All the news for Tuesday 3 July 2012
India lose 2-5 to China in Junior Women's Asia Cup hockey
BANGKOK: India lost 2-5 to China in a Group A league match of the sixth Junior Women's Asia Cup hockey tournament on Monday.
India scored through Vandana Katariya (33rd minute) and Anupa Barla (57th minute), while Weijia Hao (11th and 24th minute), Na Wang (18th minute), Xiayun Xi (62nd minute) and Ailin Jiang (64th minute) were the goal-getters for China.
China took lead in the 11th minute with a field goal scored from Hao, and soon doubled the lead when Wang sounded the board seven minutes later.
Hao then scored her second goal for China in the 24th minute to take a comfortable 3-0 lead over the Indians.
However, India showed great fighting spirit and reduced the margin in the 33rd minute when Vandana scored a brilliant goal from the top of the circle.
India then brought the scoreline down to 2-3 when Anupa go down 2-5 when striker Anupa scored another field goal in the 57th minute.
But China, who led 3-1 at the half time, scored two more goals in the second half with strikes from Xiayun Xi and Jiang to take the match beyond India's reach.
India will now have to win their last league match against Malaysia on Tuesday to qualify for the semifinals.
The Times of India
A win, but where are we headed MHC?
Malaysia defeated Sri Lanka 7-0 at the Junior Asia Cup in Bangkok this evening.
And they have a huge task ahead of them if they harbour hopes of making it into the semi finals and try to wrest one of the three spots available for Asia for the World Cup proper next year.
There was no doubt that Malaysia would win their match against Sri Lanka despite the fact that Sri Lanka had defeated Singapore 3-2 on Saturday, a match that saw really low umpiring standards.
Having defeated Singapore 7-0 in their opening match, Malaysia succumbed to a 3-0 defeat to China, not because of the want of trying but due to the fact that China were a class above and will continue to remain so if MHC keep getting their priorities wrong.
Malaysia will find it a daunting task to defeat India, but if there is any consolation to them, it has to be the fact that India were outclassed by the superiority of the Chinese, conceding soft opening three goals in a match that I watched till halftime.
Malaysia had a dream start in their match against Sri Lanka with Norazlin Sumantri converting a penalty stroke in the very first minute.
The goal avalanche did not occur though as Malaysia opted to playing safe and conserving energy for the deciding match against India on Tuesday.
Still despite wasting a hatful of chances,Malaysia scored another six goals through the efforts of Nurul Nabiha Mansor ( 5th and 43rd minutes), Norazlin ( 34th minute), Raja Nursharin Raja Shabuddin ( 23rd minute), Nurain HidayahHasri ( 41st minute) and Nurul Safiqah Mat Isa (49th minute).
It could have been eight had it not been for poor umpiring of the two umpires from India and Pakistan (pictured below) who both missed a bloody clean goal scored by Norazlin which went through a hole in the net, a shameful verdict when all at the stadium clearly saw the ball going in.
For Malaysia it is clear that despite all the hood winking or wool over the eyes of FIH with the so called merger of the MHF and MWHA, the women continue to be the step child in the marriage of convenience.
How would then the learned men of MHC explain the training conditions of the women junior squad who were due to lack of financial support, forced to train on a worn and deplorable pitch at the Bandar Penawar Sports School?
Do we blame the school authorities for producing national players for both the men and women national senior as well as junior squads on a pitch that readers can view as in the picture below.
Women's hockey has a future and it may not just remain a dream for us to play in the Junior World Cup someday. This team has players who can play in the next qualifiers as well, but just how serious will the MHC and NSC be about it.
These girls do not ask for the sky, all they seek is decent preparation and not pittance of RM150 as allowance where the men get seven times more for merely winning a match.
All they seek is a chance to be heard, a chance to prove their worth, a chance to put women's hockey on the map as was the case in the 70's and mid 80's.
Is that asking too much? Perhaps it is as no MHC officials went on a junket to give this team moral support, and the states are just waiting for them to fail so that they can be back playing Sukma.
You have lost the plot MHC, and it's a shame that you did nothing to help a team of fighters, a team that shows conviction on the pitch, a team that gives all they can when donning Malaysian colours.
I speak with authority as I was there to watch them play, and that is more then what you 56 council members did.
Japan vs Korea (2:2)
Sri Lanka vs Malaysia (0:7)
India vs China (2:5)
Pakistan vs Thailand (0:2)
Malaysian Hockey blogspot
We got complacent – Norris-Jones
PJ VAN ROOYEN in Dublin
South Africa got too comfortable, according to striker Lloyd Norris-Jones, as they were pushed all the way in their final Celtic Cup hockey match against Scotland in Lisburn, Northern Ireland, on Sunday.
