All the news for Sunday 31 December 2017
'HAPPY BIRTHDAY ‘ Balbir Singh Senior, Sir !!!
The Oldest Living Sporting Legend of India today! He completes 94 & steps into his 95th year on - 31st December !
-During 2012 London Olympics - he was chosen as one of only sixteen “Iconic Olympians” (8 men & 8 women) from ALL participants in ALL sports disciplines since 1896 (The start of The modern Olympic Era) by the Custodians of Olympic History - THE OLYMPIC MUSEUM LAUSANNE
-the only sportsperson from World Hockey - only Asian male & only Indian who was honored in this manner !
-Triple Gold Olympian-1948 London, 1952 Helsinki, 1956 Melbourne (Captain)
-His name is in The Guinness Book of World Records !
His Goal scoring records are so astonishing that his fans across the world lovingly nicknamed him ‘The Goal Machine ‘
1948 London Olympics -
i) scored 6 of 9 goals against Argentina in his Olympic debut
I) Scored the first 2 goals in 7th and 15th minute in the Olympic finals against England on their home turf !
1952 Helsinki Olympics -
i) Scored all three goals against England in Semifinals !
I) Scored 5 of 6 Goals in finals against Holland . ( Olympic & world record)
Many in India might NOT KNOW that THIS IS The OLDEST STILL Unbroken / unmatched World Record in the history of Olympics ( more than 65 Years)
1956 Melbourne Olympics - Captain
i) Scored 5 Goals against Afghanistan before he suffered multiple fractures in his right hand !( His injury was kept a closely guarded secret so as to force the opponents waste two/three of their players just marking him !
The only person to have the honor of being flag bearer of the entire Indian Contingent twice 1952 & 56 Olympics !
Recipient of First Padma Shri awarded in Sports Category !( 1957)
As Chief Coach / manager - Accompanied Eight Indian Teams for International Tournaments . Each time the Team had a podium finish ! The feet includes The Historic 1975 Kuala Lumpur World Cup Gold when he was Chief Coach Cum Manager .The only World Cup Gold for India to date !
In short - The man who has devoted all his life to Hockey -his first love - As a player, Captain , Coach , Manager, Sports Administrator, Hockey writer !
Keeping in mind his selfless devotion towards Sports - Punjab Government has recommended his name to the Central Government for Bharat Ratna Award !
Share this post & Join us in Wishing the Legend many more years of Good health & happiness!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR !!! You are our inspiration!
Balbir Singh Senior's Facebook page
National Bank ends Navy's Dream Run; face WAPDA in Final
Navy had reached the semifinal of the National Championships after more than half a century.
Finally their run at the 64th National Hockey Championships at Peoples Hockey Stadium, Sukkur, came to an end.
Last year's runners up National Bank of Pakistan had the better of the plucky sailors by two goals to nil. Abubakr and Hafiz Rizwan were the scorers for the bankers.
The other semifinal between two evenly matched sides, WAPDA and Sui Southern Gas Company, both having the services of a number of internationals, went to the wire.
The match was decided on the penalty shootout after 0-0 in the playing time.
WAPDA emerged victorious in the nail biting shootout.
Final will be played on Sunday between WAPDA and National Bank
Third position match: SSGC vs Navy
PHF Media release
Favourites Bangor have to shuffle deck for Linden final
Bangor prior to their match with North Down. Picture: Jordan Polden
On New Year’s Day, Bangor will carry the burden of favouritism going into their Linden Cup clash with Raphoe, having beaten the Donegal side 3-0 in the Ulster Premier League only last weekend.
Bangor have been going great guns in the league and are sitting proudly at the top of the table, having dropped only five points from eight matches.
Raphoe, in contrast, have yet to register a win this season and sit one place off the bottom of the table. However, Bangor coach Scott Parker insists Monday’s final at Deramore will be an entirely different ball-game from last week’s contest.
“Although we may be favourites based on our league position, finals are never quite like that and we will be well aware of the danger Raphoe can pose,” he said.
“On Saturday past we were three up at half time so failed to score past them in the second half so it certainly won’t be an easy game.
“Our guys will be well drilled on what we need to do as will Raphoe so it’ll be down to who performs better on the day.
“It’s a great day out for both clubs though and we are all very much looking forward to it.
Re the season so far, we are nine games in with 10 to go – obviously I’m delighted with where we are sitting.
