All the news for Sunday 29 April 2012
A royal guest at Green Stadium
Japan's Princess Takamadonomiya takes an active interest in OQT
FIH President Leandro Negre and Event Coordinator Tayyab Ikram welcome Princess Hisako Takamadonomiya. (Photo: Japanese Hockey Association)
Green Stadium in Kakamigahara, Japan had a very special guest for today’s Japan vs. Chile game. Princess Hisako Takamadonomiya came to the stadium to cheer on the Japanese women.
Princess Takamadonomiya has been very active at this FIH Olympic Qualification Tournament. Last night, she was the guest of honor at a banquet where the Japanese Hockey Association hosted all 12 teams, and today she wanted to see the teams she met last night in action on the pitch.
Princess Takamadonomiya holds sports close to hear heart. She is a President of Honor for the Japan Hockey Association, Japan Fencing Federation, Japan Sailing Federation, Japan Squash Association and All Nippon Kyudo Federation as well as the patron of the Japan Football Association. She is also very active in the NPO sector as a patron to 23 organisations in the areas of sport, cultural exchange and environmental protection.
The Princess charmed the audience last night with her speech in fluent English, which she learned at the University of Cambridge, from which she earned a degree in 1975. She is the wife of the late Prince Norihito Takamado, who was a cousin to the current Japanese Emperor Akihito.
While the 0-0 result was not what the Japanese team had hoped for they were nevertheless honoured to have their Princess in attendance.
SA men’s hockey team looking good
KAKAMIGAHARA, Japan – South Africa beat the Czech Republic 6-2 on Saturday for their second straight win in the men's hockey Olympic qualifiers for this year's London Games.
Japan, seeking their first berth in the Olympics in 44 years, defeated Austria 4-1, while China's Liu Yixian scored a hat-trick to give his side a lopsided 8-0 victory over Brazil.
The day's action left South Africa, Japan and China sharing the lead after the second round of the tournament ahead of the next matches on Monday.
South Africa are rated top among the participants, with a 12th place in the world rankings.
The top two teams in the round robin will face each other in the final, vying for the last ticket to London.
The event is the last of three final Olympic qualifying tournaments that started in February to decide the last three berths and wrap up a long process to choose 12 teams for the London Games.
The 11 men's teams to have already qualified for the Games are:
Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan, Argentina, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, New Zealand, India and Belgium.
Coach confident in SA defence’s organisation
JONATHAN COOK in Kakamigahara, Japan
SA goalkeeper Rassie Pieterse at training in the Gigu Green Stadium in Kakamigahara, Japan Sunday. Photo: KOUICHI TAKAMORI
The unbeaten South Africa men’s hockey team might have conceded three soft goals intheir opening Olympic Qualifier Tournament matches here but assistant coach Kurt Cerfontyne backs his boys ahead of the crunch clash with unbeaten China at11.30 am (SA time) Monday.
SA beat Brazil 11-1 and Czech Republic 6-2 but the two fields goal that went over keeper Rassie Pieterse’s line against the Czechs and the penalty corner past Michael Smith against Brazil were disappointing – and not necessarily because of mistakes the goalkeepers might have made.
“Yes, we did concede two soft field goals against the Czechs – that can happen- but our defensive penalty corners were really good and Rassie made a world-class save when the Czechs used a penalty corner variation,” said Cerfontyne before the final practice Sunday.
And SA’s defensive corner play will be put to the test by China, who have a very good set-piece. “China put a lot into this tournament in the build-up, as we all did, but it’s interesting how much space they have been given on the ball by their opponents here, and we back ourselves 100% against them,” said Cerfontyne.
SA captain Austin Smith backs his team’s defensive structure as well, “as long as we keep control I don’t see us conceding too many goals,” he said after the Czech match.
China also play a free-flowing style like SA and the match promises to be the most entertaining of the tournament.Wednesday, say meet their biggest rivals Japan, but as Smith said, “it’s the old cliché, one game at a time, no one can afford to look ahead much further than that.”
The match can be followed on Twitter @ FIH_Hockey from 11.30 am (SA time).
Goalkeepers: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng), Michael Smith (Witwatersrand).
Defenders: Andrew Cronje (Western Province), Justin Reid-Ross (NorthernBlues), Lance Louw (SG), Lloyd Madsen (KZN Coastal Raiders), Rhett Halkett(NB).
