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News for 24 June 2016

All the news for Friday 24 June 2016

Netherlands and Argentina reach Champions Trophy final

On day four of the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 in London, the Netherlands and Argentina both recorded victories to seal places in Sunday’s showpiece final with one match of the pool phase remaining.

Reigning Olympic champions the Netherlands celebrated Olympic Day with a 2-1 win over Australia’s Hockeyroos to claim their fourth successive win at the event currently taking place at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre Olympic legacy facility.

The Netherlands’ victory was also good news for Argentina - who were 4-2 winners against New Zealand thanks to a double strike from Carla Rebecchi - as they now cannot be caught by third placed Australia and will therefore meet the Dutch in the gold medal match.

The two teams will also meet in their final pool match on Saturday, ensuring that the fans in London will be treated to not one but two potentially thrilling encounters between the top ranked teams in world hockey.

Although the finalists are known, the race for the bronze medal game is very much alive. Australia and New Zealand currently sit in the third and fourth positions in the pool, but fifth-placed New Zealand and sixth-placed Great Britain are still mathematically capable of overhauling the teams above them.

Match 10: Argentina 4, New Zealand 2

Las Leonas captain Carla Rebecchi continued her remarkable form at the event by scoring twice to help Argentina to victory over New Zealand’s Black Sticks in Thursday’s opening match.

Florencia Habif opened the scoring for Argentina with a first quarter penalty corner before in-form attacker Rebecchi scored field goals either side of half time. Although Sophie Cocks pulled a goal back for New Zealand, Maria Granatto - another player who has been outstanding throughout this event - made the score 4-1 early in the fourth quarter before New Zealand’s Olivia Merry completed the scoring.

I’m really happy because we really wanted to win this game”, said Rebecchi after the match. “We knew that it was very important if we wanted to reach the final and I think we played a good game, creating lots of scoring situations. Maybe we could have scored some more and maybe we can defend a little bit better because every time they entered the circle they got something, so I think that we still have things to improve.”

Match 11: Australia 1, Netherlands 2

The Netherlands sealed their place in Sunday’s final by defeating Australia in the second match of the day.

A field goal from Michelle van der Pols gave the Netherlands a sixth minute lead before team captain Maartje Paumen doubled the advantage with her sixth penalty corner goal in just four matches. Kathryn Slattery was on target for the Hockeyroos, who were hugely competitive throughout.

"We played well, but there is always room for improvement”, said Netherlands star Lidewij Welten. “Our aim is to get better with each game, that is our group mentality. It is good for us to play Australia in a tournament like the Champions Trophy because we don't get to play them so often. They didn't surprise us today as we know they want to be fast and attacking, although today neither of us could play our true games."

Australia captain Madonna Blyth said: "We played pretty well for parts of that game. We created good opportunities and put the Dutch under a lot of pressure. There are still a lot of things that we can improve upon, but we are  strong as a unit and I am happy with the way we are going."

Match 12: Great Britain 0, United States 2

USA claimed their first win of the event with a 2-0 triumph over host nation Great Britain in the final match of day four at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre.

The result moved USA up to fourth place in the standings, keeping alive their hopes of medalling at this event. Great Britain are still mathematically capable of qualifying for the bronze medal game, but need a convincing win against Australia in their meeting on Saturday if they are to achieve that goal.

Both of USA’s goals arrived in the third quarter of the match, with Emily Wold scoring from open play in the 39th minute before Kathleen Sharkey added a second two minutes later with a penalty corner.

“We knew that they were going to battle for the entire 60 minutes and we knew that it was going to take everything that we had”, said USA’s Katie Bam after the match. “We had to be constantly on our game defensively and also taking care of things on the attacking side and we did that today.”

#HCT2016 #BestOfTheBest

FIH site

Black Sticks go down fighting against Argentina

Sophie Cocks scored for the Black Sticks. Photo: Planet Hockey

The Black Sticks Women have battled to a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Argentina at the Hockey Champions Trophy in London.

Having a good share of possession in the first half, New Zealand lamented their missed opportunities.

Assistant coach Sean Dancer said it was a disappointing result which effectively snuffs out any hope of reaching the final.

“We’re disappointed with the results, in the first half we lacked the energy and tempo required to play the style we needed to,” he said.

“In the second half we created opportunities to get back into the game but unfortunately Argentina were able to make the most of theirs. We’ll certainly be looking for a much better performance in our next game.”

The first goal of the match came from a penalty corner in the 10th minute when Argentina’s Florencia Habif was able to beat goalkeeper Sally Rutherford after the ball took an unlucky deflection off Sophie Cocks’ stick on its way into the goal.

New Zealand were put under more pressure early in the second quarter after Kirsten Pearce was shown a green card in the 21st minute.

Argentina doubled their lead two minutes later with a simple tap in from Carla Rebecchi, who punished Rutherford who wasn’t able to clear an innocuous goal line cross. 

Replacing Rutherford at halftime, Amelia Gibson produced a great one-on-one save early in the third quarter. Moments later Argentina took a 3-0 lead with the Kiwis undone upon video referral after Argentina scored from distance via Rebecchi’s 33rd minute angled shot.

The goal was initially denied by the umpire for a back of stick violation and New Zealand looked justifiably unimpressed with the reversal of the original decision, with replays suggesting there was an umpire whistle before the ball ended up in the goal.

The Black Sticks worked their way back into the game with a 37th minute goal from Sophie Cocks who scored with a well taken shot after turning cleverly while under pressure from two Argentine defenders.

19-year-old Maria Granatto scored in the 47th minute following some fantastic individual play and a powerful shot which beat a diving Gibson, Argentina seemed to have put the game out of reach for the Black Sticks.

With just eight minutes remaining Cocks looked to have grabbed a second goal at the end of a fast counter attack but NZ were undone by another video referral which showed a slight deflection from her shin prior to the final shot.

Olivia Merry managed to grab the Black Sticks’ second goal in the 56th minute when she made a lung busting run to get on the end of a good baseline pass from Kelsey Smith, following a nice team move which started with an elusive run by Anita McLaren.

Unfortunately, the Kiwis couldn’t break their Champions Trophy drought against Argentina having played out two draws and seven losses in nine previous tournament meetings prior to today’s result.

The day’s other games, Netherlands edged Australia 2-1 and hosts Great Britain take on USA later in the final match of the day.

