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News for 18 August 2016

All the news for Thursday 18 August 2016

Women's field hockey semifinal recap

By Hayley Tafuro

Recapping every moment of the women's field hockey semifinal matches in Rio.

Great Britain Moves to Gold Medal Match

Great Britain earned a 3-0 win over New Zealand behind two goals from Alex Danson, securing its spot in the gold medal match.

The game stayed even through the first quarter, with both teams having opportunities to get on the board.

Great Britain was the first to capitalize. Danson scored on a rebounded penalty corner shot to give her team the 1-0 lead at halftime.

The third quarter remained scoreless. Team GB suffered a couple of injuries, and New Zealand kept up the attack on offense.

As time wound down in the third, the Black Sticks had a huge opportunity when Great Britain goalkeeper Maddie Hinch came out of the cage to challenge the shot. The ball slid past her, but the Great Britain defense came up with a key clear out of the circle to prevent the even score.

Both sides were feeling the pressure with the score so close and a full quarter left to play.

Great Britain had a breakaway chance when Helen Richardson-Walsh got the ball. New Zealand team captain Kayla Whitelock’s play to prevent the goal was too aggressive, and Richardson-Walsh earned the penalty stroke.

She nailed it to put Great Britain up 2-0 early in the fourth quarter.

Team GB earned a second penalty stroke after Lily Owsley had a path to the cage. Owsley went down, and Danson took the shot in her place. She converted to give Great Britain a commanding 3-0 lead with just under nine minutes to go in the game.

New Zealand could not find a way to come back from the lead Great Britain built up. They will play in the bronze medal match against Germany.

Great Britain, the defending bronze medalist, is already guaranteed a better finish than they had in London. They will take on the two-time defending gold medalist Netherlands on Friday.

Dutch Win in Dramatic Shootout vs. Germany

Ellen Hoog sent the Netherlands to the gold medal match scoring the game-winning goal in a 4-3 sudden death shootout win over Germany.

After ending leveled at 1-1, it came down to a penalty shootout. Both teams started out with makes, but things looked shaky for the Dutch who missed their next two goals in a row.

Germany missed three in a row to follow, which put the shootout into sudden death mode. Both teams put one into the cage, sending it into yet another sudden death round.

After Joyce Sombroek made the stop on a Germany shot, in came Hoog, who had missed her first attempt in the shootout. She drilled it, which sealed her team’s shot at a third consecutive gold medal.

Germany proved to be the biggest test the Netherlands had faced in the tournament thus far.

The Germans went up on the Dutch in the first quarter after a goal from Lisa Schutze, but Dutch captain Maartje Paumen tied it up early in the second with a drag flick shot on a penalty corner attempt.

For the second half of play, the Netherlands pounded at the Germany defense. The Dutch dominated the possession clock, and thought they had a goal when Ellen Hoog sent one soaring into the cage. However, it would be too high and disallowed, keeping the score even at one goal.

Germany’s defense held strong to send the game into a penalty shootout, where Hoog and Sombroek brought in the victory for the Dutch.

NBC Olympics

British women's hockey team sets up gold medal showdown with Netherlands

By Jonathan Powell

Great Britain celebrate their 3-0 semi-final victory over New Zealand (Photo: Getty Images/David Rogers)

  • Dutch trying to become first team to win three consecutive Olympic titles
  • British women's hockey team sets up gold medal showdown with Netherlands

Great Britain and the Netherlands will fight for the women's hockey gold medal at Rio 2016 after winning through their semi-finals on Wednesday (17 August).

The Dutch will try to become the first team to win three consecutive Olympic titles, after they edged Germany 4-3 in a shoot-out.

Great Britain produced an upset by beating New Zealand 3-0 to qualify for their first ever Olympic final. Rio-time updates: follow the action with our daily live blog

Dutch star Ellen Hoog missed earlier in the shoot-out, but ended up scoring the game-winner. "At first I had some doubts because I missed the first one, but I thought, 'Well, I'm not going to miss twice'.

"So I trusted and I felt that the team trusted me as well, but after I scored it, I didn't know what was going on. The biggest feeling I think is relief."

Great Britain's Helen Richardson-Walsh was thrilled with their historic achievement. "I'm over the moon," she said. "What an outstanding game that was and now we're going to the final. We've beaten a very, very good side pretty convincingly and we've got one more game. That's seven from seven (wins), we want eight from eight."

Rio 2016 Official site

Great Britain going for gold after semi-final win over New Zealand

Helen Richardson Walsh celebrates

Great Britain guaranteed an Olympic medal after a commanding 3-0 win over New Zealand in the semi final in Rio. A double strike from Alex Danson and a penalty stroke from Helen Richardson-Walsh saw off the Blacksticks and set up a clash with the Netherlands, who were winners over Germany in the earlier match.

Great Britain started the match with great intensity. Their high press put the Blacksticks defence under pressure and allowed Susannah Townsend and Sophie Bray to threaten with a series of darting runs in and around the circle. New Zealand forced the first clear chance of the match on ten minutes via a penalty corner. Elizabeth Thompson fired the ball in, looking to find Gemma Flynn at the far post but she was unable to get the touch. The Blacksticks were growing in confidence and their speedy attack put GB on the back foot. Kate Richardson-Walsh produced an impeccable tackle on the edge of the circle to halt a foray forwards from Anita McLaren before Petrea Webster shot wide on the turn from near the top of the circle. Danny Kerry’s side won their first penalty corner just before the break but the fierce flick from Crista Cullen was well saved by Sally Rutherford.  