Midfielders: Jonty Robinson (NB), Clinton Panther (SG), Austin Smith(capt, WP), Tim Drummond (KCR), Wade Paton (KCR), Taine Paton (KCR).
Strikers: Ian Haley (WP), Marvin Harper (KCR), Lloyd Norris-Jones (WP),Julian Hykes (Amathole-Border), Thornton McDade (SG).
SA MATCH PROGRAMME/RESULTS
April 26: South Africa 11 Brazil 1; April 28: South Africa 6 Czech Republic 2;April 30: vs China (11.30 am SA time); May 2: vs Japan (9 am SA time); May 4: vsAustria (11.30 am SA time); May 6: Classification matches (5/6 places); (3/4places); final (8 am SA time).
SA Hockey Association media release
JAC - all systems go
A boat ride to the opening ceremony, an upgraded stadium that can telecast matches in high definition and a bunch of enthusiastic officials that are set to make the 7th Junior Asia Cup a resounding success.
That is what awaits the eight teams in Malacca when the Junior Asia Cup gets underway at Malacca from the 3rd to 13th of May.
Eight teams will battle it out for two places in the 2013 Junior World Cup and exciting matches are in store.
Hosts Malacca Hockey Association, have left no stone unturned to ensure that India, Pakistan, Korea, Iran, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Malaysia leave with fond memories whatever the end result will be.
"We are proud to play host to the tournament and have worked hard to ensure that all preparations are of international standards," said Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad, Deputy President of Malacca Hockey Association and Senior Vice President of the Malaysian Hockey Confederation.
"It is a honor for Malacca to play hosts as this is the first time we are given the opportunity to host a top class tournament."
As a matter of fact Malaccan's should be proud as the Malaysian team has three officials that hail from Malacca, coach K. Dharmaraj, manager Mirnawan Nawawi and assistant coach Nor Azlan Bakar.
The MBM hockey Stadium has undergone renovations that cost more then RM 1 million and the after effects are there for all to admire.
The grandstand has been upgraded with dedicated media and broadcast rooms and seats fitted as well on the terraces. Even the changing rooms have been done up, truly reflecting a world class venue.
And that is not all, as the lighting system has been upgraded, from an initial 800 lux to 1300 lux, enough for telecasting matches in high definition.
It is still in early stages but host broadcaster Astro will most likely telecast all Malaysian matches live.
It is the opening ceremony that the teams should look forward to as they will be ferried by boats to the venue of the opening ceremony on May 2.
It's all systems go as all teams, with exception of Korea ( April 30 ) and Sri Lanka have arrived in historical Malacca.
Malaysian Hockey blogspot
Favourites India eyeing hat-trick
By Jugjet Singh
INDIA have claimed the favourites tag, as they attempt a hat-trick of Junior Asia Cup titles in Malacca.
The 2013 Junior World Cup hosts, who are automatic qualifiers, won in Karachi 2004 and Chennai 2008 respectively, and will arrive in Malacca today.
India will be captained by striker Akashdeep Singh, and if they advance to the final, the tournament bronze medallists will also book a spot in the Junior World Cup.
Malaysia are in Group A with South Korea, Japan and Iran, while India have Pakistan, China and Sri Lanka for company in Group B.
In the Sultan of Johor Cup, where Malaysia emerged champions, India finished fourth but they have listed 11 new players for Malacca.
Both their goalkeepers are new, as well as the captain. The seven who played in Johor are Amit Rohidas, Pardeep Mor, P. Thimmanna, Satbir Singh, M. Gnasekar, Sukhdev Singh and Mylaram Sampath.
"India have made big changes to their team after the Sultan of Johor Cup and it looks like their match against Pakistan will be the highlight of Group B,"said Project 2013 coach K. Dharmaraj.
"Our first match is against Iran, and we need to score as many goals as possible but I will not pressure my players by setting too high a target. The goals will come, that is for sure," said Dharmaraj.
PRELIMINARY ROUND FIXTURES -- Thursday: Korea v Japan (6.05pm), Malaysia v Iran (8.05pm); Friday: Pakistan v China (6.05pm), India v Sri Lanka (8.05pm); Saturday: Japan v Iran (6.05pm), Malaysia v Korea (8.05pm); May 6: China v Sri Lanka (4.05pm); India v Pakistan (6.05pm); Korea v Iran (8.05pm); May 7: China v India (4.05pm); Pakistan v Sri Lanka (6.05pm); Japan v Malaysia (8.05pm).