The Black Sticks go up against USA in their final game of the round robin at 1:00am Sunday morning (NZ time), with live coverage on SKY Sport 2.

BLACK STICKS 2: (Sophie Cocks, Olivia Merry)
ARGENTINA 4: (Florencia Habif, Carla Rebecchi x2, Maria Granatto)
Halftime: Argentina 3-1

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Black Sticks poor in defeat to Argentina

By David Leggat

Petrea Webster scored in the 4-2 defeat to Argentina.

New Zealand chose a bad time to turn out a poor performance when they were beaten 4-2 by Argentina in their penultimate round robin game at the women's Champions Trophy in London today.

The match statistics were pretty even, but New Zealand frittered away possession too often, conceded a couple of soft goals and were made to pay for it by the world's No 2-ranked team. The result leaves them out of the running to play for the gold and silver medals.

"We didn't come to play today," unhappy coach Mark Hager said.

"In the first half we were very poor, didn't move the ball early enough and went into our shell, and even when you're battling you can't afford to do that, and Argentina punished us."

Not for the first time in the tournament, New Zealand were hurt by poor umpiring, which cost the third goal.

Japanese official Emi Yamada ruled that a firm reverse stick shot by star Argentina attacker Carla Rebecchi had come off the back of her stick. She whistled when the ball was in mid-air.

The replay showed it was a fair goal but New Zealand could complain the initial decision should have stood.

Both teams had 16 shots on goal, Argentina edged the circle penetrations 24-23 and had 55 percent of possession while fourth-ranked New Zealand had three penalty corners to two.

However Argentina took their opportunities better, some of New Zealand's defensive play bringing the ball out from their defensive circle was poor and Argentina had the most effective players on the park in Rebecchi and Maria Granatto.

The early signs were encouraging, both Petrea Webster and Charlotte Harrison got shots in on goal, and Argentina's opener had a touch of luck about it. Florencia Habif's shot from Argentina's first penalty corner deflected off a New Zealand stick past goalkeeper Sally Rutherford.

However Rutherford was at fault with the second eight minutes before halftime. Her block off a ball driven in from the right was totally ineffective and rolled the ball straight to Rebecchi in front of goal, who doubled the lead.

Argentina were starting to take a grip on the game and when Rebecchi's second goal came two minutes after the restart, things looked grim.

To their credit, New Zealand smartened up, showed greater urgency and were rewarded through a good goal by Sophie Cocks, swivelling under pressure to send a firm shot into the Argentine goal.

She thought she had a second goal, with a neat deflection, only for Argentina to successfully refer the incident, which showed the ball had subsequently deflected off Cocks' shin.

Granatto was always a handful for New Zealand's defence and her cracking individual goal, beating a couple of defenders before thumping a shot past replacement goalkeeper Amelia Gibson's left hand, sealed the win.

There was a late consolation goal for Olivia Merry after an out-of-sorts Anita McLaren and Kelsey Smith had set it up four minutes from the end.

But there could be no complaints at the outcome. New Zealand might also be fretting over a leg injury to key defender Liz Thompson in the first half.

''We were just poor with our basic skills today," Hager said. ''We need a few more players stepping up in tough times. Whether it's Olympic selection nerves I don't know but at the moment we've got two or three players playing well."

New Zealand need to beat the seventh-ranked United States in their final round robin game on Sunday morning to have a chance of playing for third place.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks women go down to Argentina for third loss at at Champions Trophy

Clay Wilson

Black Sticks midfielder Anita McLaren dives to contest possession with Argentina's Agustina Habif at the Champions Trophy in London. GETTY IMAGES

The Black Sticks women's hopes of playing for gold at the Champions Trophy in London have been ended by a 4-2 defeat to Argentina.

Needing victory to remain a chance of playing in the final of the prestigious six-team tournament, world No 4 New Zealand were outplayed by their second-ranked opponents on Thursday (Friday NZ time).

It was a disappointing performance from the Black Sticks following their gritty 1-0 win over Great Britain, which kept them in gold medal contention after earlier losses to the Netherlands and Australia.

New Zealand must beat world No 7 USA at 1am on Sunday (NZ time) to give themselves a chance of playing off for third.

"We're disappointed with the results, in the first half we lacked the energy and tempo required to play the style we needed to," Black Sticks assistant coach Sean Dancer said.

"In the second half we created opportunities to get back into the game, but unfortunately Argentina were able to make the most of theirs. We'll certainly be looking for a much better performance in our next game."

Argentina opened the scoring from their first penalty corner in the 10th minute, Kiwi goalkeeper Sally Rutherford left with no chance when Florencia Habif's sweep took a deflection of the stick of defender Liz Thompson.

But Rutherford could have prevented herself being beaten when the margin was doubled eight minutes into the second quarter, indecisively playing a harmless cross directly to Carla Rebecchi with an open goal at her mercy.

Rebecchi's second and her team's third goal early in the third stanza was much less clear-cut, the tight-angled reverse stick shot initially ruled out for back of the stick before being turned over on referral to the dismay of the New Zealanders.

The Kiwis did finally get on the board four minutes later thanks to slick lead-up play from Stacey Michelsen and a sharp turning shot from Sophie Cocks, but Maria Granatto restored the three-goal advantage early in the final quarter with a skilful solo run.

Olivia Merry scored a consolation goal for New Zealand with four minutes to play, knocking in a Kelsey Smith pass from the baseline following Anita McLaren's mazy run towards the circle.

Featuring the top four-ranked teams in the world, plus 2012 Olympic bronze medallists Great Britain, the Champions Trophy is the Black Sticks' final tournament before the Rio Olympics in August.

Meanwhile, the Black Sticks men have go down 2-0 to the Netherlands in the second test in Groningen.

The world No 2 Dutch, who won the first test against the eighth-ranked Kiwis 1-0, secured victory with goals from Constantijn Jonker in the fourth and 55th minute.

"We had four corners to their two, so we had a lot of possession in patches but couldn't break through a strong Dutch defence," New Zealand coach Colin Batch said.

"We are creating lots of chances. They're not easy chances but we need to take a step forward and learn how to convert them and score goals in these close matches we've been playing."

The third and final match of the series is played on Saturday (4.30am NZ time), before the Black Sticks head to Valencia for a Six Nations tournament with Spain, Germany, Argentina, India and Ireland.


