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News 25 June 2014

All the news for Wednesday 25 June 2014

Nuraini aiming for more goals in double mission

By Aftar Singh

Nuraini Abdul Rashid (middle) is aiming for the top scorer’s award at the World League Round One hockey championship. - filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Forward Nuraini Abdul Rashid has a dual mission at the World League Round One hockey championship.

She wants to help Malaysia emerge champions as well as winning the top scorer award.

The Perak-born penalty corner specialist has scored five goals – four from penalty corners and a field attempt – in two matches. Nuraini and Kazakhstan’s Vera Domashneva are now joint top scorers.

Malaysia were in immaculate form in Group A, whipping Sri Lanka (14-0) and hosts Singapore (10-0). They will face Thailand in the semi-finals on Wednesday at the Sengkang Sports and Recreation Centre in Singapore.

The 24-year-old Nuraini, however, is not happy with her scoring rate.

“I believe I can score more goals. I just need to stay focused and make full use of the chances I get,” said Nuraini.

“We want to score as many goals as possible against Thailand.

“We have not conceded a single goal in two matches and we want to maintain it the semi-finals,” said Nuraini.

Kazakhstan, who won Group B after wins over Thailand (2-0), Hong Kong (2-0) and Myanmar (2-0), will start as favourite in the other semi-final against Singapore.

The World League Round One is the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The Star of Malaysia

Australia and Netherlands maintain World #1 status

In the latest rankings issued by the FIH, Australia have retained the World number 1 status in the Men's rankings while the Netherlands do the same in the Women's rankings after they both successfully defended their World Champion status at the recently concluded World Cup. The Top 20 in the Men and Women's rankings can be found below with links to the full rankings of all nations.

Rk. Country - Men's CF Pts.   Rk. Country- Women's CF Pts.
1 Australia OCE 2325   1 Netherlands EUR 2435
2 Netherlands EUR 2233   2 Australia OCE 2175
3 Germany EUR  1948   3 Argentina PAN 2145
4 Belgium EUR  1828   4 New Zealand OCE 1843
England EUR  1820   5 China ASI 1653
New Zealand OCE 1680   6 England EUR 1637
7 Argentina PAN 1661   7 Germany EUR 1625
Korea ASI 1490   8 United States PAN 1593
9 India ASI 1458   9 Korea ASI 1575
10  Spain EUR 1335   10 Japan ASI 1498
11  Pakistan ASI 1203   11 South Africa AFR 1228
12  South Africa AFR 1103   12 Belgium EUR 1193
13  Malaysia ASI 1053   13 India ASI 948
14  Japan ASI 868   14 Spain EUR 815
15  Ireland EUR 860   15 Ireland EUR 803
16  Canada


825   16 Scotland EUR 702
17  France EUR  673   17 Italy EUR 698
18  Poland EUR 658   18 Azerbaijan EUR 650
19  Russia  EUR  648   19 Belarus EUR 633
20 Czech Republic EUR 535   20 Chile PAN 581
  •  Current Men's FIH World Ranking (124 KB)
    Current Women's FIH World Ranking (117 KB)

    Note added by Fieldhockey.com: The 2014 Men's and Women's Champions Challenge 1 points have not been added yet to these rankings. Adding these points in has the following effect:


    Korea + 190 = 1680 - will lift them above Argentina by 19 points. Argentina will take part in the Champions Trophy
    Canada + 170 = 995 - Close the gap on Ireland to just 15 points and will go above Japan by 7 points
    Malaysia + 160 = 1213 - Will lift them above South Africa by 90 points and 10 points above Pakistan. No way back for South Africa who missed CC1 or Pakistan who missed the World Cup and are unlikely to get a wild card entry to the Champions Trophy
    Ireland + 150 = 1010 - Will lift them above Japan by 22 points
    New Zealand + 140 = 1820 - Will put them level with England. England will take part in the Champions Trophy.
    France + 130 = 803 - No change
    Japan + 120 = 888 - Drop two positions to Canada and Ireland
    Poland + 110 = 768 - No change


    USA + 190 = 1783 - Lifts then to 5th place above China, Germany and England who all take part in the Champions Trophy
    Ireland + 170 = 973 - Lifts them above Spain and India
    South Africa + 160 = 1388 - No change
    Spain + 150 = 965 - Lifts them above India
    Korea + 140 = 1715 - Lifts then to 6th place above China, Germany and England who all take part in the Champions Trophy
    Belgium + 130 = 1323 - No change
    Scotland + 120 = 822 - No change
    India + 110 = 958 - Drop two positions to Spain and Ireland.

