-0 to avenge the loss it endured in their round robin clash.

Captain Harmanpreet Singh (7th minute) set the ball rolling before Shamsher Singh (18th minute), Nilakanta Sharma (22nd minute), Gursahibjit Singh (26th minute) and Mandeep Singh (27th minute) scored for India at the Oi Hockey Stadium here.

India had lost 1-2 to New Zealand earlier in round robin league-stage.

“We played very well. We managed to score our opportunities at the start of the game,” Harmanpreet said after the triumph.

“I think the final was always going to be tough, we lost to New Zealand earlier. But we had been having practice sessions after that and worked on our mistakes to win today,” he added.

Both teams began the match on a cautious note by turning over the ball in the mid-field. India won a penalty corner in the seventh minute, but couldn’t capitalise on the opportunity.

However, skipper Harmanpreet didn’t miss out on a re-awarded penalty corner. He executed a perfect dragflick to put India in the lead.

The Indian team continued to hold possession and put tremendous pressure on the New Zealand defense as they ended the first quarter at 1-0.

Shamsher scored India’s second goal through a penalty corner in the 18th minute.

New Zealand managed to make only two circle entries in the second quarter as the Indian team scored three more goals.

Nilakanta found the back of the net in the 22nd minute before Gursahibjit and Mandeep scored in quick succession.

Vivek Prasad intercepted the ball brilliantly to assist a goal for Gursahibjit and Mandeep converted a penalty corner just before the half-time whistle.

After an action-packed first half, the intensity dropped from both sides. New Zealand tried to make a few inroads in the third quarter as they took a shot in the 37th minute which went wide of the post.

Jarmanpreet Singh saved a penalty corner in the next minute as India and New Zealand played out a goalless quarter but the former held the lead at 5-0.

In the last quarter, India ensured they stayed in the lead and didn’t allow New Zealand to break through their defense throughout the match.

India’s attacking approach in the match paid off as they walked off the pitch as winners of the competition.

The Hindu

Indian women's hockey team draws against China to set up Test Event final with hosts Japan

Indian women's hockey team celebrates after drawing with China. Twitter@TheHockeyIndia

Tokyo: Following an impressive performance against Australia, the Indian women's hockey team on Tuesday secured its place in the final of the Olympic test event by playing out a 0-0 draw against China.

The Indian team looked in good rhythm during the initial stages of the first quarter, and constantly built pressure on the Chinese defense. The World No. 10 side looked comfortable in possession, and rotated the ball well to threaten the opponents in the opening 10 minutes, which also reflected when it won its first penalty corner in the 8th minute.

India's penalty corner expert Gurjit Kaur stepped up to take the set-piece, but could not find the back of the net as the Chinese goalkeeper Dongxiao Li deflected the ball away from danger.

India started the second quarter also with great attacking flair, and won themselves their second penalty corner in the 17th minute. Gurjit Kaur tried to aim for the other side this time, but her try was again denied by Li. The following minutes saw both the teams battle it out in midfield, with neither team giving much space and time to their opponents.

China needed the victory to make sure that they progress to the final but India's defense was up to the task, and seemed determined to consolidate their position at the top of the points table.

With a tally of five points from their three matches, India topped the points table, and will now face hosts and World No. 14 Japan in the final on Wednesday.


Post match reaction after draw with Japan

Nic Kerber

Head Coach Paul Gaudoin and young gun Amy Lawton gave their reflections after the Hockeyroos’ 2-2 draw with Japan.

Making her fourth appearance, Lawton scored her first goal for the Hockeyroos in the result that leaves Australia to play off for third in their final match on Wednesday.

After a scoreless first quarter, Japan broke the deadlock four minutes before half time. Kana Nomura doubled just minutes after the interval before Lawton struck from a well worked penalty corner.

The comeback was complete when Kalinidi Commerford scored to level it up, but despite some late pressure and dominance, the Hockeyroos could not find a winner against the host nation.

Tight contest early but again the team was forced to chase the game. That must have been somewhat disappointing but at the same it must have been pleasing with the character the players showed to get back into it?

Paul Gaudoin (PG): “It was pleasing that we were able to fight back and we had chances to win the match in the end, but we’re under no illusions that we need to be starting better and playing at a higher level in the first quarter. Against a quality team like Japan you can’t afford to be sluggish, so it will be a clear focus to start well against whoever we play in our final match tomorrow.”