Netherlands take out Hockeyroos

Sablowski, Claxton & Parker milestones

By Holly MacNeil

Australia have been defeated by the Netherlands at the Champions Trophy after fighting back in the final quarter with a field goal from Kathryn Slattery.

The milestone game for Hockeyroos Casey Sablowski (250 caps), Jane Claxton (100 caps) and Georgie Parker (100 caps), saw England’s weather at its best with non-stop rain throughout the match.

The Netherlands were first up for a penalty corner five minutes into the game. They missed the corner, but only a minute later Michelle van der Pol scored a field goal following a pass from Eva de Goede.

Australia fought back to get the next penalty corner opportunity, with a scramble at the net following and the ball being awarded back to the Netherlands.

With six minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Netherlands were up for another penalty corner opportunity. The initial chance was followed by a second opportunity but this was deflected by both Goalkeeper Rachael Lynch, and with a dive from captain Madonna Blyth that knocked the ball out of danger.

Going into the second quarter and Australia were up first for a penalty corner six minutes in. The first opportunity was quickly followed by a second, but neither were converted for the Hockeyroos. A video referral saw a third chance for the Australians but this opportunity was also missed.

The score going into half time remained at one nil with the Netherlands leading from Australia. The first minute into the third term saw the Netherlands up for a penalty corner, with the flick from Willemijn Bos extending the lead over Australia to 2 – nil.

Kathryn Slattery almost had Australia on the board with a field goal on a turn flying into the net, but it was disallowed for obstruction leaving the score going into the final quarter at Netherlands 2 – nil Australia.

Slattery gained control of the ball into the final quarter dribbling it down the pitch before passing to Jane Claxton in the circle. Claxton passed back to Slattery who nailed the ball into the net to get Australia’s first goal of the game.

Hockeyroos Head Coach Adam Commens said: “One of the things we tried to do was take a step closer to the Dutch, with the pitch the way it was, it made it very difficult for both teams. I thought that we competed really well.

“It’s been quite frustrating, we just can’t take a trick with our video umpiring – I thought it was a goal from Kathryn Slattery. It’s very frustrating for the players because they work very hard and we’ve had a bad run of luck with some umpiring decisions.”

Celebrating her 250th game for the Hockeyroos, Casey Sablowski said: “It was a really tight match, in really tough conditions. Hockey’s a really difficult game at the best of times, let alone when it’s pouring rain.

“It just showed that we have to capitalise our opportunities up front, and definitely can’t let them in with any chances at the back. We were pretty good and contested through the midfield and probably lacked a little bit of speed with the slow pitch out there tonight.”

Australia next play Great Britain on Saturday 25 June at 4pm BST / 11pm AWST / 1am AEST (Sunday 26).

Results today
ARG 4 – 2 NZL
AUS 1 – 2 NED
GBR 0 –  2 USA
Kathryn Slattery 51 (FG)

Michelle van der Pol 6 (FG) 
Willemijn Bos 31 (PC)

Hockeyroos’ squad v Netherlands
Madonna Blyth (Brisbane, QLD) 334/70
Jane Claxton (Adelaide, SA) 100/9
Jodie Kenny (Wamuran, QLD) 178/97
Rachael Lynch (Warrandyte, VIC) 149/0
Karri McMahon (Berri, SA) 102/9
Georgina Morgan (Armidale, NSW) 44/8
Georgie Parker (Berri, SA), 100/31
Brooke Peris (Darwin, NT) 93/13
Casey Sablowski (Albion Park, NSW) 250/44
Kathryn Slattery (South Stirling, WA) 54/16
Emily Smith (Crookwell, NSW) 155/62
Used Substitute
Edwina Bone (Evatt, ACT) 113/2
Kirsten Dwyer (Mackay, QLD) 106/2
Georgia Nanscawen (Melbourne, VIC) 181/35
Grace Stewart (Gerringong, NSW) 20/9
Mariah Williams (Parkes, NSW) 48/5

Unused Substitute
Gabrielle Nance (Kingscliff, SA) 36/2
Ashlee Wells (Morwell, VIC) 76/0

Hockeyroos’ Fixtures
Saturday 25 June: GBR v AUS | 4pm BST / 11pm AWST / 1am AEST (Sunday 26)
Sunday 26 June: Finals TBC

Hockey Australia media release

With a 2-0 Result, USWNT Leaves Pitch as Victors Against Great Britain

STRATFORD, London – In proper British fashion, dark gray clouds on the cusp of a downpour loomed above the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The London skies were offset by the glow of the towering stadium lights for U.S. Women's National Team's evening match against host nation Great Britain during the women's Hockey Champions Trophy 2016. At the conclusion of Team USA's fourth match of the event the score displayed a 2-0 victory.

The match began with Team USA holding space in their attacking territory in front of the opposition's fans sporting ponchos and waving Union Jack flags. Play transitioned into Great Britain’s offensive end where they earned their first penalty corner of the match in the 6th minute. Melissa Gonzalez (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) flew off the goal line to deny the initial shot, but the official granted Great Britain another corner that Jackie Briggs (Robesonia, Pa.) stepped up to deny. Still even at zeroes, from the top left of the circle, Emily Wold (Freehold, N.J.) sent a backhanded attempt that dinged the near post, trailing out of bounds and quizzing Great Britain’s defense. In the 13th minute, USA's aggressive forward line won the team's first penalty corner of the game. Rachel Dawson (Berlin, N.J.) ripped a low, direct drag flick that sparked a few rapid shots courtesy of eager USA sticks. Play persisted in the USA’s favor until in the 24th minute when the team earned a second penalty corner chance. Michelle Vittese's (Cherry Hill, N.J.) sharp shot had too much heat on it and sent the ball flying to the crossbar. Great Britain tried to chip away at USA’s options as the minutes grew with Team USA keeping steady possession in their attacking half. Their backfield structure compacted in size trying to narrow USA's passing channels.

On the opposite end of the pitch, Great Britain’s offense generate a goalmouth scramble, but Briggs dropped to the turf and remained solid against Great Britain’s shot. In the final minutes of the first half, Briggs boldly charged out of the cage to meet a Great Britain forward head on. The forward was able to slip a ball past Briggs’ reach but Caitlin Van Sickle (Wilmington, Del.) perfectly positioned herself to be inline with the attempt and record a defensive save. The first 30 minutes were scoreless.