FIH site

US Women Move Up in World Ranking Among Elite Eight

The statement heard around the world is the U.S. Women's National Field Hockey Team's performance on the global stage. The squad's tremendous play during elite 2014 competitions have resulted in not only growth within the team but their efforts are also being recognized with a new FIH World Ranking. Leaping two positions forward from their former marker of 10th, Team USA finds themselves among the elite eight of the world.

Coming off of great success at the 2014 Rabobank Hockey World Cup and being named Champions Challenge victors, the U.S. Women's National Team has more in store in the upcoming years as they continue to make headlines and a country believe. 


    Rank        Country       CF       Points  
 1  Netherlands  EUR  2435
 2  Australia  OCE  2175
 3  Argentina  PAN  2145
 4  New Zealand  OCE  1843
 5  China  ASI  1653
 6  England  EUR  1637
 7  Germany  EUR  1625
 8  United States  ASI  1593
 9  Korea  ASI  1575
 10  Japan  ASI  1498

USFHA media release

India ninth in latest word hockey rankings

New Delhi: Eight-time Olympic champions India find itself in a lowly ninth position among men`s teams in the recently-released FIH World Hockey Rankings.

The Indians, with 1458 rating points, occupy the ninth spot by virtue of their disappointing ninth place finish in the World Cup held at The Hague, Netherlands earlier this month.

Even though the Sardar Singh-led side defeated Asian champions South Korea 3-0 in the ninth-10th place play-off match in the World Cup, the Koreans (8th spot) are a rung ahead of India in the latest rankings with 1490 points.

World champion Australia`s dominant 6-1 victory in the final of the quadrennial event keeps them in the top three of the men`s rankings for the 11th consecutive year.

The Netherlands, who finished runners-up in the World Cup, are in the second position while Argentina`s men`s team, who claimed third place in the World Cup after beating England 2-0, climb up four places to the seventh spot.

Both Germany (3rd) and England (5th) have dropped one place. Belgium is in the fourth spot, while New Zealand is sixth. Spain complete the top 10 rankings in the men`s category.

Meanwhile, in the women`s rankings, India are languishing at the 13th position.

The Netherlands consolidated their place at the top of the world following their 2-0 win over Australia in final of the women`s World Cup, held along side the men`s event. Australia are placed second ahead of Argentina in the women`s chart.

USA women`s team has climbed up two spots to eight having reached the semi-finals this year.

Zee News

Pakistan 11th in World Hockey Rankings

Australia, Netherlands maintain their positions at top

ISLAMABAD – Four-time World Cup champion Pakistan that didn't qualify this time for the mega event has been ranked 11th in the latest FIH (Federation of International Hockey) Men's World Rankings released on Wednesday following the conclusion of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup.

However, the winners of both the Men's and Women's World Cup Australia and the Netherlands have maintained their positions at the top of the rankings, says a press release issued here. Argentina's men's team, who claimed third place in the World Cup after beating England 2-0, climbed four places in the rankings from 11th to 7th while both Germany (3rd) and England (5th) fall one place.

The top two spots in the men's rankings are reserved for the finalists of the showpiece tournament, Australia and Netherlands. Australia’s dominant 6-1 victory in the final keeps them in the top three of the men's rankings for the 11th consecutive year. In the women's rankings, the Netherlands consolidated their place at the top of the world following their 2-0 win over Australia in final of the Rabobank Hockey World Cup on the 14 June.

On the other hand, the US team climbed two spaces to 8th having reached the semi-finals this year. The latest world indoor rankings were also released on Wednesday following the completion of last week's Asia Indoor Cup. The indoor rankings illustrate Germany's continued success in the sport with both the men's and women's teams topping their respective global lists.

European nations continue to dominate the indoor game contributing seven of the top 10 men's teams and eight of the top 10 women's teams. The world indoor rankings will determine which teams play in which pools at the Indoor World Cup 2015, which will be hosted by Germany.

The Daily Times

Canadian Women's Field Hockey Team Named for Commonwealth Games

2014 Team to be anchored by four members of the 2010 Delhi Team

Ottawa – Field Hockey Canada and Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) today confirmed the athletes and coaches named to Team Canada for the XXth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland in July.