The South Africans came out firing in the first period, and led 4-1 at the break, after beating Wales the day before.
Their momentum, however, was stifled after half-time, grinding out a 6-5 win over a Scottish side that came alive after the interval.
"We came out in the second half with a bit of a different attitude," Norris-Jones, who scored a brace, admitted after the match. We moved the ball very well in the first half and took a lot of positives, but then we just got too comfortable."
Thornton McDade opened the scoring before Ian Haley bagged two goals in two minutes to give the South Africans a valuable lead heading towards the end of the half, with Norris-Jones firing in his first shortly before Scotland pulled one back. The Scots scored through defender Dan Coultas, who bagged all five goals for his side, all from set-pieces.
Norris-Jones said the team had regrouped in an effort to discover where they went wrong.
"We have taken a long, hard look at what has happened and guys will be looking at the video [analysis] but we gave away too many soft penalty corners," the striker said.
The South Africans had fallen prey to a few dubious umpiring decisions, Norris-Jones felt, with the officials awarding three penalty strokes in the match, one of which South African Andrew Cronje tucked away for his side's sixth goal.
"To be honest, I don't think both of them [two penalty strokes awarded to Scotland] were penalty strokes," Norris-Jones said. One of the strokes was our ball already and then he changed his decision and gave our goalkeeper a yellow card. I don't know where you get those rules from."
South Africa arrived in Dublin, Ireland, late Sunday afternoon where they play two Tests -- against Ireland and Belgium - on Tuesday and Wednesday, before flying to Santander, Spain, on Friday for three Tests.
Meanwhile, in Lisburn, Ireland drew their last Celtic Cup match against Wales to walk away winners of the tournament, going unbeaten from their three games and finishing a point ahead of South Africa.
SA Press Association (SAPA)
SA Hockey Association media release
Clark calls up Gonsalves, West
PJ VAN ROOYEN in Dublin
Coach Gregg Clark on Monday confirmed that two reinforcement players - Ricky West and Nick Gonsalves - will arrive in Dublin and link up with the South African men's hockey side late Monday afternoon.
Clark said he took the decision out of precaution as captain Austin Smith and Jonty Robinson were recovering from flu, which had kept them out of the last two tour matches.
"Austin (Smith) is on a week-long antibiotics program and Jonty seems to have recovered, but we are calling the players up just to reinforce the team," Clark said.
Gonsalves and West were left out of Clark's 16-man Olympic squad but have been rushed to Dublin ahead of SA's matches against Belgium on Tuesday and Ireland on Wednesday.
SA Press Association (SAPA)
SA Hockey Association media release
Blue turf at Riverbank Arena ready for hockey contenders
Bangalore, Jul 3: The Riverbank Arena (RA) will host besides the hockey tournament in this year's Olympics and the Paralympic five-a-side and seven-a-side football in August-September. The RA in the Olympic Park at Hackney in eastern London was initially known as the Hockey Centre and was renamed in January this year (it is located near the River Lee). A temporary venue, the RA has two separate pitches ---- one with a seating capacity of 16,000 and another for warming up. The budget of the centre is £19 million.
The main pitch was unveiled in October last year although it was only in March this year that the RA was completed. The Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine inaugurated the venue. She also met the Great Britain hockey team and hit some shots on the new surface.
An International Invitational Hockey Tournament was staged at the RA in early May where teams from Germany, Great Britain and South Korea participated. The venue was successfully tested during the event.
After the London Games are over, the RA will be shifted to the north of the Olympic Park, where it will be made a part of the Eton Manor facility.
The seating capacity will though be reduced to 3,000, but it could be expanded to 15,000 during big clashes. The RA has been designed by Stanton Williams and engineered by Arup, an architecture firm. The arena will be later owned by Lee Valley Regional Park Authority in partnership with England Hockey. The centre will host both international hockey and community events after the mega showdown.
During the Olympics, Games Mobility service will be available at the RA. A London 2012 Shop is also there while authorities will put up a London 2012 information points service to help visitors on the venue and sports, transport updates, provide lost and found services and pushchair and wheelchair storage.
Reaching the RA: National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services can be availed to reach the venue. Bus and coach service are also available. Stratford station (15 minutes walk) is at the east of the Olympic Park where the RA is located while West Ham station (25 minutes walk) lies to the south. Copper Box and the Velodrome are the closest venues to the RA.