Great Britain started the second quarter on the front foot. Some lovely approach play from Lily Owsley almost set up Bray but she couldn’t quite get a touch on the pass. Owsley was starting to cause the Blacksticks real problems and linked well with Helen Richardson-Walsh to earn Great Britain a penalty corner. Laura Unsworth took the shot but her effort was touched wide by the defender.

With 22 minutes on the clock, Danny Kerry’s side got their noses in front. Another penalty corner was the source of the opening goal. Cullen’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper but Danson was quickest to react, stabbing the ball home from close range for her fourth goal of the competition. The Blacksticks reply was immediate but Maddie Hinch was on hand to snake out a right foot to save Flynn’s snapshot. The Kiwis were a whisker away from an equaliser just before the break but McLaren’s drag flick flew wide of the post. 

New Zealand had another penalty corner in the first minute of the second half. Kayla Whitelock played it in but Kate Richardson-Walsh stood firm with some stout defending. The next corner they tried the same routine but Cullen was out quickly to charge it down. Great Britain lost Cullen and then Georgie Twigg to injuries in quick succession as the physicality of the high stakes game started to take its toll. Both returned to the fray shortly afterwards having received some running repairs. Great Britain almost extended their lead from a penalty corner. Giselle Ansley played a great pass towards Helen Richardson-Walsh for the deflection but Brooke Neal got a touch to nick it away from her. There was a heart in mouth moment at the other end as the clock counted down to quarter time. Olivia Merry found herself clean through but Hinch blocked bravely before Townsend calmly cleared the danger.   

Three minutes into the final quarter Danny Kerry’s team grabbed the all-important second goal. Some lovely link up play between Danson and Helen Richardson-Walsh freed the latter who was through on goal. A combination of Rutherford and Kayla Whitelock felled her and a penalty stroke was given. The Great Britain No8 dusted herself down and coolly slotted the ball in for her fourth goal of the tournament. Great Britain added another just four minutes later, again from the penalty spot. Owsley carved open the New Zealand defence and was brought down, the umpire pointed to the spot again. This time Danson stepped up and made no mistake, matching her total from the 2012 Olympics with her fifth goal of the Games. Danny Kerry’s side switched to a half court press for the closing stages and were able to close out the game for a famous win, a guaranteed medal and a place in the final against the Netherlands.   

Great Britain’s next match is the final on 19 August live on BBC One against the Netherlands, at 9pm

Alex Danson, Great Britain striker:

“To come away from a semi-final and to be going into a final is unbelievable. But you can’t forget what’s got us here. It’s been one game at a time, building momentum, recovering and playing again. We’ve got one more to play and we won’t change anything about how we prepare.

“There are a number of us who have learnt from some heavy defeats over the last few years. You have them at the back of your mind but actually this tournament has been very much about us and the opposition and taking it one game at a time.

“I believe we have the best tacticians in the world on our management staff and we have very intelligent players who are able to put that on to the field. That’s won us games here – concentrating for the entire 60 minutes and knowing what our roles are.

“We’ve played together and been tight as a unit so to come away with a win is just incredible. There was a bit of relief on my penalty although I think Helen’s [Richardson-Walsh] stroke before that was the most amount of pressure ever and she did such a fantastic job to put it away.”

Danny Kerry, Great Britain

“That makes us the most successful GB women’s team ever at an Olympics. But there’s still one more game to go and they’re going to keep their feet on the ground.”

“They executed brilliantly today. They absolutely played how they’d been set out to do it and it really paid dividends. I was really proud of them playing under pressure in the second half. They kept playing forward trying to take opportunities and I’m really proud of that.”

“Holland in the final – they’ve probably got a bit of a point to prove after the England team and the Europeans. I think it will be a tight, cagey affair. They have some talented players and they will probably start as red-hot favourites but we like it that way.”

“We lost a very tight semi-final to Argentina four years ago [at London 2012]. We’ve adapted some of our training to replicate some of thinking needed in tight games and we’ve learned some lessons.”

Great Britain 3 (1)
Alex Danson 22, 52 (PC, PS)
Helen Richardson-Walsh 48 (PS)

New Zealand 0 (0)

Great Britain Hockey media release

NZ Women to play for Olympic bronze

Photo: www.photosport.nz

The New Zealand Women will play for the bronze medal after being defeated 3-0 by Great Britain in the semi finals at the Rio Olympic Games.

New Zealand were never able to get a hold on the game while Great Britain took control in the second half to secure a place in their first ever gold medal match.

The Kiwis created plenty of scoring opportunities but failed to put any past the strong and structured Great Britain defence.

Great Britain now meet the Netherlands in the gold medal game while New Zealand battle it out against Germany for bronze at 3:00am on Saturday morning (NZ time).

Head coach Mark Hager said it was disappointing not to play as a team unit against a fired up Great Britain side.

“We were apprehensive right from the start and didn’t play as a team. You’re not going to win games off one or two individuals and the disappointing thing is I know we’re better than that,” he said.

“We ran the ball too much as individuals, didn’t stick to our game plan and couldn’t put anything on target in the attacking circle. Great Britain worked hard, were tougher physically and outmatched us today. They deserved to win.

“We need to go away and reflect on how we played tonight. We still have a bronze medal on the line so we can either feel sorry for ourselves and come away with nothing or get better and make sure we win bronze.”