"Our ability to keep grinding and trusting the process led us to today's win," said Gonzalez. "We've been knocking at the door, and the results finally fell. We have been hard nosed with each match we've contended here in London and the pressure paid off today. We put a collective 60 minutes together, not just on attack but defensively tidying up as well."

Heading into the third quarter, Team USA fought and won a penalty corner. Vittese's initial strike was tipped by Great Britain’s fly. A rebounded effort was sent from the top right of the circle but a Great Britain defender prevailed. In the 38th minute Vittese shielded the ball at the base line to pop it over a Great Britain defender's stick. Wold dove to redirect the ball into the cage changing the score USA 1, Great Britain 0.  Dashing with intent into their attacking end, the red, white and blue earned back-to-back penalty corners. Vittese's initial strike was rerouted by the tip of Great Britain’s stick and a rebounded effort was sent from the top right of the circle but a Great Britain defender made the save and clear.

In the 41st minute off of a penalty corner, an incoming straight shot was redirected by the angle of Kat Sharkey’s (Moosic, Pa.) stick. The ball caught Great Britain’s keeper off balance to secure another goal for the red, white and blue. With a new score of USA 2, Great Britain 0, Great Britain muscled their way into the attacking end but were met by Julia Reinprecht's (Perkasie, Pa.) solid defense to jab the ball off of the Great Britain’s possession. Vittese’s lightening fast run earned Team USA their fourth penalty corner. Vittese sent a quick sweep to the right post where Witmer anticipated the play. The redirection nearly crossed the goal line. A sense of urgency accompanied a scoreless Great Britain in the fourth quarter. Stefanie Fee (Virginia Beach, Va.) encountered a 1v1 situation with a Great Britain wing at the stroke mark. A hard drive was fired off, but Briggs cleanly kicked the ball to the sideline. A composed Team USA closed the match with a 2-0 victory.

"We came out with intent today," said Craig Parnham, U.S. Women's National Team Head Coach. "We were a little bit slower to get going in the first few games of the event. We improved against Holland and came out and improved again today with a faster start. As the game went on, it evened out with Great Britain creating more chances, but I thought we did a great job of defending penalty corners. We managed the game very well tonight."

The red, white and blue secured a 2-2 draw against Australia at the conclusion of the opening match of the tournament. Team USA's second game was recorded as a 1-4 loss to Argentina. The following match against 1st FIH World Ranked Holland resulted in another loss with a score of 1-4.

Team USA will play again Saturday, June 25 at 9:00 a.m. EST against New Zealand.

USFHA media release

Great Britain downed by USA in women’s Hockey Champions Trophy

Alex Dansons shot flashes wide of the USA goal. Credit Simon Parker.

Two goals in two minutes in the third quarter condemned Great Britain to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the USA in the women’s Hockey Champions Trophy. A 39th minute strike from Emily Wold, swiftly followed by Kathleen Sharkey’s penalty corner goal handed the Stars and Stripes their first win of the competition and left Danny Kerry’s side rooted to the foot of the table.

The first quarter was played at a ferocious pace. Great Britain started with real attacking intent and won the first penalty corner of the match. Giselle Ansley’s strike was charged down by the runner with a re-award the outcome. Ansley drag flicked the next corner but was thwarted by a good diving save Jackie Briggs. Both sides battled for control of the midfield and it wasn’t until late on in the half that the USA threatened. They won a penalty corner which Rachel Dawson fed in for a deflection but GB defended stoutly to see it off. The USA won another penalty corner in the dying embers of the opening period. Michelle Vitesse hit the ball in off the bar but it was too high for the first shot and no goal was given.

The second quarter was Great Britain’s. A good run from Alex Danson caused havoc in the USA defence but Briggs was on hand to block. Georgie Twigg called the goalkeeper into action again moments later as Danny Kerry’s side ramped up the pressure. They were a whisker away from the opener as Danson beat two defenders and smashed a shot just wide of the far post. Lily Owsley went even closer just before the end of the quarter. Her mesmerising skills worked an opening allowing her to get a shot away. Briggs got a block on it but as it looped towards goal she was helped out by Caitlin van Sickle who cleared off the line.

USA almost had the lead early in the second half. Maddie Hinch made a stunning save and scrambled the ball away from danger. From the resultant penalty corner USA worked a slip move but Hannah Macleod read it and made a splendid block. Danson started to look threatening again, breaking along the baseline well but Briggs met her head on and kept her out. With six minutes to go till the end of the quarter, the USA took the lead. Michelle Vitesse broke into the circle and although she was halted by Hinch, the ball popped up and was forced in by Wold from close range. Things went from bad to worse just two minutes later. Dawson’s penalty corner was deflected in by Sharkey to make it 2-0.

The hosts threw everything they had at the USA in the final quarter as they searched for a way back into the game. Sophie Bray’s mazy run caused the US defence havoc but she could not find the finish. Owsley hit a snap shot on the turn which was blocked by Briggs and then Ansley and Helen Richardson-Walsh were both left frustrated from consecutive penalty corners. Danson stung the goalkeeper’s pads with a fierce shot in a frantic final few minutes before Sam Quek brought another good stop from Briggs off a penalty corner. Despite Great Britain’s final quarter barrage, there was to be no way through and the USA took the win.

The defeat leaves Great Britain requiring a win over Australia on Saturday by three clear goals to make the bronze medal match. The final on Sunday will be contested by Netherlands and Argentina after both picked up wins today over Australia and New Zealand, respectively.

Lily Owsley told Great Britain Hockey afterwards:

“The first thing to say is we’re focusing on sticking together as a team. We believe this has no reflection on how we will do at Rio. It’s important to keep believing and keep doing what we do and it’ll come together at the right time.”

“Everything’s there it’s just not quite happening. It’s not clicking. It’s not anything we need to worry about it’s just that things aren’t going our way. A few cards, shots, chances not quite falling for us but these things happen in sport. We need to put them right and step up.”

“Everyone in the team has gone through worse and experienced tough times and we know how to deal with them and how to overcome them. We will lift each other and it’s important that we do that.”

“We’ve played Australia six times already this year so we know each other well. It’ll be tactical and physical but it’ll come down to fitness and preparation and we believe we can do it. It’s tough but if we come together we can do it.”