“But we are well aware that we haven’t played Kilkeel or Instonians yet so the feet are firmly on the ground.”
Parker will, however, have to shuffle his deck with a number of players being deemed ineligible for the final following mid-season transfers.
It centres around the interpretation of Rule 5 (b) (i) of the UHU Competitions Rules and Regulations. In relations to transfers, it states: “a player may not play for two clubs in any non-league competition”.
Parker said of the situation: “Two weeks ago, we emailed asking the branch were Phil and Stephen Hamill and Cody Walker eligible as our understanding of the rule was that they couldn’t play in the same cup as Mossley which was the Kirk cup.
“The branch responded and said they were free to play. Then, on Wednesday with five days to go, we got an email to say they no longer were. We are obviously very disappointed but the team we have is the team that got us to the final so I’m more than happy with what I have.”
Garvey withstand grandstand Ballymena finish to win first ever Ulster Senior Cup crown
Lisnagarvey celebrate their Ulster Senior Cup success
Lisnagarvey lifted the Senior Cup for the first time with a hard fought 3-2 win over Ballymena in a thrilling final at Mossley on Saturday, writes John Flack.
Garvey were 3-0 up after only 23 minutes and apparently coasting to an easy victory but Ballymena had other ideas. They pulled a goal back before the break and then staged a late rally and went close to sending the game into a penalty shoot out near the end.
They forced four penalty corners in the dying seconds and forced Garvey into some desperate defending but the Hillsborough team held out.
It was an entertaining contest throughout with play swinging from end to end although Garvey deserved their narrow win. They were on top for long periods of the game and, had it not been for the woodwork and some heroics from magnificent Ballymena keeper Joanne Davis, they could have won by a bigger margin.
Davis kept her team in the game to keep the big holiday crowd on tenterhooks until the end of a breathtaking 70 minutes.
“We are delighted to have won the trophy after sticking to the processes we had talked about all season.” said Garvey coach Adam Louden. “However, lifting the cup is a bonus as our main target has to be to get back into the Ulster Premier League for next season.”
Louden’s counterpart Davy Allen was proud of his team’s comeback and battling qualities but is of like mind when it comes to the bigger picture.
“It was a great game of hockey and the girls gave it their all until the very end but we, too, are aiming for promotion,” said the Ballymena coach.
“Garvey have a very young squad in the main with a lot of potential but we could do with a bit more strength in depth although we do have a few younger players coming through.”
Garvey got off to a dream start when Jenna McQueen converted their first penalty corner of the game in the 10th minute after some early saves from Davis.
Four minutes later, the impressive Jenna Flynn made it 2-0 from a penalty stroke after ‘feet’ on the line.
In the 23rd minute, it looked like curtains for the Co Antrim side when Laura Murray set up Rachel Houston, who scored low into the corner of the net.
But Ballymena threw themselves a lifeline seconds before the break when Rebekah Reynolds, who was a veritable action-woman throughout, pulled a goal back from a penalty-corner rebound.
Davis kept Ballymena in the game after the interval with a series of stunning saves as Ballymena had to settle for rare breakaways.
But from one of these, they scored the best goal of the match with six minutes left when team captain Clare Gillespie finished off a fine four-player move involving Emily Morrison, Reynolds and Kirsten Young.
Then came that frantic finish as Ballymena forced four corners in quick succession, three of them after the final whistle had sounded, as the rules permit.
From the last play of a fabulous encounter, which was a credit to both teams, Garvey keeper Rebecca Hendron saved from Catherine McCracken and it was game-over as the Hillsborough team celebrated what they hope will be the first leg of a cup-league double.
Ballymena: Joanne Davis; Rebekah Reynolds, Grace McBurney, Grace McCready, Aimee Logan, Emily Anderson, Clare Gillespie, Kirsten Young, Beth McFerran, Emily Morrison, Catherine McCracken; subs: Susanne Morrison, Katie Craig, Emma Gillespie, Samara McNicholl.
Lisnagarvey: Rebecca Hendron; Amy Brown, Laura Gamble, Sarah Colgan, Jenna Flynn, Ciatlyn Murphy, Scarlett Holdsworth, Rachel Barnes, Laura Murray, Rachel Houston, Jenna McQueen; subs: Chloe McCluskey, Rachel Geddis, Louise McCracken, Beth Walker, Cara McEwen.
A younger Thunderbolt can still strike
By Aftar Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: They may be banking mostly on a young side in the MHL with an average age of 19 with no national players to boast of.