It was an up tempo start to the game with both sides going end to end and creating chances on attack.

Great Britain made the most of a penalty corner in the 21st minute when Alex Danson pounced on Sally Rutherford’s initial save and flicked into goal.

New Zealand poured the pressure on in the third quarter but weren’t able to capitalise on any of their half chances.

Great Britain extended their lead in the 47th minute when a defensive blunder gave away a penalty stroke which Helen Richardson-Walsh slotted past Rutherford.

Four minutes later it was another penalty stroke which allowed Danson to score her second goal of the match and seal the result for Great Britain.

In today’s other semi final, the Netherlands progressed to the gold medal match after defeating Germany 4-3 in a penalty shoot-out after the game was drawn 1-1 at fulltime.

The result gives the Dutch the chance to defend their Olympic title after they won the London 2012 gold with a 2-0 result over Argentina.

New Zealand 0
Great Britain 3: (Alex Danson 2, Helen Richardson-Walsh)
Halftime: Great Britain 1-0

Hockey New Zealand Media release

New Zealand women's hockey team lacked finish in semifinal defeat

By David Leggat

They had their chances but the women's Black Sticks weren't good enough to grab them as they lost their Olympic semifinal 3-0 to Britain today.

There is still the chance for a bronze medal, when they play world No 9 Germany on Saturday morning (NZT) but New Zealand were bitterly disappointed after being outplayed by a tough, determined British side, who are ranked three places lower than them.

Britain were helped by two penalty strokes early in the final quarter which took the steam out of New Zealand's challenge. In the final, they will play world No 1 the Netherlands, chasing a third straight Olympic women's gold, on Saturday. The Dutch beat Germany 4-3 in a dramatic penalty shootout after the scores were locked 1-1 at fulltime.

"We should have been more clinical," Black Sticks attacker Gemma Flynn admitted.

"We're very disappointed. We did try but didn't stick to our structures. We're hurting pretty bad. We've got to pick ourselves up. We've still got a bronze to play for.

"We have to put this to bed. We know what we've got to work on, keep our eyes up and chins up."

World No 4 New Zealand had plenty of scoring chances but could not find the finishing touch.

They looked the better team for chunks of the game and when attackers such as Sophie Cocks, Anita McLaren and Stacey Michelsen swept forward things looked promising.

However Britain, who beat New Zealand for the bronze medal in London four years ago, are nothing if not doughty. They had a toughness about them which counted at important stages.

Coach Mark Hager was left to bemoan a failure to stick to the game plan.

"I didn't think we played as a team," he said.

"We ran the ball too much individually and kept turning it over rather than play to our game plan, which was to play around the outside and get to the circle edges. But we played in the middle and to their strengths."

McLaren whizzed a penalty corner past the British goalkeeper Maddie Hinch's righthand post and New Zealand were able to lean hard on the British defence at times, but without breaking it.

Britain had their noses in front midway through the second quarter courtesy of sharp work by experienced attacker Alex Danson.When a penalty corner shot was blocked, she reacted sharper than the New Zealand defenders, diving in to nudge the ball past New Zealand goalkeeper Sally Rutherford.

The chances kept coming but frustratingly were not finished off.

The best opportunity fell to striker Olivia Merry. Unmarked on the left inside the British circle, she tried a first time shot which flew harmlessly wide when she had to to control the ball, steady herself and shoot.

Too often the ball would be crossed in through good leadup work only to roll behind, or beyond the reach of attackers in front of goal. As the chances evaporated Britain clearly grew in self belief.

Losing captain Kayla Whitelock for two periods hurt, the second coming when she was carded as Britain's first penalty stroke was awarded three minutes into the final quarter.

Helen Richardson-Walsh converted the chance, and Danson repeated that three minutes later when Liz Thompson upended Lily Owsley when she charged into the New Zealand circle from the left.

"We've got to be better as a team," Hager said. "Unfortunately we didn't have enough good players today. I've got to look at myself too, what did we do wrong tactically.

"I'm just gutted we didn't play as well as we can."

Four years ago New Zealand were really poor when playing for bronze, seemingly short on energy and commitment.

They can't afford that this time around. They played Germany in pool play, losing 2-1.
A win would give them the consolation of only New Zealand's second Olympic medal, to follow the men's gold in Montreal in 1976.

"We know what fourth place is like," McLaren said. "We've been in this position before and we know we're a good team.

"They have a chance to show it on Saturday.

The New Zealand Herald

Black Sticks women beaten by Great Britain in Rio Olympics semifinal

Clay Wilson

Hollie Webb of Great Britain celebrates as New Zealand's Kayla Whitelock reacts at fulltime in the women's hockey semifinals. David Rogers/ Getty Images

You can probably trust Black Sticks coach Mark Hager when he tells you what doesn't win Olympic bronze medals in hockey.

Like they did four years ago in London, the New Zealand women's team playoff for third when the programme wraps us at the Rio Olympic Hockey Centre on Friday (Saturday NZ time).

The world No 4 Kiwis will face ninth-ranked Germany for the last spot on the podium after a below-par semifinal display resulted in a 3-0 defeat to a more clinical and composed Great Britain.

Liz Thompson shoots for the Black Sticks. ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES

Also denied a spot in the gold medal match at the 2012 Games with a shootout loss to world No 1 the Netherlands, the particular feeling of disappointment was familiar for Hager and several of his squad members.