India beat France 4-0 to win series 2-0
India drubbed a defensive France 4-0 in the second friendly Test in Le Touquet on Sunday to win the two-match series 2-0 ahead of the London Olympics. India had won the first match 8-2 in Ville. Drag-flicker Sandeep Singh scored from two penalty corners while VR Raghunath and Danish Mujtaba were the other two scorers. India rested skipper Bharat Chetri, Shivendra Singh and rookies Nitin and Somanna for the match. India will head for Santander in Spain from France where they will train for two weeks before playing the hosts and Great Britain in a triangular meet from Jul 14-18.
“Last shot at glory” for Sohail Abbas
“I strongly believe if we play as a team we can be a dangerous side in the Olympics and back on the medals podium,” Abbas said. -File photo
KARACHI: Sohail Abbas, the highest goal scorer in the history of international field hockey, has termed the opportunity to lead Pakistan at the London Olympics as his biggest honour, adding that the Games will be his last shot at glory.
“It has always been my dream to captain my country in the Olympics and now that has come true. Now the real test begins,” Abbas said.
The 35-year old defender has been the most recognisable player in Pakistan hockey at a time when the sport has declined in a country which prided itself on its hockey achievements.
Highly skilled players until the 1890s vindicated hockey’s status as Pakistan’s national game by winning three Olympics gold medals, four World Cups and a host of other titles.
But after winning the 1994 World Cup in Sydney Pakistan’s next major title came last year in the Asian Games when it won the gold after a gap of 20 years.
“I strongly believe if we play as a team we can be a dangerous side in the Olympics and back on the medals podium,” Abbas said.
With a tally of 345 goals, the strongly built Abbas is considered to be one of the few players who can take Pakistan back to their Olympic glory days.
“They say hockey today is all about speed, precision and fitness, I say if we play as one and use our skills effectively we can beat any team,” Abbas said.
Abbas who missed the last Games in Beijing after scoring 11 goals in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and eight in Athens four years later is hoping to rediscover the same form in London.
“I know this is my last shot at Olympic glory and also being captain. The number of goals I have scored are important but an Olympic gold medal is what I want,” added.
The Pakistani selectors recalled senior forwards Rehan Butt and Shakeel Abbasi and midfielder, Waseem Ahmed on Sunday in a preliminary Olympic squad of 20 pinning hopes on a combination of experience and youth to deliver results.
Chief selector, Hanif Khan who was a member of the 1984 gold medal winning Olympic team in Los Angles said he had told the players how it felt to hold the gold medal.
“I tried to motivate them after we picked our players. I told them if you win the Olympic medal you will become heroes for life,” Hanif said.
Pakistan won either the hockey gold or the silver from the 1956 to the 1972 Olympics.
The country has won only two other Olympic medals – bronzes to wrestler Mohammad Bashir in 1960 and a boxing bronze by Hussain Shah in the 1988 Games.
Akbar stunned by shock snub
Akbar was named in the preliminary hockey squad for the Olympics but was stunned to find out he did not make the cut for the final squad. PHOTO: AFP
KARACHI: Salman Akbar’s hopes of making an international comeback were short-lived.
He was named in the preliminary hockey squad for the Olympics but was stunned to find out he did not make the cut for the final squad. Akbar has not been part of the national squad since the home series against China last December but the Asian Games gold medallist was surprisingly named in the preliminary squad following the team’s tour of Europe. Coach Khwaja Junaid said that Akbar was in good form as the goal-keeper rushed to join the Abbottabad camp only to find his name missing from the squad list that was announced on Sunday.
“I don’t know what happened all of a sudden,” a dejected Akbar told The Express Tribune. “I spoke to the PHF before flying in from the Netherlands. They confirmed my selection but it has now ended in disappointment. My Olympics accreditation process was also underway. I never had any disciplinary issues with the PHF as my contract with Dutch league was also made with the federation’s prior permission.
“It is very surprising. I even attended the camp from the first day and nobody said anything about my weakness.”
Junaid, meanwhile, said that Akbar failed to meet the selection requirements that also included recent past performance.
“I admitted my form in the Champions Trophy [in December] was not good but after that, I managed to recover. My performance in the Dutch league was good and that is why I was recalled by the PHF.”
Interestingly, the selectors relied on young goal-keepers Imran Shah and Imran Butt despite the chief selector expressing dissatisfaction over their show after the Azlan Shah Cup debacle.
The Express Tribune
Junior National Camp selections announced
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Following the completion of the Women’s National Championship in College Park, MD, National Futures Championship in Virginia Beach, VA and the Futures Elite Championship in Virginia Beach, VA, 102 athletes have been selected to attend Junior National Camp.
