All the news for Sunday 29 March 2015
MHC Targets First Title In Sultan Azlan Shah Cup
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) has fixed a high target for the national hockey squad which is to secure their first championship title at the 2015 Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Championship to be held in Ipoh, Perak from April 5-12.
Its president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said the national squad, by right, should not be facing a major problem to emerge as champions, being hosts to the prestigious hockey championship, which was introduced since 1983.
"Sadly, we have never won this cup but this time, we are looking to win this cup for once. I truly hope we can win this year," he said.
Tengku Abdullah, who is also Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) president, said this to reporters after chairing the first AHF council members meeting here, Saturday.
The 24th edition of the championship will see six teams competing, namely India, South Korea, New Zealand, Canada, Malaysia and defending champions and the first ranked team in the world, Australia.
For the record, Malaysia's best achievement at the prestigious championship was runners-up in five editions, 1985, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014.
In the meantime, Tengku Abdullah urged the Malaysian hockey squad not to leave it to providence wholly to obtain a positive outcome in the third round of the World Hockey League Championship in Belgium from June 20 to July 5.
On the other hand, he demanded that the national squad exhibit solid performances at the championship which is a platform for the team to vie for a ticket to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
"We cannot look down on the capabilities of the other teams regardless of what group they are from or ranking but what is more important is our team's own preparation," said Tengku Abdullah.
Malaysia, who qualified to the championship after emerging champions in the second round in Singapore, in January, are drawn in Group B with Great Britain, Ireland, China and hosts Belgium.
Australia, the world champions, head the challenge in Group A with Asian champions India and the winner of the silver medal in the 2014 Asian Games, Pakistan, other than Poland and France.
The seven best teams from the championship will qualify to the final round of the World Hockey League in India, in November.
Nonagenarian Balbir lights up Hockey India annual awards
NEW DELHI: The august gathering at Hockey India's inaugural annual awards welcomed Balbir Singh Senior with a standing ovation as the 90-year-old proceeded to collect his lifetime achievement award on an afternoon dedicated to players. The three-time Olympic gold medalist was honoured with the Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award along with a cheque of Rs 30 lakh.
Birendra Lakra and Vandana Katarya, player of the tournament at the recently concluded World Hockey League Round 2 for most goals, were felicitated with the player of the year awards and cash awards of Rs 25 lakh each.
"My father being a freedom fighter always talked highly of our country, our national flag, but as a child I could never relate to it. It was in the 1948 London Olympics when the team won gold and I saw the Indian flag going up at the medal ceremony that I felt it. It felt as if I was flying. That was my best achievement," Balbir Singh, who holds the record of most goals (five) by an individual in an Olympic final (in 1952), recalled.
Giving credit to his coaches and teammates, Balbir Singh said he derived motivation to the legend himself. "I share the entire credit of all my achievements with my coaches and teammates. Dada Dhyan Chand was my role model. I am humbled with this award today," he said.
Harmanpreet Singh and Namita Toppo bagged the upcoming player (under 21) of the year with a cash award of Rs 10 lakh each. Hockey India felicitated the gold-winning men's and bronze-winning women's teams for their performance at the Incheon Asian Games. PR Sreejesh was declared the best goalkeeper (Rs 5 lakh).
A total prize money of Rs 2.81 crore was distributed among player and support staff. Thornton calls in sick New Zealand's Anthony Mark Thornton, who was appointed women's coach, will not be joining the team due to health issues. Thornton was expected to take charge after the World Hockey League Round 2 that concluded early this month.
"Unfortunately, Thornton has fallen sick and will take around six months to recover. He informed just last week. For the women, it's all about one tournament (World Hockey League Round 3) and we have to make sure we prepare well. Hopefully the picture will be clear in upcoming days. We still have two options and I am in touch with one of them," Roelant Oltmans, HI's high-performance director who is the interim coach of the women's team, said.
Apart from Thornton, Hockey India had shortlisted Canada's Mathias Ahrens and South Africa's Fabian Gregory to coach the women's team.
The Times of India
Balbir Singh Sr. conferred Lifetime Achievement Award
Hockey veterans Harbinder Singh and Ashok Kumar with Balbir Singh (C) who was honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hockey India Awards in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI
NEW DELHI: The legendary Balbir Singh Senior, member of three Olympic gold medal winning teams, was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural Hockey India Awards here on Saturday.
The action-packed ceremony culminated with the 90-year-old receiving the trophy for Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award along with a cheque of Rs 30 lakh.
Recipient of other top awards were Birendra Lakra and Vandana Kataria, who were named Player of the Year in their respective categories. Their efforts fetched them Rs 25 lakh each.