New Straits Times
Day Three: GB Super League
Hat-tricks from David Flanagan and Phil Roper helped Pennine Pumas go top of the Men’s Great Britain Super League table with an emphatic 12-0 victory over the Celtic Panthers at Lilleshall National Sports Centre on Saturday afternoon.
Previously second in the table behind Saxon Tigers following the first weekend of action, the Pumas are top thanks to a superior goal difference as, while they won by 12 goals, the Tigers could only win 6-1 against the Caledonian Cougars.
As well as Flanagan and Roper’s hat-trick heroics, other goals for the Pumas came from Andy Bull, Sam Ward, Phil Dutoy, Chris Griffiths, Nick Giles and Martin Ebbage.
Saxon Tigers opened the day’s play with a good 6-1 win over the Caledonian Cougars.
Chris Newman got them off the mark with an early goal from open play after just two minutes, and on 14 minutes Nick Bandurak and then Dan Shingles added further with open play goals to make it 3-0 to the Tigers.
Jonny Kinder added another five minutes before the break to put Tigers 4-0 ahead at half time, and Tom Carson bagged a fifth on 46 minutes.
Newman scored a second goal on 66 minutes, and although Alan Forsyth pulled one back for the Cougars on 68 minutes, it was little more than a consolation.
In the Women’s Great Britain Super League, Pennine Pumas made hard work of winning their third and final group game, and could only scrape a 1-0 victory over Celtic Panthers who are bottom of the table without a win or a goal.
The Pumas had to rely on Jo Hunter’s 19th minute field goal to ensure they secured their third consecutive win.
There were more goals in the afternoon’s opening women’s match which Saxon Tigers won 4-1 over Caledonian Cougars.
Emily Atkinson and Sophie Bray gave the Tigers a two-nil lead with goals on 11 and 16 minutes, but Fiona Bruce scored from a penalty stroke a minute before the break to give her side some hope.
Buy Bray went on to complete her hat-trick with goals on 58 and 69 minutes to secure their spot in the final against the Pumas.
The final day of 2012 GB Super League action begins at 10am with the men’s bronze medal match between the Celtic Panthers and Caledonian Cougars, and is followed at 12-15pm by the men’s final between the Pennine Pumas and Saxon Tigers.
Then the women’s league reaches its climax with the bronze medal match between Caledonian Cougars and Celtic Panthers at 2.30pm and the final at 4.45pm between Pennine Pumas and Saxon Tigers.
Great Britain Hockey media release
Scots fall to English Tigers
GREAT BRITAIN SUPER LEAGUE - LILLIESHALL
Scotland`s under 21 women needed to beat English side Saxon Tigers to reach the final of the Great Britain Super Sixes, but fell short when they went down 4-1 in the final pool match at Lillieshall.
The Scots youngsters found themselves two down in the first half, but gave themselves a lifeline with a goal before the interval. Milne Craig Western`s Nicola Skrastin was fouled in the circle and teammate Fiona Bruce converted from the spot with a low shot to the right hand post. The Scots did not create much in the second half and the English scored another two goals, it could have been more but for several saves from Granite City Wanderers keeper Siobhan Cowie.
Welsh side Celtic Panthers will be the opposition tomorrow to contest third spot.
Meanwhile, the men`s squad went down 6-1 to the Tigers in their final pool match. The Scots youngsters struggled to find the pace in the first half and found themselves four down at the interval.
There was a clear improvement after the interval but still lost a fifth goal to the English. The Scots youngsters finally pulled one back from a penalty corner midway through the second half, Craig Falconer switched the ball left to Glynhill Kelburne striker Alan Forsyth who scored with a low shot into the bottom corner.
"We played much better in the second half, certainly defensively, and there were a lot of positives once the players realised the intensity at this level of competition. We need to build on this for tomorrow`s game," said Graham Stuart, Scotland`s manager.
The Scots youngsters will now play Wales today for third place.
Scottish Hockey Union media release
Four sent to the sin bin in Perak’s win over Negri Sembilan
By AFTAR SINGH
KUALA LUMPUR: Perak chalked up a hard-fought 2-1 win over Negri Sembilan in a tense Group B match that saw four players flashed the yellow cards in the National Under-16 hockey tournament in Alor Setar yesterday.