But TNB-Thunderbolt won’t hesitate to steal the thunder from the stronger sides who take them lightly in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
The other five teams in the MHL – league champions Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), TNB Cup champions Terengganu, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Maybank and Tenaga Nasional – all have the ammunition of foreign and national players.
Thunderbolt coach Mohd Amin Rahim said they were featuring in the MHL to gain exposure but they were also out to make an impact.
“We’re out to give the other teams a run for their money. I want to see my boys progressing in every match,” said Amin, a former international.
“This is not the first time we’re playing in the Premier Division. This year, we caused a major upset by thrashing former champions Maybank, who had six foreign players, 7-3 in the league.”
Thunderbolt finished sixth in the eight-team Premier Division this year with 13 points from four wins, one draw and nine defeats.
Next year’s young side have the guidance of three senior players from the Tenaga Nasional squad – midfielder Azammi Adabi and forwards Azreen Misron and Amir Farid.
Ex-national defender Sallehin Ghani, out of action for the last two years, will also bring some experience to the youthful side.
Thunderbolt open their campaign against Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS) in the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Jan 3.
If they progress in the knockout competition, Thunderbolt will face either Penang Hockey Club or Old La Sallians Association of Klang (Olak) on Jan 4.
This year, Thunderbolt lost 7-3 to Terengganu in the first round of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup.
The Star of Malaysia
High drama for local hockey in 2017
By R. Loheswar
Van Huizen (centre) with the national men’s hockey squad for Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in April. — Bernama pic
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Hockey’s had a good romp culminating in the men’s team’s inclusion in the Podium Programme after qualifying for the 2018 World Cup and finishing runner-up at the Asia Cup in Dhaka.
The feat in Dhaka, under coach Stephen van Huizen, was Malaysia’s best ever finish.
Meantime, the women’s team under coach K. Dharmaraj has improved by leaps and bounds.
It created history by qualifying for the first time ever for the World League Round Three then defended its SEA Games gold medal.
The lasses captured the hearts of the hockey world and Malaysia was offered the opportunity to host the Junior World Cup.
Back to men’s hockey.
It’s a gradual build towards bringing Malaysia back to the glory days where it qualified for World Cups and Olympics on a regular basis.
The last time the Malaysians made the Olympics was in Sydney 2000 and if things go according to plan they could be at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
However, things weren’t as rosy at it seemed.
Former international and then Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) vice president Datuk Ow Soon Kooi resigned from all posts in July − including coaching committee chairman − citing health reasons.
As Malay Mail dug into the saga, there was more to the episode.
There was bickering within MHC where one party tried to undermine the other while some staff were overstepping their boundaries.
Then came the contentious contract of German coach Paul Lissek who was hired to help the indoor hockey team.
While initially agreeing on a small salary it was later revealed Lissek’s salary was six-and-a-half times more than what was initially agreed upon.
Soon after the news broke, Lissek returned to Germany. Not only that, former international K. Logan Raj decided not to renew his contract as CEO of MHC to move to Sydney.
Currently the coaching committee chairman is Soon Mustafa, a former Olympian who played with Soon Kooi, while the coaching committee has been revamped.
Then more recently in the year, came the shock revelation of goalkeeper S. Kumar failing a doping test.
The 38-year-old Tampin-born was tested positive for sibutramine − a drug used for slimming − after the group match against Oman in the Asia Cup tournament.
Kumar decided not to have the B sample tested but instead wants an early hearing.
He will be represented by lawyer Jadadish Chandra and the Anti Doping Agency of Malaysia (Adamas) for the hearing.
So, putting that high drama aside, let’s look at the bright side, starting with the women’s team.
Not many felt the Malaysians would be successful at the SEA Games but they won the gold.
They were in the doldrums for years until Dharmaraj came in.
Initially his appointment was met with heavy criticism and resentment. He was unwanted by the players and certain officials as he had a reputation of being a fierce character.
However, fast forward, in the end there was no one better than Dharmaraj to lead the team into the bright lights where they thrilled with their feats.
Struggling to find employment, many of the players are still in university or part of uniformed personnel.
Those are the only jobs they seem to be able to get in these modern times.
It was Dharma and his team Lailin Abu Hassan, Iman Gobinathan, Roslan Jamaluddin and Nor Saliza Ahmad who had faith in them and turned them into world-beaters with regular 4am workouts to toughen them up.