The Canadian women’s team has been nearly entirely renewed at the end of the last Olympic cycle, with four players returning from the group that played in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi: Thea Culley (Rossland, BC), team captain Kate Gillis (Kingston, ON), Abigail Raye (Kelowna, BC), and Kristine Wishart (Hamilton, ON).

“Field hockey at the Commonwealth Games is rich in history and incredibly competitive,” says Team Canada Chef de Mission, Chantal Petitclerc. “With many of the top teams in the world in attendance in Glasgow, Canada is sure to face some tough matches, but I am sure they will hold their own against the experienced international teams they will face.”

Also included in the roster are veteran defender Danielle Hennig (Kelowna, BC), a 2013 Pan American Elite Team nominee, and Hannah Haughn (North Vancouver, BC), who at 19 years-old has already amassed 62 caps for Canada.

“The Commonwealth Games are a significant milestone in any athlete’s career,” said Coach Ian Rutledge. “We now have a final group that will do its part to represent our program and country with pride.”

“The strength of the team is its ability to relentlessly pursue our goals in a united fashion,” continued Coach Rutledge. “While we have a significantly youthful team, I have always been impressed by the group’s ability to continually rise to the occasion and showcase their talents against some of the best teams in the world.”

In goal, the tandem of Kaitlyn Williams (White Rock, BC) and Lauren Logush (Richmond Hill, ON) will look to backstop Canada to success in Glasgow.

“The Commonwealth Games is a benchmark event for our Women's National Program,” said Jeff Sauvé, CEO of Field Hockey Canada. “The Games present an opportunity to battle some of the best Nations in the world. Even more than that, it is an opportunity for a fearless group of our best athletes to validate the commitment they make to a daily training environment.”

A team of 267 athletes and close to 100 coaches and support staff will be in Glasgow, Canada’s largest Team ever fielded for a non-home Games. The entire Canadian Team will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in July 2014.

“Congratulations to the players who will make up the Canadian women’s field hockey team at the Commonwealth Games,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “I look forward to seeing this team excel on the pitch in Glasgow, as our teams have done so often before.”

The Women’s Team nominated by Field Hockey Canada to Team Canada for the 2014 Commonwealth Games includes:

Name, Position/Caps, Hometown
Jessica Barnett, Defender/29, North Vancouver, BC
Thea Culley, Forward/106, Rossland, BC
Kate Gillis, Forward/103, Kingston, ON
Hannah Haughn, Midfield/62, North Vancouver, BC
Danielle Hennig, Defender/67, Kelowna, BC
Karli Johansen, Defender/16 North, Vancouver, BC
Lauren Logush, Goalkeeper/15, Richmond Hill, ON
Sara McManus, Defender/56, Tsawwassen, BC
Abigail Raye, Defender/104, Kelowna, BC
Ponam Sandhu, Forward/29, Vancouver, BC
Maddie Secco, Midfield/31, Victoria, BC
Brienne Stairs, Forward/48, Kitchener, ON
Holly Stewart, Forward/10, North Vancouver, BC
Kaelan Watson, Defender/19, Richmond, BC
Kaitlyn Williams, Goalkeeper/37, White Rock, BC
Kristine Wishart, Midfield/67, Hamilton, ON

Head Coach: Ian Rutledge
Assistant Coach: Robin D’Abreo
Manager Krista Thompson
Physiotherapist: Elliot Usher
Video Analyst: Stefanie Sloboda

The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 23rd to August 3rd, 2014, and will be the largest ever multi-sport event held on Scottish soil.

Field Hockey Canada media release

HI threatens to skip CWG and Asiad on fund issue

NEW DELHI: Hockey India threatened not to send men's and women's teams to Commonwealth and Asian Games citing lack of fund allocation from the government but Sports Authority of India downplayed it, saying that the issue will be sorted out as additional money will be given to HI.

HI secretary general Narinder Batra said SAI has informed him that only Rs 31 lakh was left for hockey upto March 31, 2015 and that amount would not be sufficient to send teams to CWG and Asian Games. Batra said if additional funds were not allocated, HI will be left with no other option but to withdraw hockey teams from CWG and Asian Games.