Is starting well one area that you have identified as a key taking from the three matches you have played so far?

PG: “Certainly our first halves haven’t been as consistent as our second halves right through the three matches and we get an opportunity to work on that again tomorrow. But we certainly need more players to lift. We need more than four or five playing well and that’s a challenge to all of the girls to lift their individual output on the pitch, whether that be the effort, the work rate, the technical clinical skill and the decision making, we need a lift in all of those areas.”

Have you been surprised by the performances and level of the other three teams in the tournament?

PG: “They haven’t surprised me at all. They are quality teams. We played China recently and we know their ability. We’ve played Japan on a number of occasions and know how good they can be, and India we haven’t played since the Commonwealth Games, so we were disappointed not to win that match. So as we’ve known all along this is quality preparation for the Oceania Cup in a couple of weeks.”

How has the time playing and training in the hot conditions benefitted the team during this time in Tokyo?

PG: “What it has shown is what the conditions are going to be like here and that will really help us in terms of our preparation for next year. All of the work that we’re doing but also the general feel of what it’s like playing in hot and humid conditions where we often don’t get to play in that. It allows us to start our planning really well with an understanding that this is what we’re going to face and we’re going to need to be extremely fit in order to perform well.”

Finally, you must be delighted and it must have been exciting for Amy Lawton to score her first goal for the Hockeyroos?

PG: “I’m really pleased for her. She played really well today and executed the penalty corner pretty well and is improving with each match.”

Congratulations on your first Hockeyroos goal. Can you take us through it and the emotion that came with it after you scored?

Amy Lawton (AL): “It’s funny. This morning before our game we had a training session working on penalty corners and I was actually missing quite a few of them. Then in the game we had that same corner and this time I got in the right spot, I received a perfect pass down the line and it took a little deflection and went in. I think I did a little fist pump and then all of the girls got around me which was so nice, so it was pretty awesome to score, especially against the home nation.”

It probably meant even more considering the team was 2-nil down at the time and it triggered the comeback?

AL: “It was a good fightback from the girls. We were disappointed that we couldn’t get the win in the end but I thought bwe were strong on the ball and working hard to get forward. We had a lot of circle entries and the ball a lot of the time in our attacking half, especially in the last quarter.”

You’re only 17 years of age. What have been some of the big learnings for you from this tournament in terms of things you have learnt and being part of this Test Event?

AL: “I think a big thing is getting used to playing in different locations. It is really hot here so it has taken some getting used to. But also the step up in level compared to back home, including the review of games, doing analysis and watching games of the opposition before you play them. I know seeing how other teams play and their styles really helps with my development, so the depth of the preparation has been really good.”

You had made one appearance for the Hockeyroos previously but what has meant to you to be called up and take part in this official pre Olympic tournament?

AL: “I was so stoked when I found out I was in the team. When I got told I was in the car with mum and I was so excited because it’s an awesome privilege to play in this team with these girls, they have been really welcoming and supportive. I had also never been to an Asian country before this so that has been pretty cool. And also to be one of the first teams to play on the turf where the Olympics will be played next year is so cool and I guess drives everyone a bit more to try and perform well. So I have really enjoyed it and am thankful for the opportunity.”

Being part of this team must give you huge motivation to stay in the mix, continue to improve and feature more for the Hockeyroos?

AL: “For sure. For me, finishing school this year, it’s a goal of mine to get into the Hockeyroos squad, but I think for every player here it’s motivation to work that little bit harder to try and get into the team for the Oceania Cup.”

It would be remiss not to ask how your Year 12 studies are going?

AL: “I’m getting there. It’s a bit of a grind but I’ve got to get it done and do the best I can…I’m sure it will all be good.”

Match Details

Hockeyroos 2 (Lawton 34’, Commerford 54’)
Japan 2 (Aki Mitsuhashi 26’, Kana Nomura 32’)

Hockey Australia media release

Malaysia are not Ready or Steady

By Jugjet Singh

The Malaysian men’s team are neither Ready nor Steady to qualify for the Olympics after a lapse of 20 years. (NSTP/SAIFULLIZAN TAMADI)

READY Steady Tokyo Hockey. That’s the name of the tournament to test the newly laid Olympic pitches, almost a year ahead of schedule.