Great Britain 0 (0)

USA 2 (0)
Emily Wold 39 (FG)
Kathleen Sharkey 41 (PC)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Brexit the medal games

By Mike Haymonds

GREAT BRITAIN’S women slumped to a third successive defeat, by 2-0 to the USA, which dropped them to last place after the penultimate round of pool matches at the Investec Champions Trophy in the Olympic Park.

The USA goals came in a two-minute spell in the third quarter from Emily Wold and a penalty corner strike by Kathleen Sharkey to give their side a first win and left GB as the only winless team as well as goalless in their last three games.

GB’s cause was not helped by Nicola White and Georgie Twigg collecting yellow cards within five minutes of each other in the third quarter, between which the Americans scored both goals.

It was only the USA’s seventh win in 34 meetings between the sides after failing to win in the last 16 games.

For the Americans’ coach British-born Craig Parnham, the former GB women’s assistant coach, it was a memorable return to the venue where he had a part in GB’s bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics.

The statistics – other than the final score – were virtually all in GB’S favour for possession, shots and circle penetrations with the USA’s only advantage being in penalty corners (6 to 5). So GB now have the unenviable record of failing to convert any of 12 corners in the tournament.

GB face third placed Australia in tomorrow’s final round robin game, needing a win by three clear goals to make the bronze medal match.

GB’S Lily Owsley said: “We’re focusing on sticking together as a team. We believe this has no reflection on how we will do at Rio. It’s important to keep believing and keep doing what we do and it’ll come together at the right time.

“Everything’s there, it’s just not quite happening. It’s not clicking. It’s not anything we need to worry about, it’s just that things aren’t going our way. A few cards, shots, chances not quite falling for us but these things happen in sport. We need to put things right and step up.

“Everyone in the team has gone through worse and experienced tough times and we know how to deal with them and how to overcome them. We will lift each other and it’s important that we do that.

“We’ve played Australia six times already this year so we know each other well. It will be physical and tactical but it will come down to fitness and preparation and we believe we can do it. It’s tough but if we come together we can do it”

The top two world ranked teams Holland (1) and Argentina (2) have already qualified for Sunday’s final.

Daily Express

Women Champions Trophy: Argentina-Netherlands are on top

B.G.Joshi (India, in London)

The finalists in the last 7 consecutive Champions Trophy is the hallmark for Argentina,  whereas Netherlands have had a podium finish in the last 19 tournaments. Both of these giants in Hockey have won the Champions Trophy on 6 occasions. After the completions of 4 league matches both have qualified for  this Sunday’s final. In the Champions Trophy, they both have played 21 times winning 7 times each,  and drawing  7 times. They have fared 8 times in the FIH’s tournaments finals against each other and they both have shared the honour of triumphs on 4 occasions each. The details are:








World Cup

1-0 in extra time




Champions Trophy





World Cup

1-1,Tie Breaker 5-4




Champions Trophy





Champions Trophy





World Cup





Champions Trophy

3-3 Tie Breaker 3-2









Black Sticks surrender series to Netherlands

Photo: www.worldsportpics.com

The Black Sticks Men have been defeated 2-0 by the Netherlands in game two of their three-test series in Groningen.

The Kiwis had plenty of ball against the world number two side but weren’t able to find the back of the net, the result securing a series win for the Dutch with game three still to play tomorrow.

The Netherlands were led by a double from Constantijn Jonker, who scored goals in the fourth and 55th minutes.

Despite the loss it was a special day for Black Sticks defender Blair Tarrant who brought up his 150th international cap.

Head coach Colin Batch said his side played well on defence but need to be better at scoring goals in tight matches.

“We had four corners to their two, so we had a lot of possession in patches but couldn’t break through a strong Dutch defence,” he said.

“We are creating lots of chances. They’re not easy chances but we need to take a step forward and learn how to convert them and score goals in these close matches we’ve been playing.”

The Black Sticks play their third and final match of the series against Netherlands at 4:30am tomorrow (NZ time).

Following the Dutch series the Black Sticks head to a Six Nations tournament in Valencia where their opening game is against Spain on Tuesday 28 June at 6am (NZ time).

Hockey New Zealand have arranged for all Black Sticks games at the Six Nations to be streamed LIVE through www.hockeynz.co.nz and www.blacksticks.co.nz

NETHERLANDS 2: (Constantijn Jonker 2)
Halftime: Netherlands 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

Canadian women come up short in opening match of Japanese series

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s Brienne Stairs competes against Japan at the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand (Courtesy of: Hawke’s Bay Festival of Hockey)

Canada’s women’s field hockey team dropped a 3-0 decision to the 10th ranked Japanese women in the opening match of a four-game series Thursday in Osaka.

The Japanese team, which is headed to the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil and recently named its roster for the Games, is nearing the end of its preparation for Rio and has been active in Australia and Europe over the last several weeks.

For Canada, currently ranked 19th in the world, it was the first game action since taking part in the 2016 Hawke’s Bay Cup in New Zealand in early April.

The two teams met during pool play in New Zealand, with the Japanese coming out on top 6-2.

Thursday’s re-match saw improvement from the Canadians, who played well in passages according to head coach Ian Rutledge.

“We will be looking to extend and combine into more consistent performances as the tour progresses,” Rutledge said post-game.

Japan’s Ayaka Nishimura scored the game’s first goal in the 11th minute on a penalty corner and followed that up with goals in the second and third quarters from Hazuki Nagai and Minami Shimizu.

The two teams met again Saturday at 2:30pm in Osaka (1:30am ET on Saturday, 10:30pm PT on Friday).

Field Hockey Canada media release

Dutch defeat for GB U23 Men

GB U23 Men v Ned, June 21 2016

A strong Netherlands team got the better of Great Britain Under-23 Men at the Futures 2020 Invitational Tournament in Nottingham Hockey Centre on Thursday, running out 5-1 winners.

The performance was a world away from Tuesday's match where GB beat the Netherlands 6-1.

After Lukas Sutorius put the Dutch ahead after five minutes, Ben Francis scored for GB in the ninth minute with a sliding deflection after good work by Peter Scott.

However, Noub Schoenaker scored for the Netherlands after 15 minutes and they held that lead until half time.