Rarely one to shy away from honesty, the former Australian international made it clear what was required to ensure there was no repeat of their 3-1 loss to Great Britain in the bronze medal match in London.


"We can sulk and cry and whatever, and go away like we did four years ago with nothing," Hager told NZ Newswire.

"Or we can come out and play how we know we can play and that's as a team."

While he felt wallowing in the pain of their semifinal loss would not be useful, Hager did believe his team had to reflect on how they had played.

The Black Sticks created chances throughout the match, but were made to pay for their failure to convert.

Star striker Alex Danson put Great Britain ahead midway through the second quarter and finished the game off with a penalty stroke in the final quarter, four minutes after Helen Richardson-Walsh had scored in the same fashion.

Hager lamented their inability to hit the target, given they earned as many shots as the British (11), but said it wasn't the only factor which cost his side.

"We were apprehensive right from the start and didn't play as a team.

"You're not going to win games off one or two individuals and the disappointing thing is I know we're better than that. We ran the ball too much as individuals, didn't stick to our game plan.

"Great Britain worked hard, were tougher physically and outmatched us today. They deserved to win."

Putting those things right should not come down to a lack of motivation against Germany on Saturday (3am start NZ time).

The six players who were there in London (captain Kayla Whitelock, Samantha Charlton, Gemma Flynn, Charlotte Harrison, Stacey Michelsen and Anita McLaren) will be desperate to finally erase the memories of 2012.

An upset 2-1 loss to the Germans, who New Zealand beat twice on their way to the title decider at the World League Final in December last year, in pool play will also be spurring the Kiwis on.

Hager has no doubt there is still plenty to play for.

"We still have a bronze medal on the line," he said to NZ Newswire. "We can either feel sorry for ourselves and come away with nothing or get better and make sure we win bronze."

New Zealand 0 lost to Great Britain 3 (Alex Danson 22 (PC), 52 (PS), Helen Richardson-Walsh 48 (PS)). Q1: 0-0. Q2: 0-1. Q3: 0-1.


GB set for first ever women’s Olympic final

Helen Richardson-Walsh celebrates making it 2-0 to GB. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek

Great Britain are set for their best ever women’s Olympic finish after they produced an excellent defensive performance and struck quickly on the counter to eliminate New Zealand 3-0.

It means they are guaranteed a best ever finish having previously won a pair of bronze medals in 1992 and 2012, the latter time when they beat the Kiwis in London.

The first half proved a close-knit affair with both sides starting nervily with plenty of mis-controls while penalty corners proved the key moments for scoring openings.

Anita McLaren whizzed a drag-flick inches wide from the first chance while GB let a couple of corners slip by before making one stick in the 22nd minute.

Alex Danson, with her fourth goal of the competition, was the player to pounce, swooping in after Sally Rutherford’s save from Crista Cullen dropped invitingly at the striker’s feet. The Blacksticks saw another corner drag go wide, leaving them 1-0 down at the break.

It stayed that way through the third quarter, New Zealand upping the tempo as GB suffered injuries to Georgie Twigg and Crista Cullen. Olivia Merry had two big chances repelled, one skidding wide, the other cleared off the line by Susannah Townsend after a collision with Maddie Hinch.

But it was GB who scored next as Danson and Helen Richardson-Walsh forged a neat opening down the right wing, the latter weaving her way into the circle. As she bore down on goal, Kayla Whitelock took her down, drawing a yellow card and a stroke which Richardson-Walsh duly converted for 2-0 with 12 minutes to go.

Danson then added an extra insurance goal from a second penalty stroke awarded in quick succession, winning the stroke herself with another run that drew a robust tackle.

They duly held on for the win without too much drama and will now play in their first Olympic final on Friday afternoon. There, they will attempt to repeat their European Championships final victory over the three in-a-row chasing Netherlands.

New Zealand will play Germany for the bronze medal.

EuroHockey media release

Triple gold still in Dutch sights

The Netherlands celebrate Maartje Paumen's goal against Germany. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/EHF

The Netherlands kept up their bid for three successive Olympic women’s hockey gold medals as they survived a huge scare to beat Germany 4-3 in a shoot-out after normal time had ended 1-1.

It owed much to the nerve of Joyce Sombroek who saved four times in the decider, allowing Ellen Hoog to fire home the winner after a huge arm wrestle of a match.

For the most part, the Dutch had the bulk of possession and did most of the pressing but they fell behind in 11th minute when Lisa Schutze won a penalty corner.

She duly went and snapped up the rebound from the set piece for a surprise 1-0 lead. The Netherlands responded quickly, however, with Maartje Paumen scoring just 45 seconds into the second quarter with her fourth corner goal of the competition.

From there, they went closest to extending the advantage with Ellen Hoog and Paumen going close. Marie Mavers almost turned in the pick of the German chances from a Pia Oldhafer cross.

She would later get a yellow card with six minutes to go that briefly saw Germany down to nine players during which time they were under huge pressure, facing a volley of chances with Kristina Reynolds somehow keeping out a spate of chances.

It led to a shoot-out in which Germany took the early advantage as Reynolds saved in the second and third round. Joyce Sombroek kept her team in the mix with a save from Lisa Altenburg and Jana Teschke, with Margot van Geffen levelling at 2-2.

Both round five shots were saved, sending it to sudden death. Janne Muller-Wieland then scored a brilliant rebound from an almost impossible angle to give Germany the advantage but Willemijn Bos levelled once again.