The loudest applause was expectedly reserved for Balbir Singh, who was part the famous gold winning teams from 1948 to 1956 Olympics. His 1952 record of most goals (five) in an Olympic final still stands and he also figures in the list of 16 iconic Olympians of all-time.
"I felt greatly honoured about being named among 16 iconic Olympians during the London Olympics but this award is sweeter as it is given by own country. I am deeply honoured with this gesture," said Balbir.
In what comes as a big boost to the players and coaches, a total prize money of Rs 2.81 crore was distributed at the felicitation ceremony.
The efforts of current senior and junior teams were also recognised. The men's team, which is now looking forward to next month's Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, was rewarded for its showing at the 2014 Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, where it won gold and silver respectively.
The women's team was feted for winning the FIH World League Round 2 in Delhi last month.
Balbir Singh added: "I share the entire credit of the medals and trophies with my team mates and coaches. Dada Dhyan Chand was my role model. I attained inspiration from him and continue to do so till date. I am grateful for getting acknowledged so humbly. It is an honour to share this award today with all the sportsmen".
On being named Goalkeeper of the Year, an excited PR Sreejesh said: "It is an honour that I received the award from Baljit Singh and I have always looked upto him. I am very happy and I think I deserved it".
Male Player of the Year Birendra Lakra said: "I was hoping that I would get an award today and I am so happy to have been chosen for the Dhruv Batra Award for Player of the Year".
"It feels great to have won the award today. Will aim to play better and make my country proud," said Female Player of the Year, Vandana Kataria.
Awards list: Harendra Singh (Jaman Lal Sharma Award for invaluable contribution), PR Sreejesh (Goalkeeper of the Year), Deepika (Defender of the Year), Manpreet Singh (Midfielder of the Year), Akashdeep Singh (Forward of the Year), Namita Toppo (Upcoming Player of the Year - women u-21), Harmanpreet Singh (Upcoming Player of the Year - men u-21), Vandana Kataria (Female Player of the Year), Birendra Lakra (Male Player of the Year), Balbir Singh Sr (Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award).
The Times of India
Nat U16: KL Girls stun Penang
By Jugjet Singh
KUALA Lumpur stunned defending champions Penang 3-2 in the semi-finals of the Girls National Under-16 at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.
In the other girls semis, Selangor beat Kedah 3-0. KL and Selangor will now play for the title today.
Hazatul Huzra (22nd and 29th) started the goalcount while Siti Nur Arfah made sure the final ticket when she scored in the 60th minute.
Hur Maizatul Hanim scored both the goals for Penang in the 36th and 63rd minutes.
As for Selangor, Felyya Amanina scored a brace in the 17th and 30th minutes while the third was scored by Dayang Nuramirah in the 47th minute.
RESULTS: Boys' Semi-finals: Malacca 5 Perak 0, Johor 0 Pahang 1.
Girls' semi-finals: Selangor 3 Kedah 0, Penang 2 Kuala Lumpur 3.
TODAY: Boys' Final: Malacca v Pahang (6pm, Pitch II; Third-Fourth: Perak v Johor (5pm, Pitch 1).
Girls' Final: Selangor v Kuala Lumpur (4pm, Pitch II); Third-Fourth: Penang v Kedah (3pm, Pitch I).
(All matches at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil)
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Pahang to face Malacca in junior hockey meet final
By Aftar Singh
KUALA LUMPUR: Mohd Kamil was the hero as Pahang downed Johor 1-0 to qualify for the boys’ final in the 1MAS-Milo National Under-16 tournament at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Kamil scored a field goal in the eighth minute to earn the east coast side a title clash with Malacca.
Malacca outplayed Perak 5-0 in the other semi-final.
Mohd Azriq Azwan (10th), Mohd Muhibuddin Moharam (27th), Adam Aiman Mamat (48th and 53rd) and Mohd Nur Asyraf (65th) netted for Malacca.
Pahang coach Mohd Sufian Mohamed was pleased to see his team qualify for the final in the tournament for the first time.
“But I’m not satisfied with our performance against Johor as we missed a number of chances, including six penalty corners. I hope the players will put up a better show in the final,” said Sufian.
In the girls’ competition, Kuala Lumpur upset title-holders Penang 3-2 to qualify for the final.
KL will take on Selangor, who beat Kedah 3-0, in the final.
The Star of Malaysia
Royalians avoid hockey relegation
National senior men’s hockey player Jordan Reynos led from the front as last year’s champions, Queen’s Royal College avoided demotion to the North Championship Division of the T&T Hockey Board Secondary Schools League on Friday at the St James Police Barracks Training Ground, St James.
