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News for 17 August 2015

All the news for Monday 17 August 2015

Defending champions Terengganu sink UniKL 4-1 in league

By S. Ramaguru

Tenaga player Syed Mohd Syafiq tussles for the ball with Sapura's Mohd Izad Hakimi at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil on Sunday.- M. AZHAR ARIF / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu fought back to snatch a 4-2 win over Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) in the Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League.

The east coast side trailed twice despite enjoying homeground advantage at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.

Mohamed Sufi Ismat gave UniKL the lead after only 11 minutes but Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin equalised in the 22nd minute.

Raizul Ezry Mustafa again put UniKL in front in the 30th minute, only to see Fitri Saari levelling the score two minutes later.

Tengku Ahmad netted his second goal of the match in the 37th minute for Terengganu to grab the lead for the first time. Ismail Abu then netted in the 60th minute to ensure a comfortable win for Terengganu.

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was relieved to get the three points.

“Every match is tough and we have to keep winning. It’s good that the players are able to come back after trailing on two occasions,” said Sarjit.

UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj was happy with his team’s showing, but felt they could have done a little better to hold off the champions.

“We were good in the early stages, but we were not able to hold off their raids in the later part of the game. That comes with experience. The players are all young and quite a number are from the Project 2016 team. So it is a good learning experience for them. I am happy to get such a quality game,” he said.

Terengganu now have 12 points to remain second as the MHL reached its halfway mark.

Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) remain as leaders after a 3-1 win over winless Maybank at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

In another match at the National Hockey Stadium, third-placed Sapura kept pace with KLHC and Terengganu by edging Tenaga Nasional 2-1.

Tenaga took the lead in the third minute when Mohamed Amiruddin Zain converted a penalty corner. Sapura had to wait until the 40th minute to get the equaliser, thanks to Mohamed Zulhairi Hashim scoring from a penalty corner.

In the 53rd minute, Tenaga committed a silly mistake in defence and Faridzul Afiq punished them with the winning goal from close range.

The Star of Malaysia

International hockey returns to Canberra

ACT to host new trans-Tasman event in 2017 and 2019

Canberra has been announced as the inaugural Australian host of hockey’s new trans-Tasman international series thanks to an agreement between Hockey Australia, the ACT Government and Hockey ACT.
The nation’s capital will host the innovative trans-Tasman event in 2017 and 2019 at the newly named TTM National Hockey Centre, with New Zealand hosting in 2016 and 2018.
The new event, which will feature the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras, and New Zealand’s Black Sticks women and men, is a key component of Hockey Australia’s events strategy.
“By creating more world class hockey content in Australia and taking it across the country to places like Canberra we will grow the sport, bringing it to existing supporters and winning over new fans,” said Cam Vale, Hockey Australia Chief Executive.
“It is thanks to the support of partners such as ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and his Government, and Gavin Hunt and Hockey ACT, that we are able to bring the world’s best players and teams to more people, more often.
“The trans-Tasman event is one that we are developing to sit at the heart of our major events calendar.
"The opportunities created by this exciting new competition will appeal to fans, broadcasters and commercial sponsors alike, and we look forward to redefining the trans-Tasman rivalry over the next few years."
As part of the official announcement in Canberra, Hockey ACT Chief Executive Gavin Hunt welcomed a new sponsor for hockey in ACT, TTM Corporation Group. The multi-year commercial naming rights agreement between Hockey ACT and TTM Corporation Group will see the National Hockey Centre at Lyneham renamed the TTM National Hockey Centre.
“Hockey ACT is thrilled to be welcoming international hockey back to Canberra in 2017 and 2019, allowing us to showcase Australia’s best hockey players at the TTM National Hockey Centre in Lyneham for the first time since 2012,” said Gavin Hunt, Chief Executive of Hockey ACT.
“Hosting regular international content like this allows us to build interest in the sport of hockey, not only among Canberra’s existing hockey community, but also among Canberra’s sports loving public.
“I thank Chief Minister Andrew Barr, the ACT Government and Hockey Australia for their support in bringing this wonderful event concept to the nation’s capital in what will be a true showcase of Australia and New Zealand’s sporting rivalry,” concluded Hunt.
The Kookaburras last played in Canberra against Japan in the three match series in March 2012. The Hockeyroos last competed there against Argentina in April 2011.

Canberra is the host city for the 2016 FIH Masters Hockey World Cup, featuring men’s and women’s teams in the Over 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 age groups. The women’s Over 60 competition, part of the Grand Masters World Cup, will also be played in Canberra.

Hockey Australia media release

Hall of Famer Freixa retires from playing

EHF Hall of Famer Santi Freixa has decided to call time on a glittering playing career at top level this week after a long period of assessing his personal situation after an excellent 2014/15 campaign with Amsterdam in the Hoofdklasse.

Freixa and his wife are expecting twins in October in addition to working for Eiffel and as assistant coach to the Dutch ladies. With so many responsibilities to hand, he said that “at some point, you have to make choices in life” about his decision to retire.