And so to round seven; Sombroek saved for a fourth time and Ellen Hoog kept shifted one way and the next before finishing off to send the Dutch into the final.

EuroHockey media release

Dutch women reach hockey final after shootout

by Angus MacSwan

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - The Netherlands came out top in a sudden death shootout against Germany on Wednesday to go into the final of the Olympic women’s hockey tournament and keep the target of a third successive gold medal in their sights.

The shootout ended 4-3 after normal time of the tight contest finished at 1-1. It took 14 shots to get the result. The Netherlands will meet New Zealand or Britain in the final.

The Netherlands had the better of the first quarter, mounting a number of fast attacks, but Germany took a surprise lead in the 10th minute when the ball bounced free from a penalty corner and Lisa Schutze banged it in.

The women in orange wasted no time in grabbing an equaliser in the first minute of the second quarter when Maartje Paumen took the set up from a penalty corner and drilled the ball home.

They came close to taking the lead in the last five minutes of the quarter but German goalkeeper Nike Lorenz tipped another powerful shot from Paumen over the bar for the two sides to end the half level.

The Netherlands, playing with great flair, piled on the pressure in the third quarter but could not break down a doughty German defence. Germany came close to scoring on the counter-attack in the last minute when Charlotte Stapenhorst cut into the circle on the right but her shot was blocked.

Kitty van Male nearly scored for the Netherlands with five minutes to go but shot too high to the dismay of the boisterous Dutch supporters, who made an orange block in the stand.

The last few minutes saw the Netherlands besiege their opponents' goal area but the Germans held on for the match to go to a shootout.

The dominant force in women’s hockey, the Netherlands took gold in London in 2012 and Beijing in 2008 and are also world champions.

The Star of Malaysia

Dutch count on Sombroek in shoot-out success

Joyce Sombroek made four key saves in the shoot-out. Pic: Frank Uijlenbroek/EHF

Joyce Sombroek says she never “counts” the score in a shoot-out as she helped the Netherlands edge past Germany in dramatic fashion to reach the women’s Olympic final.

The goalkeeper made four saves in seven rounds of the shoot-out as her side eventually prevailed 4-3 after normal time had ended 1-1.

Speaking about the win, she said: “It’s a great feeling to win this match; we have trained very, very hard for this.

“I hope we could have scored another goal in the second half [rather than go to shoot-out] because we had a lot of chances and a lot of ball possession. They defended really well but I was confident we would win.”

Asked about the shoot-outs, she said she would rather not be the hero in such a manner.

“I like the shoot-outs when they are not necessary! But we have trained them a lot so I knew my team mates can score and that I can make a few saves.

“I am sure we know a few things we can do better but when we need shoot-outs, we need shoot-outs.”

The Dutch were behind 2-1 early on in the decisive series but Sombroek added that this never has a big impact on her outlook.

“I never count [the score] or think about the end. I only think about my task, staying cool and focused and getting in the flow to make sure I make some saves.”

Willemijn Bos was another to make a big impact, scoring two of her four attempts.

She added: “It’s a big release. It was so tense; we know we can do it because we trained it 50,000 times. We have a great keeper and we have faith but, still, it’s tense.”

Interestingly, Bos twice used the same technique, slapping her shot from the top of the circle. On the second occasion, Kristina Reynolds read her intention but Bos was able to regather the ball and score once again.

“I know it is my strength and I want to play to my strengths,” she said of the decision to use the same method. “I knew I had time because what I do is quick so I had time to go around here. It’s not planned but you do go to your strength in those moments.”

EuroHockey media release

Quek in dreamland as GB reach maiden final

Sam Quek celebrates on the final whistle. Pic: Koen Suyk/EHF

Sam Quek said she was “in disbelief” as Great Britain produced a massive performance to beat New Zealand 3-0 to reach their first ever women’s Olympic hockey final.

Speaking about the performance, she said it was an emotional moment and a special occasion for her to be a part of.

“When I look up to the crowd and see my mum’s face, see my team mates faces – that is what I play for and it feels awesome.

“I am in disbelief; my tears are just there [below the surface] but they are not coming out. Unbelievable; two of the girls drawing blood but we just keep going.We are solid, we are such a tight team and we are definitely going to get that gold.”

And Quek says the side can carry the momentum into their final on Friday with the Netherlands who are, themselves, bidding to win a third successive Olympic gold medal.

“We knew the significance of this match; the character of us as a squad, the character of us as individuals whether it’s 70 minutes or one minute left, we just keep going and we will take it to the Dutch.”

“It’s like the European Cup final last year [which GB won in a shoot-out]. We know we can take Holland on and push them all the way. And if it is between heart, skill and passion – we have got it all.

“We know them inside out and have played them so many times. It’s going to be a tight game and we will stay tight as a squad and have the talent all around the pitch to do the job.”

EuroHockey media release

Confirmed: BBC One will move the news for our final!

Sam Quek and the GB women

Great Britain's women take on the Netherlands at 9pm on Friday in the final of the Rio Olympic games, and the game is live on BBC1.

The BBC have also confirmed they will move their news in order to show the entire game!

This is a huge milestone for our sport and another example of how the nation is getting right behind our team in Brazil.

You can also watch on the BBC Sport app (mobile/smart TV/connected devices) or online.

For further insight and analysis during the game as well as photos and more, follow our Twitter feed @_GBHockey.