The 2012 Junior National Camp, presented by Longstreth, will be held at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, July 9-12. At the camp, athletes will receive daily training and tactical sessions from some of the top coaches in the country, followed by test matches in the evening.
Junior National Camp serves as a selection camp for the 2013 U17, U19 and U21 U.S. Junior National Squads. Following the Junior National Camp, the athletes selected to the Under-21 squad will take part in another training camp as the newly announced team will be preparing for the Junior Pan American Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, this September.
Click here to view the athletes selected to Junior National Camp.
USFHA media release
Hockey at the Royal Opera House
By Dil Bahra
Mike Sharrock, BP's Partnership Director & Balbir Singh at ROH
The Royal Opera House and BP have joined forces with The Olympic Museum in Lausanne to create a unique exhibition telling the Olympic story through the endeavours of ancient and modern Olympians.
Hockey is represented in the Olympic story by the experiences of Balbir Singh "senior", the triple Olympic gold medallist, who is one of 16 iconic Olympians featured in this free exhibition.
Balbir rose to fame at the London 1948 Olympic Games where he spearheaded India's attack in the final at the old Wembley Stadium against Great Britain.
India won 4 - 0 and Balbir went on to win further gold medals for India at Helsinki 1952 and Melbourne 1956 where he was captain.
Balbir's five goals in India's 6 - 1 win over Holland in the Helsinki Final is still an Olympic record which is featured in the Guinness Book of Records.
The National Hockey Museum were delighted to co-ordinate Balbir's visit to the Royal Opera House last week and other events during his short stay in London.
The exhibition will run from Saturday 28 July to Sunday 12 August 2012, 10am to 7pm each day.
The National Hockey Museum
Viewpoint: Mind the Gap
How hockey can start to close the talent gap between nations
By Steve Jaspan
England has become more and more competitive against the top teams. (Photo: treebyimages)
Closing the Gap between the world’s top hockey nations and the next tier is an FIH Strategic Priority.
Many critics would say the outcome of the top international hockey tournaments is too predictable and all recent winners have been limited to Australia, Germany and The Netherlands in men’s hockey and the Netherlands, Argentina and Germany in women’s hockey (after the end of the Hockeyroos dominance a few years ago).
In hockey, you seldom have stunning surprises like unseeded Goran Ivanisevic winning Wimbledon in 2001 or Greece winning Euro 2004.
Some pundits may prefer a benchmark that games between any teams within the top 24 should always be very competitive, as occurs in soccer. If the FIH decides in the future to increase the World Cup to 16 or more teams, this will be essential.
The harsh reality is that it is unlikely that a team outside the world’s top 6, maybe even top 4, would win a major World Hockey Competition, unless we close the gap. A further reality is this is unlikely to work unless it is a partnership between the FIH and the National Associations concerned, possibly with the Continental Federations acting as additional catalysts.
So whilst the FIH focuses on this Strategic Priority, creates strategies and allocates resources the likely success of this initiative will depend on National Associations gearing themselves to improve performance on an ongoing basis. This involves a number of crucial steps and adherence to the principle that it is ‘better to learn to fish than be given fish’.
The National Associations must have the desire to ‘close the gap’ or significantly improve performance. Of course, this has to be underpinned by an appropriate administrative structure and resources. They need to appoint a High Performance Manager/Director who must formulate a HP Plan/Curriculum which can be implemented practically, is economical and cost-effective. T he Plan will need to be innovative, using cost-effective ways and means to achieve results.
Some ideas in this regard include:
- NA offers a top coach and partner a tour/safari in return for coaching
- NAs twin with top 8 nations or top European Clubs (‘Buddy System’)
- Invite top European Club plus coaches to tour, maybe with safari included
- Offer to run advanced FIH Coaching Course and use National Squads for practical on field sessions
- Arrange a parallel ‘Close the Gap’ tournament to run concurrently at the same venue as a top FIH event e.g. Champions Trophy
- Tap into Olympic Solidarity funds via NOCs, assistance from NGOs, data on HP Programmes from websites and other sources
- NA forms partnerships with HP Centres/Sports Institutes
Good examples of recent success in raising playing standards have been Ghana and Belgium and more recently even England/Great Britain.
These would make fascinating case studies.
However, the bottomline is that if we are to successfully ‘close the gap’ and sustain our efforts on a consistent basis our NAs must be structured and geared for results and continuity. Then the FIH’s aims and assistance can become truly meaningful.
Steve Jaspan is FIH Executive Board member and chairman of the FIH High Performance Committee. He contributes a monthly column 'Viewpoint'. The views expressed in this article are those of the author only.