Things got no better for GB in the second half, with Bram Van Groeson scoring on 40 minutes from a penalty corner, before Tijn Lissone added another on 49 minutes from open play.

Finally, Van Groesen scored his second five minutes from the end from, a penalty corner to seal the win.

“It was a really disappointing performance after Tuesday’s game,” said coach Kwan Browne. “The lads didn’t perform to the expected level and we will look to put things right in Friday’s final game.”

Great Britain U23 Men 1(1)
Netherlands U23 Men 5 (2)

Great Britain Hockey media release

GB U23 Women lose out to the Netherlands

GB U23 Women

Great Britain Under-23 Women turned in a strong defensive performance against the Netherlands in their final performance at the Futures 2020 Invitational Tournament at the Nottingham Hockey Centre on Thursday afternoon.

Head Coach Colin Clarke was pleased with the team’s performance which saw them hold the Dutch threat at bay from penalty corners and battle through the second period without conceding.

“Our performance was significantly better than yesterday,” said Clarke, referring to their 6-0 defeat to Australia. “The Dutch are a top team and they challenged us, but our defensive platform – especially in the second half – was excellent, and the girls were a strong cohesive unit.

“The tournament has enabled us to play against the best teams in the world and we now know the areas we need to focus on moving forward. We’ve played four games in five days which is a tough schedule, but it has given the team invaluable experience which will make them better players going forwards.”

The Netherlands took the lead after just four minutes through Yentl Leemans, and captain Marijn Veen scoring their second after 12 minutes – again from open play.

Leemans bagged her second on 31 minutes from open play, but the Dutch efforts to extend their lead were thwarted as GB’s defence got the measure of them at penalty corner routines.

Goalkeeper Nicky Cochrane made some top class saves at crucial times in the match and – as they have throughout the tournament – captain Grace Balsdon and vice-captain Emily Defroand led the team excellently.

The women’s tournament comes to an end with a match between the Netherlands and Australia on Friday morning at 10am.

Great Britain U23 Women 0 (0)
Netherlands U23 Women 3 (3)

Great Britain Hockey media release

Shepherd: compete and improve is the target against Spain

Kareena Marshall on 98 caps is expected to get her 100th

Selection for a four nations tournament in Ireland later this summer is on the line as Scotland’s senior women’s squad play Spain in four internationals in Alicante next week.

Sarah Jamieson of Dundee side Grove Menzieshill and Lucy Lanigan, who plays for CALA Edinburgh, could receive their first caps and Head Coach Gordon Shepherd’s squad includes three co-captains. One of them, Kareena Marshall (Western Wildcats), is on 98 caps and is expected to reach 100 on the trip.

Scotland play Rio Olympics-bound Spain on Monday and Tuesday (both at 6.30pm) and have a rest day on Wednesday before games on Thursday and Friday, both at 12.30 in the heat of the day.

Six players are from Clydesdale Western and four from Division One champions Edinburgh University are included and Glasgow-based, but Dundee-born, Shepherd said: “We know a bit about Spain having played them last year in Madrid. They will be very fast and physical and this will be a good challenge for our young squad.

“Spain are going to the Olympics so it will be good to see where we stand in relation to them. My hopes for the week are to be competitive and look for improvement as the week goes on.”

Looking at the new caps, Shepherd said: “I wouldn’t say they have a point to prove. They, like the whole squad, will be looking to perform at the higher level and put themselves in contention for selection for the Ireland Four Nations tournament at start of August.”

SQUAD: Nicola Cochrane, Lucy Camlin, Amy Brodie, Becky Merchant (co-captain) (Edinburgh University), Kareena Marshall (Western Wildcats, co-captain), Rebecca Ward, Charlotte Watson (Dundee Wanderers co-captain), Susan McGilveray, Alison Howie, Heather Howie, Jennifer Eadie, Millie Brown, Heather Lang (Clydesdale Western), Amy Costello, Bex Condie (Birmingham University), Emily Newlands (Watsonians), Robyn Collins (Surbiton), Nicola Skrastin (Mannheimer HC, Germany), Kate Holmes, Fiona Burnet (Clifton HC), Nikki Lloyd (Wimbledon HC), Katie Robertson, Sarah Jamieson (Grove Menzieshill), Lucy Lanigan, Emma McGregor (CALA Edinburgh).

Scottish Hockey Union media release

Hockey world celebrates Olympic Day 2016

On 23 June the world celebrates Olympic Day - a celebration which is much more than just a sports event. It is a day for the world to get active, learn about Olympic values and discover new sports.

Several weeks ago, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) reached out to National Associations in a bid to coordinate joined up global activity to celebrate hockey on this day. Since then, details about all of their plans have been coming in. More than 40 countries have developed special hockey programmes for this year’s Olympic Day. Here are some of the highlights:

The National Hockey Association of Afghanistan has organised numerous hockey events on Olympic Day aimed at promoting their sport by involving schools, teams and their coaches and parents. With the support of their National Olympic Committee, their main activities will focus on Hockey5s events held in Kabul and Khust.

The upcoming Olympic Games in Rio have been leveraged in Brazil to promote hockey in five different states on the same day,including at the Olympic hockey facilities in Rio. Prominent support has come from the players of the Brazilian men's hockey national team that will represent Brazil in the Olympic Games. They will be involved in various activities, such as hockey clinics for children, teenagers, and adults.

Hockey India has organised special hockey matches that will take place in all their member state units for participants from all walks of life, different ages, abilities and gender. It is about raising awareness of the Olympic Games; increasing participation in the sport; drawing people's attention to healthy lifestyles; and encouraging gender equality.

Between 18 and 26 June, the Pakistan Hockey Federation has conducted a number of activities to support Olympic Day 2016.

Hockey5s competitions have been taking place at the National Hockey Stadium and the Hockey Stadium Johor Town, Lahore. Gold medallist Olympians and hockey world champions have strongly supported the project and acted as an inspiration and role models for the young athletes. Families have attended the matches along with officials from the Pakistan Olympic Association, media and government officials (including the Minister for Sports Punjab). The women's hockey team has also participated in the activities and encouraged young talent to adopt sports as part of their healthy lifestyles.

In addition to this, summer camps have been organised in Shahdrah town (Lahore), Shaikhupura city and in Sukkar District. In total, more than 2,000 local citizens will be targeted for the promotion of Olympic Day through hockey competitions and these summer camps.