Great Britain Hockey media release

Married British teammates eye women's hockey gold

Britain's Kate Richardson-Walsh celebrates scoring a goal during their field hockey match against Argentina, at the Rio 2016 Olympics Games, on August 10

RIO DE JANEIRO - Married couple Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh aim to cap their personal journey with sporting glory at the Olympics by helping Britain to a first women's hockey gold medal.

The pair -- Kate is 36 and Helen, 34 -- tied the knot in 2013 and are believed to be the first married gay couple to compete at an Olympics.

Helen was instrumental in getting her team to the gold medal match against two-time champions the Netherlands by scoring one of the goals in a 3-0 semi-final win over New Zealand on Wednesday.

"It would be really special to win the gold," said Kate.

"We've been through ups and downs. These past four years have been some of the best and some of the worst, some of the hardest.

"Helen, with two back surgeries, to come back having thought she'd never play again, to be here in an Olympic final -- I think it's just the most amazing story and I'm just so proud of her."

Kate and Helen have been international teammates since 2000 but they have made a point of making sure their private and professional lives don't overlap.

"We're very professional in that we draw a line. When we're at hockey we are Kate and Helen, hockey players and teammates," she explained on the eve of the Games.

"Away from hockey we're Kate and Helen the couple. It's important that line is drawn and to be able to say to each other 'that's not good enough', and not start having a row about it afterwards."

Kate, her country's most capped player with over 300 matches, has certainly sweated blood and tears in her dedication to the cause.

At the London Olympics in 2012, where Britain were bronze medallists, she played with a metal plate in her face after having her jaw fractured.

After the Rio Games, the couple are set to move to the Netherlands to play in the relatively lucrative Dutch club leagues.

"I would really love to go out with a bang and stand on top of that podium and sing the national anthem and be one of those people," said Helen.

The Dutch team in the final are coached by Alyson Annan, the only woman coach at the hockey tournament.

Last year, she replaced her ex-husband Maximilian Caldas in the hot seat.

In an ironic twist, Caldas coached the Dutch women to the gold medal at the London Olympics.

Their marriage ended in 2000 before Annan formed a new relationship with former player Carole Thate.

Bankok Post

Stats Speak: Know the finalist- Argentina versus Belgium

By B.G.Joshi (Sehore-Bhopal, India)





Los Leones

Red Lions

World Ranking






Best Finish

5th in London( 1948)

Bronze in Antwerp( 1920)

Matches Played in OG



Matches Won in OG



Most Capped Player

Matias Pardes-296

John John dohmen-335

Medals won in 

Others FIH tourneys

Bronze Medal in 2008 Champions Trophy,

Bronze Medal in 2014 World Cup

Silver Medal in 2015 World League

Head to head in  Olympics

Matches Played



Matches Won(in 1976 ranking match)



Matches Drawn(in 1972 pool match)



Goals Scored





Jude Menezes: The Indian link in NZ hockey's medal quest

Alok Sinha

RIO DE JANEIRO: Waiting for Narsingh Yadav inside the Games Village on Tuesday afternoon, one came across a section of world athletes. Most of these men and women were through with their dates with destiny and were simply relaxing or meeting journalists and friends they have made in this melting pot.

The biggest queue there was at the McDonald's, as the players who had deprived themselves of all junk food in their preparations for Rio, were now looking for that comfort kick.

Amidst this stream of amazing, beautiful people you spotted a familiar face in Kiwi colours speaking to a journalist friend from India. You went up and got introduced to Jude Menezes, the former India goalkeeper who migrated to New Zealand in 2002. Jude is now an assistant coach with the New Zealand women's team which has made the semi-finals.

He is settled in Auckland, and his elder son Brett is an upcoming cricketer. "He plays left-handed and also bowls left-arm spin," said Jude with pride. "He plays hockey too, loves it more but cricket is where his future is," said the father. Hockey in New Zealand, like in Belgium, is a sport played by the elite. "You have to spend a lot on the coaching of your kids," he informed.

So what does he think of the current Indian team? "It is better than before, looking very good. It is a young side, very talented and they have a great coach in Oltmans. This is the first time in years that they are playing to a structure. I feel some good days are ahead," Jude said.

On the way out, you spotted several cameramen taking pictures of three young girls with shocking white hair. You went up and found out that they were triplets from Estonia - 20year-old Liina, Lily and Laila Luik.

"They started training for marathon five years back. Two of them completed the race here which is creditable. It is very hot here. We are from a cold Nordic country. But they have made history... the first time triplets have competed together in an event in Olympics," said Harry Lemberg, the coach of the sisters.

The Times of India

Abracadabra - Richie McCaw arrives and Olympic medals vanish

A 3-0 semifinal loss to Great Britain hurt the Black Sticks. ROB CARR/GETTY IMAGES

As the Olympic Games wind down the clock it's time to examine the McCaw Curse, an unexpected head-high tackle that has sent New Zealand tumbling down the medal table.

Kiwi Olympians must be viewing Richie McCaw as a sports watching Grim Reaper, muttering `uh, oh, I'm doomed' if they spot him, or swiftly realising what went wrong when they learn he was a spectator.

Such is the strength of the  curse, you wouldn't blame athletes in black for going into a cold sweat in his presence.

Even world golf No 1 Lydia Ko is not immune from his all black hand; and she didn't even know the great man was watching.

Ko, 19, was horrified to learn Richie McCaw watched her first six holes at Rio when she was at her worst.

Lydia Ko copped the curse in her opening round. PHOTOSPORT

When McCaw left to go watch fiancee Gemma Flynn in the hockey semifinals, Ko holed out from 130m, in a charge home.

