All the news for Monday 21 May 2012
U.S. Women cruise to 4-1 victory over Canada
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The U.S. Women’s Field Hockey Team cruised to a 4-1 victory over Canada this afternoon as part of a four-match test series held at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia, May 19-23. The U.S. had four players in the scoring column contributing to today’s win. Team USA improves to 2-0 in the series with two matches still to be played.
“I am much happier to get the return on a number of areas that we've been working on within the group,” said Head Coach Lee Bodimeade. “We always know we're going to get a very good contest when playing Canada and the areas of development have enabled us to get the results we're after."
Lauren Pfeiffer (Mt. Laurel, NJ) scored her second goal of the series this afternoon, to put the U.S. on the board first and give Team USA a one goal advantage heading into the second half. Pfeiffer was able to redirect the ball sent from teammate Jesse Gey (Green Lane, Pa) from outside the circle at the 34 minute mark.
The U.S. added three more goals and held Canada to just one in the second half. Lauren Crandall (Doylestown, Pa) also tallied her second goal of the series on a penalty corner. Crandall collected a rebound at the post and slipped the ball past Canada’s goalkeeper.
Michelle Kasold (Chapel Hill, NC) recorded the third goal for the U.S. to make the score 3-0 at the 48 minute mark. Canada’s lone goal was scored by Caashia Karringten on a penalty corner at the 64 minute mark.
With two minutes remaining in the match, Caroline Nichols (Virginia Beach, VA) notched a fourth and final goal for the U.S. with a direct shot on a penalty corner.
The U.S. looks to take a 3-0 advantage in the series when they face Canada again on Tuesday, May 22 at 12:30pm local time.
USFHA media release
Black Sticks beat Malaysia in warmup match
The Black Sticks men got their Azlan Shah Cup hockey campaign under way with a 4-2 win over the host nation Malaysia in a warm-up game.
It wasn't a perfect performance for the world No 7 Kiwi men, who went into halftime tied 1-1 with the 13th ranked Malyasians.
Playing in the pouring rain, the Black Sticks were forced to start the second period with 10 men, after Phil Burrows received a yellow card shortly before halftime.
Burrows' return was followed by a green card for Dean Couzins and with a goal to Malaysia quickly following, the New Zealanders found themselves down 2-1.
They managed to find their rhythm in the final quarter of the game though, with Hugo Inglis, Simon Child and Andy Hayward ripping in three goals in the final 15 minutes to secure the win.
New Zealand's first official game of the tournament is on Thursday night (NZT) against India.
Players warned not to take Azlan Shah Cup lightly
By Jugjet Singh
SULTAN Azlan Shah has, for the first time, sent a stern message to the Malaysian hockey team not to take his tournament in Ipoh on May 24-June 3, lightly.
The former Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president and current Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president said so after holding a special meeting with the tournament stake holders on Saturday.
"My message to the Malaysian team is not to treat my tournament as a practice session. Give more respect to it. The Malaysian team must be serious," said Azlan Shah.
He sent out this warning after a closed door meeting with stand-in team manager George Koshy, Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad, AHF secretary general Tan Sri P. Alagendra and National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong.
The meeting, among other things, discussed the composition of the team for the Azlan Shah Cup.
When asked if he would like to see a bigger pool of juniors in the Malaysian senior team, he said: "Yes. We did discuss about that, but I can't tell you how many juniors (from the Junior Asia Cup squad) should be included, but suffice to say the juniors should be given a chance to play against the best in the world," said Azlan Shah.
The Invitational will feature six Olympic teams -- Britain, New Zealand, South Korea, Argentina, Pakistan and India.
Seniors' coach Tai Beng Hai has included eight juniors from the Junior Asia Cup squad into his squad and played a friendly against New Zealand yesterday.
"I can't name the final squad yet because Razie Rahim (main senior penalty corner flicker) picked up an injury in training and I need a few days to find out how serious it is.
"I will be naming the squad only after I find out if Razie can play or not," said Beng Hai.
The eight junior players are Faizal Saari, Fitri Saari, Firhan Ashaari, Faiz Helmi, Nor Izzat Sumantri, Mohamed Ramadhan, Noor Faeez Ibrahim and Amir Farid.
Malaysia, who finished last in the seven-team tournament last year, yesterday lost to New Zealand 4-2 in the friendly.
New Straits Times
Sultan Azlan: Don’t treat my tournament lightly
By AFTAR SINGH
PETALING JAYA: Sultan Azlan Shah has warned the Malaysian national hockey team not to take the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament in Ipoh from May 24-June 3 as a practice session.