In addition, Hockey5s tournaments will be organised in two rehabilitation facilities (Wazirabad and Karachi) for patients suffering from drug addiction. This is to provide those patients with a healthy perspective in a bid to divert them from drug abuse and, possibly, to become sources of inspiration for local citizens.

Portugal already promoted this year's biggest hockey day on 18 June which saw lots of different matches and fun activities taking place, ranging from development to elite level. ParaHockey was integrated as well.

This year, the Portuguese Hockey Federation tried to reach out to as many people as possible, including hockey players and new participants alike, coming from local communities and schools and regardless of age, gender or ability.

They also integrated parents, umpires, coaches, volunteers, supporters, managers and athletes, with ages ranging from four years old up to over 70, and let them experience, first hand, the hockey spirit and Olympic values.

Hockey5s competitions involving under eights and under 11 age groups took place as well, with seven participating teams, coming from different parts of the country.

Last but not least, all the participants had access to the best of the best, through free access to two elite matches: the women's Portuguese Cup Final and then the men's Portuguese Cup final.

Level 1 Basic Coaching courses have been taking place from 18 June to 23 June, targeting more than 40 male and female physical education teachers. In addition to the course, participants were given the opportunity to learn, play and celebrate hockey during a tournament called “Challenge Cup”.

On the final day, Olympic Day, the new coaches will graduate and be equipped to start teaching hockey in their schools.

The Tanzania Hockey Association held a two day Hockey5s event on 18-19 June that involved a wide range of age groups. The tournament helped create further awareness of hockey which will hopefully help to boost participation in the sport throughout the country.

The Vanuatu Hockey Federation has planned a one-day tournament that will bring schools from eight different villages to the capital city. All teams will be of mixed gender (minimum of four girls per squad and two on the field at all times), all of whom will be aged 13 and under.

The competition will give participants the chance to compete against other schools for the first time and enjoy the excitement of competing and representing their school/town or island.

The Federation will also work closely with a local youth centre for underprivileged children who cannot afford to attend school. They will be entering a team. Educators of that same centre we will open the tournament with a educational session regarding health and nutrition.

A practice match of the national men's team, to showcase the sport at the top level to young people, will complement the day.

With only 42 days to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, hockey fans also joined in the Olympic Day celebrations at the women's Hockey Champions Trophy taking place in London, Great Britain.

There, fans and athletes joined in a number of activities, including a giant crowd flag and as well as various social media activities with Olympians, past and present. You can see much more on the FIH Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
For more information about Olympic Day, click here.

If you're involved, make sure you use the hashtag #OlympicDay

Full list of countries undertaking hockey activity on Olympic Day:

Africa: Sierra Leone; Tanzania.
Asia: Uzbekistan;Pakistan;India;Vietnam;Nepal;Bangladesh;Indonesia;Afghanistan;Chinese Taipei;Tajikistan; Cambodia; Singapore; Hong Kong; Thailand; Macau; Japan; China; Brunei; Macau; Qatar; Iran; UAE; Saudi Arabia; Oman.
Europe: Lithuania; Portugal; Scotland; Luxembourg; Netherlands.
Oceania: Vanuatu; Australia; Solomon Islands; Tonga.
Pan-America: Brazil; Chile; Peru.

FIH site

PHF Celebrates Olympic Day in a Befitting Manner

Olympians XI line up for the match

Under the floodlights of world’s largest hockey stadium in Lahore, three exhibition matches were organized by the Pakistan Hockey Federation to celebrate the Olympic Day.

The president of Pakistan Olympic Association, Lt General (rtd) Syed Arif Hasan was the chief guest. A reasonable crowd was in attendance.

The first match was between two teams made out of girls of RAWAH hockey academy.  The sides were named Pakistan Olympic Association and Pakistan Hockey Federation. As it was a game between young girls, mostly school students, they fought out a good contest which was enjoyed by the crowd.

The second game was played between the Punjab Sports Board and a combined side of coaches, umpires and technical officials involved in the ongoing OGDCL 5-a side tournament at the same venue.

But the friendly match which evoked a lot of nostalgia was the one between the Olympians XI and the Media XI. Decorated Olympians, World Cup winners and no less than five former national captains were seen in action. These included Illustrious names of Pakistan hockey such as Tahir Zaman, Waseem Feroze, Khawaja Junaid, Usman Sheikh, Kamaran Ashraf, Naveed Alam, Dr Atif Bashir, Qasim Khan, M. Sarwar, Rehan Butt, Qamar Ibrahim. Some of them were still fit enough to display the game reminding spectators of their halcyon days.

Special gifts/souvenirs were presented to the families  at the stadium by the former hockey greats who appreciated this fine gesture.

Lt General (rtd) Arif Hasan praised the PHF for holding the Olympic day in such a wonderful manner. He also lauded the steps of the PHF to put the national game in right track to enable Pakistan hockey regain its lost glory. He said, ‘Hockey is the only sport which has given us golds and silvers at the Olympics. We all hope that it reaches those heights again.”

PHF Media release

Olympians, PHF officials join hands with POA

Mohammad Yaqoob

LAHORE: A good number of speakers including former hockey Olympians on Thursday rued Pakis­tan’s non-representation at the Rio Games 2016 and, in a bid to resurrect the sports in the country, have deci­ded to collaborate with the Pakis­tan Olympic Association (POA).

In a function hosted by POA to celebrate the Olympic Day here on Thursday, association’s president retired Lt Gen Arif Hasan welcomed the re-entry of the PHF in the fold and said it was a welcome sign for sports in Pakistan.

Arif said the country needs a strong base for the sports which could only be built with a clear and strong vision of the government which has the resources to reach even at the tehsil and village levels.
Resurrection of sports

He said France and England had old rivalry in all fields and the former finally discovered that reason behind the latter’s domination was its strong base for sports at the school level. He added that many developed countries had been putting special emphasis on the importance of economy and sports but, unfortunately, sports in Pakistan have been totally neglected.

Seniormost hockey Olympian Manzoor-ul-Hassan Sr said it was unfortunate that for the last many years due to security fears, Pakistan could not host sports events of international level and that was one of the reasons behind its decline in sports. “Now it is time that all of us should ignore the past and move forward with a clear vision to bring back all the glories,” said Manzoor Sr.