However, the Malaysian men’s team are neither Ready nor Steady to qualify for the Olympics after a lapse of 20 years.

Hammered 6-0 by India and then humiliated 3-1 by Japan is the sorry tale emerging from Japan so far, and coach Roelant Oltman's men faced more misery against New Zealand today.

New Zealand, mind you, have remained unbeaten — just to remind captain Shukri Mutalib and his men in case they didn't know what’s happening around them.

The Kiwis’ clean sheet at Ready Steady Tokyo shows Japan 4-3, India 2-1 and Malaysia 3-1.

The Black Sticks are one of the teams who Malaysia might battle in a home-and-away 120 minutes winners-take-all match in October to open the last door to the 2020 Olympics.

And the other three possibilities, after all the continental tournaments are over, are meeting Germany, Spain or Canada.

The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have pumped in millions of ringgit, brought the FIH Series Finals to Bukit Jalil, sent the team on a scenic Tour of Europe, and finally bundled them off to bustling Tokyo with a pat on their backs.

The MHC went out with a bowl to beg, borrow and almost sell the shirts off their backs to realise this Olympic dream, and yet money was never an issue.

A few changes were made to the Europe squad that won a Four-Nation and beat Germany, but lost badly to the Netherlands and Belgium in their last two Test matches.

The team seemed Ready and Steady in Europe but a few changes have turned them from champs to chumps in Tokyo.

The only positive on the Tokyo Four-Nation so far is that the Malaysian players got a chance to play on the newly built Oi Hockey Stadium pitch, and if they are not ready to qualify just yet, they can lay a claim to having been the first to play on the 2020 Olympic realm.

Never mind that if they don’t go next year for the Olympics itself.

Malaysia also have the best coach in the world in Oltmans, but still, something does not taste right in the brew which MHC are cooking right now.

And after a quick taste of the Olympic brew, it confirmed that the missing ingredient to turn a bunch of pampered players into Olympians is the players themselves.

The apologists will say the team played nine matches in Europe, came back to Kuala Lumpur, the coach made a few changes to the team, and they flew off to Tokyo without even having enough time to change their underwear.

And that's why they are doing so badly right now.

The sceptics will counter — you deserve it for blowing the chance of a lifetime to win the Asian Games gold as well as being the first team in the world to qualify for the Olympics two years ahead, and all you had to do was defend a 6-5 lead for 17 seconds.

Japan became a first-time Asian Games champions instead, and double qualified as hosts as well as the Jakarta gold medallists.

So, take it easy against New Zealand today as win, draw or lose, Malaysia will still play for the third-fourth placing.

And yes, it's okay if Malaysia don't qualify for the Olympics as well, as the MHC have been more Ready and Steady for Tokyo than the players have ever been themselves.

New Straits Times

U-21 women’s hockey team lose 6-0 in friendly series opener

With around two and a half months’ preparation, Bangladesh girls will play a total of six practice matches against the Indian team until next Wednesday as part of their preparation for the Junior Women’s (U-21) AHF Cup 2019, scheduled to be held in Singapore in September

Action from the friendly series opener between Bangladesh U-21 women's team and Sports Authority of India Academy in Dhaka Tuesday BHF

Despite a positive start, Bangladesh U-21 women’s hockey team conceded a 6-0 defeat against visiting Sports Authority of India Academy women’s hockey side in the first friendly at Maulana Bhashani National Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday.

The newly-formed Bangladesh team ended the first quarter of the game without conceding any goal against the more experienced side, but conceded three goals in the second quarter with Vinamrata Yadav netting twice and Lalawn Puii adding the other.

Tanya and Lotia Mary scored one each as the host leaked two more goals in the third quarter, before Lalruatfeli netted the last goal in the first minute of the final quarter.

With around two and a half months’ preparation, Bangladesh girls will play a total of six practice matches against the Indian team until next Wednesday as part of their preparation for the Junior Women’s (U-21) AHF Cup 2019, scheduled to be held in Singapore in September.

Dhaka Tribune

Dar Academy Goes Past Breda 3-2 in Holland

Breda, Holland -  After three big victories,Dar Hockey Academy's winning streak appeared to be over when Breda trailing 2-3 earned a penalty corner in the last minute of the match. Flicker's strong push had beaten custodian Waqar Younis but the line stopper Wasim Akram miraculously pulled the ball out.