The former Malaysian Hockey Federation (MHF) president and current Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president said this after holding a special meeting with the national team officials on Saturday.
“My message to the Malaysian team is not to treat my tournament lightly. Give more respect to it. The Malaysian team must be serious,” said Sultan Azlan.
He made that comment after a closed door meeting with stand-in team manager George Koshy, Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice president Datuk Nur Azmi Ahmad, AHF secretary general Tan Sri P. Alagendra and National Sports Council (NSC) director general Datuk Zolkples Embong.
When asked if he would like to see a bigger pool of juniors in the Malaysian senior team, he said: “Yes, we did discuss about that but I can’t tell you how many juniors (from the Junior Asia Cup squad) should be included.
“Suffice to say the juniors should be given a chance to play against the best in the world.”
The invitational tournament will feature six Olympic teams – Britain, New Zealand, South Korea, Argentina, Pakistan and India.
National coach Tai Beng Hai has included eight juniors, who won the Junior Asia Cup last week in Malacca, into his training squad and they were involved in the friendly against New Zealand yesterday.
The Malaysian team lost 2-4 to New Zealand at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh.
Beng Hai could not finalise his squad as Razie Rahim (main senior penalty corner flicker) picked up an injury in training and he needs a few days to assess the extent of his injury. However, Beng Hai is expected to name his squad in the next two or three days.
The eight juniors who may get to play in the Azlan Shah Cup are Firhan Ashaari, Faiz Helmi, Nor Izzat Sumantri, Mohamed Ramadhan, Noor Faeez Ibrahim, Amir Farid and brothers Faizal Saari and Fitri Saari.
In the same tournament last year, Malaysia finished last among the seven teams in the fray.
The Star of Malaysia
Malaysia to name team on Tuesday
Malaysia will name their final 18 players for the Sultan Azlan Shah cup on Tuesday, May 22 at 2.00pm at the Impiana Hotel in Ipoh.
Currently there are 26 players in the training squad that includes 8 players from the Asia Junior cup winning side in Malacca on May 13.
"We will name the final 18 players as the coach needs an additionl day to evaluate the extent of injuries suffered by some of the players," said MHC senior Vice President Dato Nur Azmi Ahmad.
It will be interestingto see just how many youngsters will be included in the team in the aftermath of the Dublin debacle where Malaysia did not make it to the final of the qualifiers to determine the single berth up for grabs for the 2012 London Olympics.
Azlan Shah Cup site
India arrives and travels in style
The Indian National Hockey team arrived in Kuala Lumpur this morning and were transported to Ipoh on the ETS.
While the luggage made its way to Ipoh via road, the Indian team led by their coach Michael Nobbs were entertained to refreshments and lunch by staff of ETS which is a partner for transportation for the 21st Sulatn Azlan Shah Cup.
The players, despite having travelled from India overnight seemed to be relaxed and many interviwed were looking forward to the start of the tournament.
"Hopefully the pitch is not as bumpy as the one in London. I had problems for the drag flick and this afffected the outcome of the matches too," said Indian penalty corner ace Sandeep Singh.
For Rupinder Pal Singh, the joint top scorer last year with 6 goals, the presence and availability of Sandeep somewhat eases the load off his shoulders for penalty corners.
"Obviously Sandeep will have the first bite at the cherry but this gives us more options in the penalty corner department," said Rupinder Pal who was seen going through several penalty corner variations with Nobbs while waiting for their ETS to Ipoh.
"We need to be consistent and these matches here will provide the coach with valuable input that will ultimately decide who travels to London.
Azlan Shah Cup site
Louw on top of his game
By Jonathan Cook
Lance 'Lano' Louw in action for the SA men's hockey team. Gallo Images
The 25-year-old Kimberley-born Southern Gauteng and South Africa defender Lance Louw took one look at Parktown Boys’ High’s Astro hockey pitch at the Johannesburg school and never looked back.
Today he is ready for the final phase of build-up to the London Olympic Games after South Africa’s nerve wracking 2-1 win over host nation Japan in the Olympic qualifying tournament at an emotion-charged Gifu Green Stadium exactly 14 days ago.
“I have still got to make the team for London so I am not presuming anything,” says the compact defender.
Clearly sport is in the genes.
“I come from a sporting family; my mother played hockey for Griqualand West and my grandfather was an SA cricket player in the isolation era.”
There is also a little help from above. “I attribute my achievements to the grace of God and my parents, while my girlfriend has also been there for me; they have provided the support and encouragement I needed to achieve what I have. I also need to mention all my hockey coaches and mentors who have assisted me from the very beginning until now.