Last term, he helped Amsterdam return to the Euro Hockey League with a fine season but missed outon the playoffs through concussion. Freixa described it as “by far the best season of my career. I enjoyed every training and I got a lot of satisfaction.”

The Spaniard began his career with Atletic Terrassa, quickly rising to the international stage where he made his debut when still in his teens in 2000. He subsequently won the WorldHockey Young player of the Year award in 2004 and helped his country win the Champions Trophy in 2004 and the European Cup in 2005.

Silver at the Beijing Olympics followed in 2008 during an exceptional period for Spain and he would go on to win 193 caps and 126 goals. On the club scene, he helped Atletic to a number of titles while he also helped Amsterdam to the 2010/11 Hoofdklasse title.

He was subsequently named in the first EHF Hall of Fame in 2013 alongside Teun de Nooijer and Natascha Keller.

Euro Hockey League media release

Pakistan’s decades of winning drought

By Emmad Hameed

The Greenshirts — three-time Olympic gold medallists in hockey — are going to watch the Rio edition of the Games next year confined to the sidelines. PHOTO: FILE

Twenty-one years ago, Pakistan won the hockey World Cup after a nerve-wracking final against the Netherlands in Sydney, Australia. As the year closed out, sport was making the headlines for the right reasons. Pakistan, we were told, ruled the world in cricket, snooker, squash and hockey — four sports where the world champions’ title was ours.

Two decades later, it’s all a blur now. Cricket is now the only globally recognised sport where Pakistan prospers — with its fair shares of chaos, mismanagement and unpredictability.

Twenty years since Mohammad Yousuf’s remarkable win in the amateur snooker world championship, our cueists remain confined to the amateur circuit only despite consistent returns at the Asian and world level.

The sports board and the government seemingly don’t give a hoot — the federation and players continue to cry hoarse for their promised prize money and are forced to ply their trade within paltry funds and the limited amateur circuit only.

Squash and hockey have plunged to absolute depths; inept management, corruption and short sightedness of the officials, government and the subsequent lack of will amongst the players have brought the two sports on their knees.

The Greenshirts — three-time Olympic gold medallists in hockey — are going to watch the Rio edition of the Games next year confined to the sidelines.

Since Jansher Khan’s unceremonious exit, no squash player has come close to winning the British Open and World Open titles — the two most prestigious tournaments in the sport.

There was a time when squash finals were competed only by Jansher and arguably the greatest sportsman of all time, Jahangir Khan. Since the turn of the millennium, the sport has almost been squashed.

Nawakali, the birth place of seven world squash champions, wears a deserted look as the Pakistan Squash Federation (PSF) and the stalwarts of the game continue to engage in turf — rather court — war.

While India continues to advance and develop a world-class sporting infrastructure through the involvement of their rich and affluent corporate sector, Pakistani sport federations and the officials at the helm are still mired in an ancient approach.

Other than cricket — and to an extent snooker and football — no sporting body in the country has the funds to run their expense and develop new talent. Crippled by the spate of terrorism in the last two decades, Pakistan remains a pariah for foreign sportsmen. Add the inept officials to the mix and hope evaporates quicker.

Over the weekend, the country celebrated its 69th Independence Day with a great sense of fervour and excitement and the sporting achievements of the nation were also relived in print and electronic media.

Javed Miandad’s last-ball six, Mansoor Ahmed’s diving stop of the decisive penalty stroke in Sydney, Jahangir Khan’s winning shot that took him to his record 10th consecutive British Open title etc. were played on television and narrated through special print pieces.

The glorious moments certainly give goosebumps to every Pakistani in and outside the country. But in the state of the present apathy, what is the sporting future of the country other than cricket?

The question must shake the concerned to the core. If it doesn’t, Pakistan carries the severe risk of confinement to one sport only, and there are many who believe that we are already a one-sport nation.

Are the decision-makers or the people at the helm bothered even the least bit?

The Express Tribune

Top Teams to Figure in Guru Tegh Bahadur Hockey Tourney

MUMBAI: Eight outstation teams, along with two local qualifiers, are to figure in the PMC Bank-Guru Tegh Bahadur Gold Cup All India Hockey Tournament at the MHAL Mahindra Stadium here beginning from August 18.

The ten teams have been divided into two groups and the top two teams from each group would enter the semi-finals to be played on August 26 followed by the final the next day, said a media release from the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited.

The participating teams are Army XI, Western Railway, BPCL, ONGC, South Central Railway, Indian Oil, Air India, Northern Railway, Central Railway and Union Bank – the last two local outfits having made the grade through a qualifier that ended today.

Hockey India has deputed 13 officials, including five from the city, to officiate and ensure the smooth conduct of this tournament.

Faiyaz Qureshi, from Indian Railways, has been appointed Tournament Director and Sanjay Bhatia of Delhi as Umpires Manager.

The Groupings:

Group-A: Army XI, Western Railway, BPCL, ONGC, Union Bank

Group-B: S.C. Railway, Indian Oil, Air India, Northern Railway, Central Railway.

The New Indian Express

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