Playing a four-team round-robin playoff series, Reynos and the Royalians, who were fourth placed in the five-team Premier Division with six points, the same as second and third placed teams St Mary’s College and South East Port-of-Spain, but with an inferior goal-difference, topped the series with seven points.
QRC blanked North Championship Division winners’ St Anthony College 2-0 with Reynos and Jabari Wyke on strike in their opener. This was followed by a similar 2-0 blanking of South Championship Divisional winners Pleasantville with Reynos and national youth goalkeeper Jacques Poon-Lewis scoring one each and a 1-1 draw with North Gate with Reynos cancelling out Daniel Byer’s opener.
North Gate took the other promotion spot to next season’s Premier Division with five points after battling to a 0-0 deadlock with Pleasantville and whipping St Anthony’s 3-0 led by a double from Byer and the other by Jeshajah Drayton.
...SAGHS promoted to Premier flight
East Zone Championship Division winners, St Augustine Girls High School, gained promotion to the Girls Premier Division after it topped its four-team qualifying series with seven points.
This followed a 2-0 shut-out of Corpus Christi College with Shania Gajadhar and Tiffany Seales on target; 2-1 over Bishops East High School thanks to items from Kherdine Gonsalves and Seales, and a 1-1 draw with SEPoS, with Gajadhar replying to Gabrielle Thompson’s go-ahead item.
SEPoS also maintained its status as a Premier Division competitor with five points with a 0-0 draw against Bishops East and a 6-0 spanking of Corpus Christi led by a hat-trick from Felicia King and two from Thompson.
Fatima College and St Joseph’s Convent PoS claimed the Boys’ and Girls’ Premier Division crowns, respectively.
QRC 2 (Jordan Reynos 5th, Jabari Wyke 8th) vs St Anthonys 0
Pleasantville 0 vs North Gate 0
QRC 2 (Jordan Reynos 5th, Jacques Poon-Lewis 14th) vs Pleasantville 0
North Gate 3 (Daniel Byer 7th, 14th, Jeshajah Drayton 19th) vs St Anthonys 0
Pleasantville 1 (Isaiah Wylie 14th) vs St Anthony’s 1 (Jovan Wren 6th)
QRC 1 (Jordan Reynos 19th) vs North Gate 1 (Daniel Byer 8th)
Teams P W D L F A Pts
SEPoS 3 2 1 0 7 1 7
SAGHS 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Bishops East 3 1 1 1 5 2 4
Corpus Christi 3 0 0 3 0 12 0
Teams P W D L F A Pts
QRC 3 2 1 0 5 1 7
North Gate 3 1 2 0 4 1 5
Pleasantville 3 0 1 2 1 3 1
St Anthony’s 3 0 1 2 1 6 1
The Trinidad Guardian
St John's retain hockey title, Upper Hill beat Laiser
By Ernest Ndunda and Elizabeth Mburugu
Kenyan National champions St John’s Kaloleni from Kilifi County successfully retained the girl’s hockey title as the Coast region secondary schools first term games ended yesterday at Malindi High School.
Coached by Austin Otieno, St John’s Kaloleni walloped Chumani 3-0 in an all Kilifi County final affair.
The win was a morale booster for St John’s Kaloleni who are eyeing the national title for the second year after they made history as the first ever team from Coast region to win the girls hockey title since the inception of the school games.
In the final, Agnes Raisi scored a brace before Sheila Nazi added the third goal after a scoreless draw in the first half. “It was a tough match especially in the first half after our opponents resisted our raids, but my girls had to unleash our secret weapon after the breather to outplay them and win the match,” said Otieno.
In Nairobi, National boys basketball champions Upper Hill school beat former champions Laiser Hill 59-51 in a tightly contested match to retain the Metropolitan title. Home support saw Upper Hill take the first quarter 18-13 despite Laiser taking an early lead their hosts responded to immediately.
Laiser Hill suffered a setback when their key player guard Ryan Otsimi suffered an injury that reduced him to a spectator for the better part of the game.
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However, determined to win they laboured to take the second quarter 24-11 giving them a 39-29 lead by the breather.
The third quarter proved more difficult for the Kajiado-based students as they went down 14-6 to their hosts.
Upper Hill sealed the victory with a 16-8 lead in the fourth quarter.
Atar Mabeny starred for Upper Hill scoring 23 points while David Omondi scored ten points.
Upper Hill head coach Ronald Omangi told Feverpitch that his team was determined to retain the national title.
The Standard Online