“Through this I have been developed into the player I am today. My sponsors, Gryphon and Muscle Science, have also played a massive role in my success.”
Louw also has an understanding boss who appreciates how much it means to the IT engineer to play for his country.
Apart from London, semi-pro hockey in Europe or India is also a dream.
But a dream that became very real was the OQT in Japan.
“It was incredible; that final will remain with me for the rest of my life. I played in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in Delhi, but Japan is the pinnacle so far. Although our goal at Champs Challenge in Randburg five months ago was to get to the final to qualify for London, winning the bronze medal against higher-ranked Argentina was another highlight for me and the team. We were able to better our 2009 Champs Challenge performance from fifth to third and this boosted our confidence for Japan.
“This SA team’s ethos and dedication is superb, both on and off the field. We stick together through thick and thin. We push each other as much as we can and this results in better individual and team performances. Even when faced with challenges like not always being able to train as a team due to our daily jobs and some of the guys playing overseas, we all strive to give 100% effort and keep each other up to date with our training.
“We all have similar goals and ambitions, which help us. Many of our players play overseas and the experience they gain is to our benefit.”
Would going to London 2012 be the fulfilment of a dream held since youth?
“The Olympic Games is any sportsperson’s ultimate goal. However we want to do well in London. Just getting to the Games is not enough.”
Does ‘Lano’ have plans to retire anytime soon, whether he gets to London or not, or is World Cup 2014 in Holland the “final frontier”? Does he have plans to continue to the Rio 2016 Games? These questions got short shrift.
“Retirement is not at all on the cards for me. I would be honoured to represent SA in the 2014 World Cup and Rio Olympics; if it is God’s will.”
Post-hockey, skydiving is top of the wish list.
Lano might just be reaching for the sky sooner than he thinks.
Pakistan can win a gold medal at the Olympics: Sohail Abbas
Sohail Abbas. -Photo by AFP
KARACHI: Pakistan’s newly-appointed hockey captain, Sohail Abbas, thinks Pakistan has the potential to win a gold medal at the upcoming London Olympics.
Talking before leaving for Malaysia to participate in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, Abbas said the team will work hard and do their best at the Olympics.
“We have a very good chance of winning the gold in the Olympics. I am confident that we will put in maximum effort in training and that will be visible through our performance,” the penalty-corner specialist said while talking to PakPassion.net.
He added that the team was confident and they are continuously trying to improve their game.
“We are confident that as a team we will perform well and will strive to improve our rankings to be in the top four.”
The 34-year old said that the recently-concluded training camp had not been very beneficial as some of the players could not attend due to the junior Asia Cup in Malaysia.
“The camp went well. There was a slight hurdle, as several of our youngsters were missing so unfortunately we couldn’t really hold a camp with all the players we wanted to as some are still in Malaysia.”
However, he said that the players who did take part in the camp worked hard and will be training with the rest of the players in Malaysia for five days which will help them gel together.
Talking about the blue turf at the Azlan Shah Cup, Abbas said he was not really bothered about it as the team will have about five days to get adjusted to it.
“It’s not really a problem. But we have never practiced or played in such conditions. Also, they will use yellow balls. Obviously, these things will call for some adjusting to the play conditions. However, I am confident that if we are able to train for four to five days, we should be able to get accustomed to these conditions fairly easily.”
Pakistan can win gold in Olympics, says Sohail Abbas
LAHORE - National hockey team skipper Sohail Abbas on Sunday said Pakistan have a very good chance of winning gold medal in the London Olympic Games this year.
“I am confident that we will put in their maximum effort in training and that will be visible through our performance. While having complete faith in Allah, and working hard in training and going with the positive intent of performing, we can be very hopeful of having a good chance,” Pakpassion.net quoted Sohail Abbas as saying.
Sohail further said that the team’s job was to put in efforts and the rest was in Allah’s power, he told. “With all help of the prayers, we are confident that as a team we will perform well and strive to be in the top four,” he said.
Talking about the Pakistan-India encounter in the London Games, Sohail said in Olympics, every match was equally important and “we will treat each one as a final, not taking any one match lightly or easy”.
Commenting about the team participating in the Azlan Shah tournament which will be played on blue turf, Sohail said that the team had never practised or played in such conditions.
“These things will call for some adjusting to the play conditions but I am confident that we will be able to get accustomed to these conditions fairly easily,” he said.
Responding to a question, Sohail said player should also be passionate towards the game of hockey and the entire team should play as one unit. “If you play as a team, all these things don’t matter. Once you stop playing as a team, that’s when these factors about them being physically bigger and stronger come into play,” he said.