It was Perak’s second win following the 3-2 opening triumph over hosts Kedah on Friday. For Negri, it was their second straight defeat, having been outplayed 5-0 by Penang.
Perak took the lead through Mohd Aiman Zahari off a penalty corner in the 17th minute before Negri equalised in the 48th minute with a field goal by Mahathir Rathuwan.
Mohamed Aliff then scored the winning goal for Perak in the 65th minute.
Perak players Mohd Nursyahmi and S. Deveandren and Negri’s Mohd Fakhrul Razi and Mohd Aliff Ishak were sent to the sin bin for rough tackles. Perak team manager Borhan Abdul Halim feels that his boys have not been playing to their true form in the first two matches.
“We struggled against Kedah and we did not play well against Negri. Two of my boys were shown yellow cards for rough tackles,” said Borhan.
“Our penalty corner conversion rate is poor as we only managed to convert one out six in the match. We need to work on improving on our conversion rate.
“My boys need to step up their game and beat Penang to move closer to reaching the semi-finals.”
Penang also registered their second win in Group B by beating Perlis 2-0.
Skipper Mohd Rahimi Iskandar, who scored a hat-trick against Negri, put Penang ahead off a penalty corner in the fifth minute before Mohd Izuan Halim added a second goal in the 58th minute.
In another Group A match, last years’s losing finalists Malacca continued their fine form by outplaying Kedah 4-0 for their second win. They beat Perlis 6-2 in the first match.
Danial Asyraf scored a hat-trick to steer defending champions Kuala Lumpur to a convincing 6-1 win over Johor in a Group A match in Sungei Petani. Danial was on target in the 20th, 46th and 56th minutes. Mohd Firdaus (49th), Misniwan Gusni (54th) and Mohd Azri (65th) were the other KL scorers.
Johor replied through Mohd Jazmi Azhar in the 56th minute.
The Star of Malaysia
Pakistan U-21 Girls Hockey C’ship
LAHORE – Railways, Punjab Whites and Wapda scored easy wins in the 2nd PHF U-21 Girls Hockey Championship here at the National Hockey Stadium on Saturday.
Railways thrashed Pakistan Board 7-0. Mayira Sabir once again played superb hockey and smashed three goals for Railways while Zakia Nawaz and Maria Anwar scored two goals each for the winners. In the second match of the day, Punjab Whites outclassed Balochistan by 7-0. Afshan and Iqra Javed played brilliantly for the winners and slammed three goals each while Tehmina added one in the victory of Punjab Whites.
In the third and last match of the day, Wapda defeated Punjab Colours by 1-0. The only goal for the winners was scored by Iram Shahzadi. Evacuee Trust Property Board chairman Asif Hashmi was the chief guest on the last match between Wapda Punjab Colours. The chief guest announced the amount of Rs 200,000 for the Pakistan Hockey Federation women wing.
London Olympics 89 days to go: Independent India’s first gold
A lot had transpired between the Berlin Olympics in 1936 and the London Games in 1948. The world was still reeling under the aftermath of the Second World War.
India got its independence from the British Raj, but suffered a devastating partition where many Anglo-Indians left the country and a number of Muslims migrated to Pakistan. That came as a big blow to the hockey team and a brand new bunch of players went for the London Games.
None of the players on that team had represented India in the Olympics earlier while many who had represented the country in the previous Games, played for Pakistan. For instance, AIS Dara. The captain of the Pakistan hockey team in the 1948 Olympics had represented India in the 1936 Games.
Despite the several setbacks, the Indian team proved they were still the best in the world. India defeated Austria 8-0 in their first match and went on to beat Argentina 9-1, Spain 2-0 and Holland 2-1 to enter the final.
The final couldn’t get more symbolic. India faced Britain for the first time in an Olympic hockey match on September 12, 1948, at Wembley. They went on to beat them 4-0 to win their fourth consecutive gold medal.
This medal is extremely special for India, as it is the first gold medal won under the Indian tri-colour. Balbir Singh Senior excelled as a centre-forward and scored two goals in the final, while Pat Jansen and Trilochan Singh scored the other two.
Road to glory
Group stage: Bt Austria 8-0;
Bt Argentina 9-1; Bt Spain 2-0
Semifinal: Bt Holland 2-1
Final: Bt Great Britain 4-1