"SAI in a letter has informed us only Rs 31 lakh is left for hockey up to March 31, 2015 and we have CWG, Asian Games and Champions Trophy in India. We had given SAI a budget of Rs 38 crore for 2014-15 but they allocated Rs 10 crore for hockey out of which we have already spent Rs 9.69 crore from April till June this year," Batra said.

"Rs 31 lakh is not sufficient to send teams to CWG and Asian Games. Last year, Rs 24 crore was allocated. If the government doesn't allocate additional funds, we will be forced to withdraw our teams. How can I send teams for three major events and organise camps with just Rs 31 lakh? The ball is in government's court. Let them take a call."

SAI DG Jiji Thomson, however, said that the issue will be sorted out as it is expecting more money from the government once the full budget is presented on July 10.

"It is true that HI was allocated Rs 10 crore and since they have spent more than Rs 9 crore, it was my duty to tell them that they have Rs 31 lakh remaining under ACTC 2014-15. But, I am sure this hockey issue will be sorted out after the Union budget," Thomson said.

"We have been given Rs 155 crore only by the government this year, just a marginal increase of Rs 5 crore from last year and so there was this fund constraint. Now, we are working on the basis of money allocated on vote of account. Once the full budget is presented on July 10, we are hoping to get more money from government, at least 40 crore more.

"Once that is done, we will allocate additional money for hockey. There's no need to worry," said Thomson.

Batra also said that the government owed Rs 2-3 crore to HI in the form of pending bills.

"We have bills overdue to the tune of Rs 2-3 crore for one-and-a-half years but SAI is in no mood to clear them."

He said the government funding takes care of 75 per cent of the total annual spending and the rest 25 per cent is borne by the federation from its sponsorship deals.

"SAI gives Rs 250 per day per player for food supplement whereas out players need Rs 450 per day for supplements and the balance amount is taken care of by us," Batra said.

"We also have to take care of our establishment cost, players uniform. The expenditure on the development teams is also borne by us as the SAI is yet to take note of it despite repeated proposals," he added.

Indian team is scheduled to take part in three major events this year -- Commonwealth Games to be held in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3, Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4 and the FIH Men's Champions Trophy to be held in Bhubaneswar from December.

The Times of India

Goalkeepers don’t always get their due: PR Sreejesh

Suhrid Barua

Every tournament sees a player or set of players grab the eyeballs for all the ‘right’ reasons, and for India at the 2014 Rabobank World Cup in Hague, there was one guy, who panned out to be a standout performer by a long, long way.

Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh left nobody in doubt that he was India’s ‘find’ of the World Cup – coming up with a plethora of saves to ensure India stayed competitive. Save for the first half of India’s 3-2 win over Malaysia and 3-0 win over Korea, Sreejesh was a ‘busy’ man in the Indian cage.

“Look, goalkeepers do not always get their due for their performances be it India or for that matter any country. So I’m little surprised at all the praise over my performance,” Sreejesh says.

The Kerala lad attributes his robust goalkeeping skills in the World Cup to his stint he had under legendary Dutch shot stopper Guus Vogels during the country’s exposure tour of the Netherlands a month ahead of the big-ticket event.

“I think the stint with Guus Vogels really helped. He stressed on two things ‘watch the ball’ and ‘stop’ – he advised me not to commit myself and keep things simple – his inputs worked for me,” he reveals.

The 29-year-old Indian goalie feels the Indian team shaped up well at the World Cup, but felt short on the ‘experience’ quotient. “If you look at most teams you will find that there were much more experienced than we were. No doubt, we have a talented side, but in big games experience do matter and we fell short in this area,” he quips.

Sreejesh touched a pertinent point when he accentuated the need to have ‘stability’ in the side. “I can assure you that if we have this current bunch of players till the 2016 Rio Olympics, we will stand a bright chance of making a podium finish. Most of our youngsters will get more mature and gain enough international experience by then, which will help us in a big way,” the soft-spoken lad observes.

The conversation veers towards the development of ‘desi’ coaches and Sreejesh believes there is a massive need to put a process in place, which ensures churning out quality coaches.

“We lack good Indian coaches. The likes of Harendra Singh, CR Kumar and Baljit Singh Saini are really good coaches - I think they should conduct clinics in every state through a planned programme wherein at least four to five can attend this coaching clinics and take their skills to the next level. For Indian hockey to be on the upswing, it’s really important to upgrade our coaches or at least produce quality home-grown coaches,” he remarks.