Sohail, who also watches cricket and follows it when he’s on a tour, said, “I make sure to follow Pakistan’s matches when on tour. When we have lengthy training sessions over four, five, or six days, we often contact to the team management and told them that players want some rest and relaxation and after getting permission play cricket.”
On a query, Sohail said that he had adopted the things that he liked and that thought better for the team. It wasn’t that something was better than something else. There was no particular idol, but the thing about former Pakistan captain Akhtar Rasool Sahib is that he was so passionate and one of the players who had reached the summit of success.
Sohail Abbas said that his successor in hitting penalty-corners will be the entire team and if players work hard on penalty corners then the team will achieve success as there will be someone who hits the ball and someone who receives it. It is not just one player, but the entire team who leads success. Pakistan has a good mixture of seniors and youngsters and all the players are working hard and will continue the tradition. Yesteryear Pakistan team filled with several individual players with extraordinary talent and that time they achieved lot of successes and Pakistan was well on top in hockey whereas other teams weren’t doing that well. Every player in his position was the best, he remarked..
In today’s time it is no longer like that but in the 2010 Asia Games Pakistan had a good team that won the gold medal after 20 years. Sohail Abbas said that his greatest achievement is yet to come as the management is working on every of the game and concentrating on the basics of the game including finishing and hitting or stopping.
He said in the present hockey every thing has been changed, become faster and fitness-oriented game, which has made it fun. One thing they can improve is to add the Asian style of the game to the European structure of hockey, he added.
Sohail Abbas said that he always advocating that the player should be passionate towards the game and the entire team should play as one unit. If you play as a team, all these things don’t matter and once you stop playing as a team then these factors become physically bigger and stronger. Furthermore, as far as physique is concerned, players who are smaller and slim are also much quicker and sharper in their game, he added.
He said that Shahbaz (senior) was quick, slim, and excellent at dodging due to his physique while the European teams of today, are tough, but not as large in size as you need to be a certain size to be nimble on the pitch. If you think about, our real issue is the problem of acclimatization in European conditions, he added.
Sohail said blue turf is not a problem for us but they have never practised or played in such pitches and use yellow balls but needs some adjustment to familiar with these conditions. Another point is that other teams have played there and this is the first time for Pakistan will be playing in such condition but he is confident that if their players able to train for four to five days they should be able to get accustomed to these conditions fairly easily, he stated.
There are several good upcoming players like Taufeeq, Kashif Shah, Rizwan and Umar Bhutta if they deliver then Pakistan will achieve their desired results, he concluded.
WHAT? A Pakistani private academy to have its own synthetic turf?
By Ijaz Chaudhry
Like most of the third world countries, Pakistanis avoid paying taxes. The main reason for this, as everywhere else, is the corruption at the top. People generally believe, and for good reasons, that the money collected via their taxes, instead of being utilized for the public welfare goes into the pockets of the rulers and the bureaucracy.
That said, Pakistanis are among the most generous when it comes to donating to charities.
A Pakistani Maulana Abdul Sattar Edhi runs the Edhi Foundation; the world's largest ambulance service and operates free old people's homes, orphanages, clinics, women's shelters, and rehab centers for drug addicts and mentally ill individuals. It has run relief operations in Africa, Middle East, the Caucasus region, eastern Europe and US.
And such a big organization is being run only by the donations of common Pakistanis living in Pakistan and abroad.
Over the past decade, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Lahore has established itself as a centre of excellence providing comprehensive care free of cost to thousands of indigent cancer patients.
Again, this pioneering, state-of-the-art hospital is a charitable institute, funded from the donations.
This clearly shows that the Pakistanis are big hearted if they know the money given by them is spent honestly for a just cause.
Still, sports come very low when it comes to donating money in this country. But one private venture in sports has gained wide attention both within and outside the country.
Tanvir Dar Hockey Academy, starting with seven kids in 2006, has been a remarkable success story. Running without any official patronage from the government, sports federations, etc. the Lahore based academy is being run through private sponsors. It has just one aim: to revive hockey in Pakistan by grooming players for the national team. The academy is open to any kid desirous of playing the game. The boys are provided with everything i.e. stick, shoes, etc. The talent scouts look for the young talent in other towns as well. The selected out station boys are provided with free accommodation, food as well as education. All this entails considerable expenditure but Dar HA has been able to sustain with the help of hockey well wishers. Within three years of its existence, Dar HA boys started gaining selection for the Pakistani age group teams and there has been no looking back. For last one year, the academy players have been called for the national senior camp as well. And Khalid Bhatti ‘s name is in the Pakistan team selected for the Azlan Shah tournament , starting in a few days from now.