Come 2018, they will have the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games to tackle. That’ll be interesting to see how far they can go.
On the men’s side, kudos to the players for putting the “country first” in their campaign for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup.
Assistant coach Lim Chiow Chuan’s contract was not renewed by MHC after it expired and he was quickly snapped up by Indonesia.
He is tasked with helping the Indonesians do well at the 2018 Asian Games of which they are hosts.
Former men’s indoor hockey coach Amin Rahim is the new assistant coach and will help van Huizen achieve more milestones next year.
Finally, when officialdom was in a flux in mid-year, MHC president Datuk Sri Subahan Kamal had to wrestle with terms before emerging fairly unscathed. He took a less than dignified turn when Malay Mail was exposing high drama of officialdom within the association, but in the end offered his hand.
Short of an apology, press relations with Subahan have been restored to cordiality.
The Malay Mail
India’s hockey pride: 2017 may well be the turning point for our women’s team
With a packed 2018 on the radar, the women know they cannot sit back and relax
The team’s win against China in the Asia Cup has earned it a berth in the 2018 World Cup. Photo Credit: PTI
For as long back as one can remember, women in Indian sports have remained on the fringes regardless of the sport they have played. If it was a team sport like football or hockey, the spotlight slipped that much further away.
The year 2017 may well be the catalyst the Indian women’s hockey team needed to grab its share of the spotlight. It may not have been the best of starts for the team but the year ended with renewed hopes of Indian women’s hockey punching above its weight and knocking on the doors of the top rung.
If the humiliation of finishing last at the 2012 London Olympics was the trigger for the men’s team to get their house in order and begin the painful climb back to the top, an identical result for the women at Rio four years later, disappointing though it was, did not trigger the same outrage. Mainly because the women, having qualified for the mega event after 36 years, were always the outsiders and expected to finish at the bottom.
But for the girls themselves, it was a dream that had all too quickly turned into a deep, dark disappointment they wanted to shut out from their lives. 2017 began with a clean slate: Dutchmen Sjoerd Marijne and Eric Wonink were appointed as the chief coach and analytical coach, respectively, with a three-year mandate, till the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The women took time to adjust and the top-spot among the minnows at the Hockey World League (HWL) Round 2 was perhaps the ideal opportunity for both the players and Marijne to build a rapport.
“Being favourites is not familiar territory for these girls. I felt the girls were looking up to the other teams, which is really not necessary. They have to begin believing in themselves somewhere,” Marijne had said then.
The next step, the HWL Semifinals, was the real eye-opener and the Indians could only manage an eighth-place finish among 10 teams. Marijne was beginning to get a hang of the team, as were the girls of their coach, but as is wont in Indian hockey, change is the only constant.
When the women were touring Europe, their coach was transferred to the men’s team. In came Harendra Singh, the man who actually coveted that job after leading the junior men to the World Cup. Anywhere else in the world, it would be considered a promotion. Here, there were questions if this meant a demotion for the man, a ‘punishment posting’ of sorts. It also made the disparity between the men’s and women’s teams apparent.
Singh himself refuted any such allusions. “I did not hesitate even for a second. I don’t know how we look at it in India but in the rest of the world, women’s teams and coaches have a lot of importance. All the top coaches in the world have come up coaching women’s teams,” he said while taking charge.
On paper, it sounded logical. But it was a huge challenge for the coach who had never worked with women athletes before. “The one thing I had to work on was maintaining discipline without getting too abrasive. The level of focus and self-discipline these girls have is amazing, I have never had to remind them of any rule twice,” Singh said.
The Asia Cup was the first big challenge. A title triumph would assure the team of a ticket to the 2018 World Cup. Else, it would be left to the vagaries of an unpredictable qualification process that would not feel as deserving.
Attacking, aggressive and confident at the Asia Cup in Kakamigahara, Japan, a month later, Singh seemed to have already begun working his magic, pushing the women that extra bit harder in crunch situations. Despite his limited time with the team, Singh had set one goal for them: self-belief. Everything else would come later.
The girls stepped up. The self-belief that Marijne had wanted to inculcate was finally beginning to show in the team and the Dutchman was more thrilled with the women’s performance in Asia Cup than with his own men’s team.
With a packed 2018 on the radar, the women know they cannot sit back and relax. “2018 will be a very crucial year for our team. These are all big, important tournaments: the World Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, which will be a ticket to the Olympics, so that is crucial,” says Rani Rampal, captain and key striker.