It may be recalled that Sreejesh was the hero in the inaugural 2011 Asian Champions Trophy, where he effected two brilliant saves in the penalty shootout of the final game against Pakistan, which India won 4-2. He cherished those moments even today.

“Any win against Pakistan is hugely satisfying. My performance in that final match helped to establish myself in the national side. It’s like an once-in-a-lifetime thing for me,” he recalls.

He is upbeat about India’s chances at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

“We are improving with each game and I’m confident that we will fare well in Glasgow,” he fires a parting shot.


Hockey star at crossroads

Kayla Whitelock will be out of action for six months, and must decide if she will return.

By David Leggat

Kayla Whitelock has played in 219 internationals, scoring 54 goals. Photo / Christine Cornege

Decision time is arriving for experienced New Zealand hockey international Kayla Whitelock.

The Black Sticks skipper is off to Japan shortly after the Commonwealth Games next month, with her husband, Crusaders flanker George Whitelock.

He starts a contract with the Panasonic Wild Knights after the Super rugby season ends in August.

Whitelock, an outstanding midfielder whose international career started in 2003, is keeping an open mind on whether she will return to the Black Sticks.

But it is possible her last hurrah will be in Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games, where New Zealand will seek to go one better than their silver medal in Delhi in 2010.

New Zealand will contest the eight-nation Champions Trophy in Mendoza, Argentina, from late November and probably at least one home series as preparation, and Whitelock is an unlikely starter for those.

But the Rio Olympics in 2016 are in the back of her mind.

"I guess coming so close in London [finishing fourth, after losing a penalty shootout in their semifinal to eventual winners the Netherlands] you still have that drive to try and get a medal," she said last night.

"Part of me wants to be at Rio, but obviously I'm getting older as well."

After 219 internationals and 54 goals for the Black Sticks, the 28-year-old Whitelock's form is as good as it has ever been.

If she felt it was fading, that would be a different story. But she's an integral and influential figure in the Black Sticks, respected both for her leadership and her play.

"Probably in the last two or three years I've been performing the best and most consistently I've ever played.

"That's probably down to the style Mark [coach Mark Hager] has brought into this group, but it's also not having injuries, so I've been able to do all the training."

If Whitelock does decide to call time, it won't be an easy decision.

"It's been part of my life for so long.

"But the main focus is the Commonwealth Games and then I'll really reassess from there to be honest."

If she was to carry on, Whitelock wanted a break anyway, "so the six months when George is in Japan works out perfectly".

"I'm looking forward to something a bit different, and spending time together in the same place for a while will be cool," she said.

The Black Sticks squad for the Commonwealth Games will be named tomorrow. It is expected to be similar, if not identical to that which finished fifth at the World Cup in The Hague this month.

The New Zealand Herald

Hockey targets increase in participating schools

Arin Kumar

Cathedral Secondary School assistant principal Tepola Nabalarua and hockey mistress Laite accept a gift of hockey sticks from Fiji Hockey Federation development officer Tai Smith (centre). Picture: Supplied

THE Fiji Hockey Federation (FHF) would give equipment to schools around the country in a bid to increase the participation which would later help with the development of the sport.

FHF development officer Tai Smith said some schools have already received equipment and some would get theirs later.

"We were fortunate to have received the donation of hockey sticks and balls from the International Hockey Federation to assist towards our development programs," she said.

"And so far this year, I have managed to assist Suva Muslim, Assemblies of God High School, St Johns Cawaci, Levuka Public School, Swami Vivekananda College in Nadi and Cathedral Secondary School."

Smith said the equipment was expensive and so the gift would really help the schools.

"Most of these schools are playing hockey but didn't have enough and new equipment because it's so hard to come by since it's so expensive.

"We are really concentrating on the youth and the kaji program and at the moment we have 50 cartons of uniforms that has just arrived from Australia and we would be donating those in due time as well."

Smith said schools in the Northern Division had already started making use of the new equipment and techniques that she taught them during her development clinic earlier this year.

"We had clinic at six schools in Labasa and six schools in Savusavu and they have already started playing friendly games in Savusavu on Saturdays."

Meanwhile, Smith is also responsible for taking the national under-18 girls hockey side to the Youth Olympic Games in August in Nanjing, China.

The Fiji Times

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