Nothing succeeds like success hence the academy is getting more and more patrons. This is a vicious circle. More resources mean the academy officials look for new frontiers. To provide international competition to its boys, Dar HA teams have made tours abroad. The under 15 side won an All-India tournament in Amritsar in 2008. The academy team has also made successful visits to the leading European hockey nations over last two years; the third one begins from the 10th of next month. Again, all this has resulted in great interest of Pakistani expats in the Dar HA. The Pakistani hockey lovers in Europe were greatly impressed by the Dar Academy boys’ marvellous show in Holland, Germany and Belgium , “After a long time, we have seen some really promising young talent in Pakistan hockey”, many of them opined. Quite a few expats have already been sponsoring academy in different ways: taking care of academy’s visits to Europe, sending high quality hockey shoes, sponsoring individual players, etc.
But one of them has promised really big. A Pakistani hockey fan Anjum Dar has been residing in the German city of Eifel for last many years. He is successfully running a number of business ventures in his land of adoption. Mr Dar's love of hockey means he often hosts Pakistan teams on their visits to Germany. Recently, he visited Lahore with his wife Helga, also a lover of the game. The couple visited the Dar HA and were really impressed with the way the academy is being run and also by the talent nurtured by the Dar HA. Mr Anjum Dar while talking to the media announced donation of a synthetic turf for the Tanvir Dar HA, “I will bear all the expenses to lay down an astro turf in Lahore for the Dar Academy”.
This is something unheard of in this country: a private donor gifting a synthetic hockey turf.
Remember, Pakistan, a country of 180 million people, has around 10 artificial hockey pitches in working condition.
But the academy deserves it; its achievements speak for themselves.
Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey and other sports. For more about him and his work, visit www.sportscorrespondent.info
Article submitted by the author
Sublime USIU-A top varsities duel
By AYUMBA AYODI
A roving defender, Lorraine Nondi, put USIU-A ahead in the 21st minute when the 19-year-old Naise took her through from a short corner delivery. Photo/CHRIS OMOLLO/FILE
International Pauline Naise scored a hat-trick as United States International University Africa (USIU-A) routed Kenyatta University (KU) 5-0 in the women’s hockey.
A roving defender, Lorraine Nondi, put USIU-A ahead in the 21st minute when the 19-year-old Naise took her through from a short corner delivery.
Five minutes later, the girls, bolstered by good exchange, were at it again, tormenting their fellow students from both flanks at Nairobi’s City Park Stadium on Sunday.
Nondi, 25, collected the ball from deep in the pitch to rifle in a cross that KU’s defenders failed to deal with, allowing Naise to latch on the loose ball to push in her first goal in the 26th minute for USIU-A’s second.
USIU led 2-0 at the break against KU, who failed to pick up from their 5-0 thrashing of Multimedia University a day earlier.
USIU-A on the offensive
A determined USIU-A were on the offensive again as KU succumbed to pressure to concede a short corner in the process.
Naise skilfully notched in her brace in the 40th minute to stretch their lead to 3-0.
KU, however, showed some blushes of recovery with good back turf play marshalled by their skipper Knight Barasa.
They got three short corners in quick succession but failed to convert them.
Ruth Gachuhi proved a super sub, coming it to extend USIU-A’s lead with a lovely deflected goal in the 45th minute to make it 4-0 as things appeared out of reach for KU.
But the never-say-die KU regrouped to earn three more short corners, only for Grace Moraa, June Kangogo and Joan Chemtai to fail in their executions.
USIU-A engaged a higher gear but hawk-eyed KU goalkeeper, Getrude Nandwa, made a flurry of saves that kept Naise, Gachuhi and Peninah Thiongo at bay.
KU’s defence collapsed once again under pressure from Nondi as the defender chalked a wacky pass for Naise to finish off in the 69th minute for their first victory of the season.
“Strange enough, I had a flu with some slight chest pains when I woke up but I thank God I pulled through well after some running,” said Naise.
“We missed some good goals but it’s okay since the victory will inspire us more,” explained USIU-A captain, Miriam Muhia.
Barasa was still happy with her team’s performance, saying they are still adjusting to playing on the artificial turf at City Park Stadium.
On Saturday, Barasa and Moraa scored a brace each, with Ndombellah Sikwata managing one as they fell battling MultiMedia University 5-0.
USIU-A, KU and Sliders tie in fifth place with three points each.
On Sunday at City Park, Strathmore University fell Nairobi Simba Union 4-1 in an entertaining men’s Premier League. The league matches continue next weekend.