Breda Hockey & Bandy Club staged the 2018 of the FIH Champions Trophy which was the last edition of the tournament and it has been replaced by the high profile FIH Pro League.

It was Pakistani colts' toughest assignment thus far. Breda fielded their first choice Men's team which is going to compete in the Dutch league starting from September eight.

Five players had represented Holland in age group internationals.

But Dar HA weren't overawed and dominated the exchanges from the off. Goal which had been coming ever since the match started eventually arrived in the 10th minute. Left winger Wasim Akram, who is in inspirational form, sent an excellent cross via a reverse hit which was well connected by Ali Aziz.

Having been outplayed in the first quarter, Breda appeared to be a transformed side in the next 15 minutes which were evenly played. The hosts levelled off the first penalty corner.   Luc Bogers' missile of a flick hit the board.

Only three minutes into the second half, Breda had their second PC, Waqar Younis with a majestic leap palmed the ball out. The resulting long corner was quickly taken and Floris Verhijen at the top of the circle put his team ahead in a flash.

In arrears, Dar HA, who had to face some poor umpiring, came back well. Their first PC saw the ball moved around in the circle before Murtaza Yaqoob, standing close to the left pole tapped it in to make it 2-2

Hence, it was all to play for in the last quarter.

Dar HA failed to make two good chances count. Then Adeel Latif had a mesmerising run, first along the right side line and then the goal line. The baffled Breda defence conceded a penalty stroke. M.Adnad stepped up and sent the ball high into the right corner giving goal keeper no chance. The more experienced Breda side earnestly looked for the equaliser but failed despite getting the last minute penalty corner.

The pulsating encounter ended in a hard earned but well merited win for the Lahore based academy.

Pakistan: Ali Aziz, Murtaza Yaqoob & M.Adnan
Breda:Luc Bogers & Floris Verhijen

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work, visit: www.sportscorrespondent.info  


Hockey star Alex Danson suffered brain injury laughing at her boyfriend's joke

Alex Danson celebrates after scoring against the Black Sticks in the Olympic Games semifinals. GETTY IMAGES

A Great Britain hockey star who won a gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games had her world flipped upside down after banging her head against a wall laughing.

But there was nothing funny about the incident which has had life-changing repercussions for Alex Danson, who has spent the past year isolated from family and friends and is yet to return to the sport she played for 18 years.

Danson suffered a brain injury when the 34-year-old was on vacation with her boyfriend Alex Bennett in Kenya and she simply laughed at one of his jokes.

"I threw my head back and just banged it on a wall. It was about the height of my shoulders and so my head hit the top of it flush. Not a car crash, not a fall, not unconscious. I just hit my head on a wall," Danson told the Daily Mail.

"The next morning I made a mistake. I suppose it's a habit of sports people to shrug off an injury, so Alex and I went running. I felt good so I was thinking 'great, no concussion'. Then the second we got back to the hotel room everything spun. And that really was the start."

That laugh changed her life.

After knocking her noggin, Danson required assistance going to the bathroom, was unable to watch TV, and could not go as long as one minute without a headache. She had to wear sunglasses inside and slept for 15 hours every day.

"I couldn't believe what was happening — a couple of months after leading my country at a World Cup, I couldn't go to the bathroom alone and I was in hospital after a seizure," Danson said.

"Light and noise have been particularly bad,' she says. 'In the first few months the sound of putting down a coffee cup made me physically unwell. My brother won't mind me saying, his voice is deep and quite loud and so is his laugh, and I remember begging him to stop talking because it made the headaches worse.

"Light has been very hard, especially indoors. It is why I sit facing away from the direct light coming from the window. Screens are also bad. I realised that straight away and even now I can't do long stretches with a phone, TV or tablet without a major headache."

Nearly one year on from the incident, the most severe symptoms have stopped, providing Danson with a glimmer of hope that she may finally get a chance to return to the hockey turf, possibly even in time for next year's Olympic Games.

"I will play again," she told the Daily Mail. For Britain? "I think so." Tokyo? "That has to be the aim."

But for now she is just happy to be pain free after 11 months of torment.

"I'm up to 20 minutes continuous jogging and it just feels so amazing to do it again."


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