Meanwhile with McCaw at the hockey ... Great Britain 3, New Zealand 0.

Such is the power of the curse, it simply shows how magnificent rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray are, as they won their second consecutive Olympic gold with McCaw watching on.

Richie McCaw outside Deodoro Stadium. John Cowpland / Photosport.nz

Shot putter Valerie Adams - gunning for three golds in a row - couldn't overcome Ruining Richie.

She was leading comfortably with only one throw left that could beat her, and American Michelle Carter produced a monster to soar to gold.

McCaw was in the stands to watch the men's sevens team lose to Japan in pool play - the first win ever by the Rising Sun over the sinking sevens.

Immune to the curse: Eric Murray and Hamish Bond. GETTY IMAGES

And he was on hand for the women's sevens 17-24 final loss to Australia.

And saw the women's Black Sticks lose 2-1 to Germany, their only pool play defeat.

If the curse had been lifted, what medals might we have won:

Not immune to the curse: Sevens star Sonny Bill Williams goes down with injury. PHIL NOBLE/ REUTERS

* Adams: gold instead of silver

* Men's sevens: bronze instead of zilch, by avoiding Fiji in the quarters (let's not get greedy)

* Women's sevens: gold instead of silver

Valerie Adams won silver with Richie McCaw watching on. GETTY IMAGES

* Women's hockey: at least a silver. Let's hope the curse will lift for the bronze medal match.

* Women's golf: it's not too late, but it's cost Ko vital shots.

Canoeist Lisa Carrington, triathlete Andrea Hewitt, shot putter Tom Walsh, Ko, and yachties Polly Powrie and Jo Aleh will be about as happy to see McCaw arriving as any number of international rugby halfbacks once were.

Portia Woodman after New Zealand lost the women's sevens final. ALEXANDER HASSENSTEIN/GETTY IMAGES

But let's face it, it took McCaw two World Cups to get the knack of winning them -- he'll be on fire at the 2024 Olympic Games.


Junior men set to ramp up World Cup preparation; training squad named

Shaheed Devji

Canada’s men compete at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship, where they finished with a silver medal in May 2016 (By Yan Huckendubler)

With the excitement of qualifying for the 2016 Junior World Cup squarely behind them, and a short time training on their own having come to an end, Canada’s Under-21 men are now intently and intensely looking ahead to December’s competition.

But before they get to India for junior hockey’s big competition, Canada’s junior men have a lot of work to do.

The 18 players who helped Canada qualify for the World Cup by winning silver at the 2016 Junior Men’s Pan American Championship in Toronto in May have been joined by 30 more athletes to round out a squad of 48 athletes vying to be selected for Canada’s World Cup team.

And after the team had officially qualified in Toronto last May, Under-21 head coach Inderpal Sehmbi let them know that spots are up for grabs.

“I’m not married to any of the 18 guys that we took to the qualifier,” Sehmbi says. “And the guys in the room even said ‘We’re glad you aren’t because that makes people complacent.'”

With the door clearly wide open, the Junior men are ramping up towards selection.

The beginning of August saw physiological testing before the resumption of individual training sessions. And in September the entire squad reconvenes in Vancouver for two six weeks team and games training before the World Cup Team is named.

The preparation process is highlighted by games against Canada’s Senior Development Camp during their Carding Camp at the end of September and through the first couple week of October.

The World Cup team will be named at the end of October, which will be following by the final stage of preparation in Vancouver until the end of November when the team leaves for India.

Canadian Under-21 Junior World Cup Training Squad
Name, Hometown/Province
Amardeep Sidhu, Victoria, BC
Amrit Sidhu, Abbotsford, BC
Amritjot Toor, Ontario
Arshjot Toor, Ontario
Balraj Panesar, Surrey, BC
Braedon Muldoon, Ottawa, ON
Brandon Pereira, Surrey, BC
Cameron Bonney, Port Coquitlam, BC
Connor Rutledge, Vancouver, BC
David Loy, Toronto, ON
Ethan McTavish, British Columbia
Fin Boothroyd, West Vancouver, BC
Floyd Mascarenhas, Mississauga, ON
Ganga Singh, Toronto, ON
Gavin Bains, Ladner, BC
Gurtej Dhaliwal, Ottawa, ON
Harbir Sidhu, Vancouver, BC
*Harkirat Ahluwalia, Surrey, BC
Iqwinder Gill, Surrey, BC
Jamie Wallace, Vancouver, BC
Jasmeet Gill, Brampton, ON
Jeevan Jammu, Ontario
Johnny Gill, Surrey, BC
Josh Brown, Vancouver, BC
Kabir Aujla, Surrey, BC
Lee Barrett-Lennard, British Columbia
Liam Fannin, Vancouver, BC
Lyle Fernandes, Mississauga, ON
Lyndon Lemos, Toronto, ON
Michael Mackenzie, British Columbia
Michael Brown, British Columbia
Parmeet Gill, Ontario
Rajan Kahlon, Vancouver, BC
Ranbir Kalkat, Ontario
Rohan Chopra, Ottawa, ON
Rowan Childs, British Columbia
Sahib Suri, Surrey, b\BC
Sam Cabral, British Columbia
Satbir Brar, Surrey, BC
Shahbaaz Dhaliwal, Surrey, BC
Sukhman Bajwa, British Columbia
Surjan Sandhu, British Columbia
Tarjan Sandhu, British Columbia
Tarnpreet Singh, Ontario
Thomson Harris, Vancouver, BC
Tom Fannin, Vancouver, BC
Vikram Sandhu, Vancouver, BC
Zaiq Rana, Vancouver, BC

Field Hockey Canada media release

Same old story for Maybank in MHL

by Aftar Singh

File photo shows a clash between THT's Faizal Saari (left) and Maybank's Deepanshu Bhargav during the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) first leg semi-finals match at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil last year. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: Seasoned campaigners Maybank’s Premier Division title drought is expected to continue in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Last season they had six foreigners – five from Pakistan and one from India – and yet finished fifth in the six-team Premier Division.