He lamented that the fight between two groups of the POA proved fatal for sports. “But now the POA president Arif should not waste this opportunity which he has earned after winning the elections once again this year.”

Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Shahbaz Senior, Olympians Khawaja Junaid, Tahir Zaman, Salim Nazim, Mohammad Usman, Navied Alam, former PHF secretary retired Brig Mussaratullah Khan, Pakistan Federation Baseball chairman Shaukat Javed and Punjab Olympic Association secretary Khawaja Idrees all spoke on the occasion.

Shahbaz said that Olympic Games bear a lot of meaning for every athlete as he or she could not be considered as a complete player without competing at the Olympics.

“I really feel for those current players who would miss the Rio Olympics 2016 and they are in such an age that they might not be able to get selected for the next edition of the Olympics,” observed Shahbaz.

Tahir said every year the POA should organise a day of sports, in which set targets by all the federations must be reviewed.

POA secretary Khalid Mahmood also welcomed the arrival of the PHF in the function. He said no doubt hockey was still the national game of the country and the POA wants to see this game to again qualify for the Olympics. He praised the fact that big players of the past like Manzoor Senior, Tahir Zaman and Shahbaz Senior were also attending the function and termed it as a big achievement for POA function.

Pakistan Federation Baseball chairman Shaukat Javed lamented that the tussle among different groups of POA in the past had severely dented the promotion of sports and Pakistan could not qualify for any sports at the Rio Games.

He said at least Pakistan had been prided itself for its participation in the Olympics through hockey but even that has not happened.

He welcomed the return of the PHF into the POA fold but regretted that no official of Akram Sahi’s Athletics Federation of Pakistan (AFP) was attending the function.

The officials of karate, weightlifting, rifle shooting, handball, wrestling, wushu, volleyball, gymnastics, baseball, cycling and of many other federations were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, POA secretary Khalid said that after the holy of month of Ramazan, the POA would advise all the sports federations to stage some events to celebrate the Olympics Day.


Quetta stun Faisalabad in 5-a-side Hockey

LAHORE - Quetta Warriors caused the biggest upset of the event by halting the unbeaten run of fancied Faisalabad Falcons with a well-deserving 3-2 victory in the OGDCL 5-a-side Hockey Tournament here on Wednesday night at the National Hockey Stadium under floodlights.

In the other two matches, Islamabad Fighters thumped Karachi Sharks 6-3 for their fourth consecutive win while Lahore Lions registering an impressive 5-2 triumph over hapless Peshawar Panthers, who have now lost all their four matches.

In the first match of the night, Quetta shocked Faisalabad, dubbed as favourites to win the event, with a better display of quality hockey.

Quetta appeared well prepared for this encounter and their most energetic player Rizwan put them ahead in the third minute.

The goal fired up the tempo and good pole-to-pole game was witnessed.

It was Rizwan again, who doubled the lead in the second period, with another superlative reverse hit.

Faisalabad were now desperate for goal which came their way early in the third period through Abu Bakr's long well placed hit.

Thereafter, they made a number of attacks and finally captain Dilber Hussain made it 2-2 with a good flick from a difficult position with just two minutes to go.
It seemed the two sides would leave the ground with one point each.

But, there was a twist in the story.

The irresistible Rizwan, who was declared man of the match, sent a superb cross which was availed by Quetta's captain Kashif Ali to give his side a well-deserved 3-2 win.

In the second encounter, Islamabad were at full strength with their injured internationals Arslan Qadir and Ejaz back in action.

They dominated the first period and were 3-0 up when first 12 minutes finished with two goals coming from hat-trick maker, Arslan Qadir.

They added a fourth goal early in the second period and then slowed the proceedings.

When Islamabad made it 5-0 just two minutes into the third period, it seemed all over for Karachi.

But the Sharks refused to go down tamely and recovered magnificently.

In a four minute spell, they put in three goals with M Asif scoring two beautiful goals.

At 5-3, Islamabad breathed a sigh of relief when Rizwan Senior netted their sixth goal.

It was a match between two teams in the bottom, the 4th placed Lahore and the last placed Peshawar.

Lions roared at the start and took lead with the third-minute goal through Afzar Yaqoob, the maternal grandson of 1964 Olympic silver medallist Afzal Manna.

Peshawar's first good combined move resulted in equalizer through Faisal Rasheed.

Lahore repeatedly raided the opponent's goal and finally Rana Sohail made it 2-1 a minute before the end of the first period.

Peshawar wasted a 1 vs.1 Challenge early in the second period.

Lahore exerted a lot of pressure and Faizan Jonty netted his team's third goal.

Peshawar created a few good chances just before the end of the second period but the goal eluded them.

In the third period, Emad Butt scored his side's fourth goal off a wonderful Rana Sohail pass.

Then his own long pass was beautifully turned in by Usman Malik through a reverse hit.

1-5 down, the wounded Panthers looked desperate to salvage some pride and made frequent raids.

Amjad Ali Khan's strong push beat the Lahore goal keeper.

The Nation

Flanagan eligible for Rio

AOC rules Anna Flanagan can be nominated for Olympic selection

Australian Olympic Committee statement

Anna Flanagan is eligible for selection in the Australian Olympic Team for Rio after the AOC considered her drink driving conviction.
In a letter to Flanagan, the AOC confirmed “that you remain eligible for ongoing membership of the Shadow Team, and, if nominated, selection for the 2016 Australian Olympic Team”.

Flanagan, a member of the Australian Women’s Hockey Team, was charged with drink driving in March this year.

She failed to disclose the charge to Hockey Australia and the Australian Olympic Committee.

The Shadow Team Agreement, which all athletes must sign, stipulates that athletes must disclose any serious offence or pending legal cases. Flanagan signed her AOC Shadow Team form in May but did not disclose the drink driving matter.

Her lawyers argued that the form related to “serious offences” only and advised her she was not required to disclose the charge.

The AOC reminded Flanagan of her responsibilities under the Agreement.

“As you are aware, being part of an Australian Olympic Team is an honour and a privilege, and is subject to very high standards of conduct. Members of the Shadow Team and the Australian Olympic Team are bound by a series of obligations relating to behaviour, including conducting oneself in a manner consistent with the values and standards expected of an Australian Olympian”. 

Hockey Australia media release

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