In the knockout stage, they were outplayed 6-0 by Sapura in the third-placing match.

For this season, Maybank will have only two imports – Argentines Juan Valeriano and Ignacio Santiago.

The Tigers, who have featured in the league since its inception in 1987, last tasted success 21 years ago.

They last won the league title in 1995 and their best achievement was bagging the double – league and overall titles – in 1994.

No wonder Maybank skipper Mohd Riduan Mohd Nasir, who has been playing for them since 2002, prefers to play down their chances of ending the title drought.

“Our performance has not been good in the league the last few years ... we’ve been struggling to make an impact in the MHL,” said the 33-year-old Riduan.

“This season we only have two imports, so it’s going to be tough for us to challenge the other teams in the league ... let alone win a title.

“The team management have not set any targets for us in the league ... but we hope to finish better last year.”

The Tigers, who are coached by former international Shaiful Azli Abdul Rahman, will open their Premier Division campaign against Tenaga Nasional at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium tomorrow.

The other teams in the Premier Division are double champions Terengganu, Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC), Sapura and Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL).

The Star of Malaysia

Women’s AHF Cup: 60 players invited for training camp

By Nabil Tahir

KARACHI: A total of 60 players have been invited for a training camp arranged to prepare for the 4th Women’s Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) Cup, scheduled to commence October 1 in Bangkok, announced the Pakistan Hockey Federation yesterday.

The players have been selected based on their performances in the recently concluded National Women Hockey Championship in Islamabad, which featured over 200 players.

Head coach and camp commandant Saeed Khan would oversee the month-long camp, which is set to commence from Saturday at the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore, where the players would receive both physical and mental training.

Modern training methods, which include video sessions on the latest techniques, would be utilised at the camp, while each player’s performance would be discussed with the player on a daily basis, revealed Saeed.

He also stated that Pakistan are aiming for at least a third-place finish at the October 1-9 event.

“We are aiming to finish third in the completion as the only two tough teams are Malaysia and Singapore; the rest will not be that hard to beat,” said a confident Saeed.

A total of eight teams would participate in the competition — Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Sri Lanka, Chinese Taipei and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Saeed further revealed that 30 players would be shortlisted during the camp from which 16 players will be finalised and sent to Thailand.

The Express Tribune

Ventures wants to keep title

Pravin Narain

NATIONAL hockey players will boost Ventures campaign to win the Valerie Daveta Hockey Tournament at Fiji's National Hockey Centre in Suva starting tomorrow.

Players such as ever-improving Tiara Dutta, Catherine Fabiano, Maxine Browne, Asinate Blake and Tessa Harman will team up to help Ventures win the title for the ninth time.

Thirteen teams have been confirmed for the competition.

Ventures women's team coach Alison Southey said hopes were high from her team.

"With competition and the reduction in game time, competition is always stiff," Southey said.

"All clubs have the same goal and that is to come out and play hard to win. We've been working on certain set plays. We will need to ensure that these are executed during the game and that everyone is on the same page come competition time.

"This year's edition of the tournament will also mark 24 years of existence of the tournament to commemorate Valerie's contribution to hockey in Fiji. This tournament is in memory of Valerie Daveta who lost her fight to cancer," Ventures Hockey Club president Keasi Tora said.

"This tournament in particular, has always held a special place in our hearts as some of our ventures players have lost loved ones to this disease and in previous years, we have always dedicated our victories to them and their loved ones."

The Fiji Times

Beach hockey launched in Durban

Local teams and coaches enjoyed a taste of beach hockey fun at the beach hockey launch in Saturday morning.

Lorna Charles

Local teams and coaches enjoyed a taste of beach hockey fun at the beach hockey launch in Saturday morning.

BEACH hockey is the latest sport to hit Durban beaches in South Africa. The Madsen Hockey Academy launched Beach Hockey on Durban’s main beach on Saturday, 13 August.

The academy managed to get a permit with the assistance of eThekwini Sport and Recreation to use the beach as a hockey field for two fun hours.

SA U21 players, KZN hockey players and Madsen Hockey Academy coaches played the initial matches to experiment with the rules and skills. The players were so thrilled with the game and soon mastered the format and skills.

A group of players from Eston Primary School and their families also joined the fun, to test out the new sport, which was met with a resounding positive response.

The players are looking forward to getting beach hockey established as a new division of hockey that can be offered in Durban. To date there are over 30 countries that play beach hockey with Beach Hockey International

arranging the Asian Beach Games, South American Beach Games and the World Beach Games.

FIH ( Federation of International Hockey) has joined with Beach Hockey International to assist in the development and promotion of International beach hockey events in Durban.

Local teams and coaches enjoyed a taste of beach hockey fun at the beach hockey launch in Saturday morning.

The Berea Mail

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