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News for 31 August 2016

All the news for Wednesday 31 August 2016

Terengganu get sweet revenge over KLHC

by Aftar Singh

Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan (left) netted a brace for Tenaga Nasional in their 3-2 win over UniKL. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Double champions Terengganu exacted sweet revenge on arch-rivals Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) 3-2 to seal a place in the semi-finals of the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Knockout Trophy tournament.

The East coast team, who were beaten 2-1 by KLHC in the Charity Shield match on Aug 19, played to their true form and made use of the chances well.

It was the first defeat for KLHC in the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).

Hosts Terengganu started off well by taking a 2-0 lead in the first 26th minutes at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium.

South Korean Kim Jung-hoo scored off a field goal in the 15th minute and 11 minutes later Mohd Fitri Saari doubled the score off a penalty corner.

But the visitors stormed back with two goals in two minutes. Nam Hyun-woo reduced the deficit with a penalty corner goal in the 39th minute.

Two minutes later, Pakistan’s Muhammad Umar Bhutta equalised off a field goal.

But South Korean Jang Jong-hyun had the last say netting the winner in the 56th minute off a penalty corner.

Terengganu coach Sarjit Singh was relieved with the close win.

“It was a morale-boosting win for us. It also feels good to reach the last four,” said Sarjit.

“Although my players put up a good fight I’m not happy with the defenders loose marking. We need to rectify this.”

The draw for the semi-finals will be conducted on Thursday and the matches played on Sept 6.

KLHC team manager Ahmad Anuar Sham Kamar said they played well but luck deserted them.

“We were unlucky. We will now concentrate on the league,” said Ahmad.

Tenaga Nasional also sealed their place in the semi-finals by edging Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) 3-2 at the Kuala Lumpur Hockey Stadium.

Syed Mohamad Syafiq Syed Cholan netted a brace for Tenaga in the third and 57th minutes. Nik Mohammad Aiman Nik Rozemi (53rd) contributed the other goal.

Abdul Khaliq Hamirin (51st) and Muhd Najmi Farizal Jazlan (55th) were the scorers for UniKL.

Tenaga coach Mohd Amin Rahim was not jumping for joy despite reaching the last four.

“My players played like schoolboys making too many errors in the game. Every time we take a lead we let in a goal,” said Amin.

UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj was equally unhappy.

“We were poor in defence and missed the presence of Baljit Singh, who is injured.

“Our failure to finish off our chances put paid to our hopes of progressing,” lamented Arulselvaraj.

Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (SSTMI) was the first team to book their berth when they won 3-0 on penalties against Politeknik. Both teams were locked at 1-1 in regulation time.

The Star of Malaysia

Kenyans too good for Ugandans as Sinyolo, Kamusinga show class in hockey battle

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Deririck Juma (right) of Friends School Kamusinga breaks away from Ntare School (Uganda) during their East Afrca Secondary School Games hockey match at Eldoret Polytechnics, Uasin Gishu County on August 30, 2016.[PHOTO:DENNIS OKEYO/STANDARD]

The notion that Kenya is a hockey powerhouse was in no doubt yesterday when East Africa girls’ champions Sinyolo and Friends School Kamusinga whitewashed their Ugandan counterparts here in Eldoret.

The Kenyan girls and boys showered their out of this world pedigree with their on the ball skills and velocity leaving the Ugandans gasping for breath. The East African queens were in a class of their own from the onset as Melda Awour baffled the Ugandan defense and goalkeeper with her second minute goal.

Awour was a thorn in the flesh of the Ugandans denying them time to settle as she ransacked their territory again to hitting the board eleven minutes later giving her side a 2-0 lead.

Relentless Awour was undoubtedly player of the match scoring four more goals to lead the hunt for the top scorers award with seven goals having netted once in their opening match against Sinyolo.

Lavender Ouma bagged a hat-trick, Irene Atieno a brace while Grace Ouma and Alice Awiti scored one goal each to give the champions a resounding 13-1 victory.

Hilda Balondemu scored Namagunga’s consolation goal in the 57th minute.

Sinyolo captain Lydia Adhiambo told Feverpitch that they were not at their best in the match but will play better in today’s meeting with home girls Tigoi. “We could have scored more goals, but failed because we did not play our game but played our opponents’ which slowed us down. We vow to play our own game against Tigoi and target four or more goals because we are playing in a round robin format and every goal counts.”

In the boys contest, former East Africa winners Kamusinga thrashed Ntare of Uganda 9-0 to inch closer to reclaiming the title they last won in 2014.

The national champions bounced back from the slow first half that saw them score only two goals to bag maximum points.

Derrick Juma starred for Kamusinga scoring four goals while captain Justine Ng‘etich scored twice.

Collins Mukarani, Morgan Nyongesa and Conrad Wafula found the back of the net once each.

“We allowed ourselves to lower our standards to their (Ntare) level which almost cost us. That is behind us now and we focus on tie against St Anthony’s, which to us is the final. We will give it our all because a win will be like holding the trophy in one hand,” Ng’etich said.

The Standard Online

Prochazka leads Czech World League charge

A number of EHL-bound players will open up their competitive hockey season with Round 1 of the World League beginning in Prague this week.

The competition features six teams from around Europe with the top two sides set to advance to Round 2, the second phase in the qualification process for the 2018 World Cup.

The hosts will be led by Mannheimer king-pin Tomas Prochazka for the world number 24 side who go into the competition as one of the favourites.

Ukraine are the next best rated side at 27th with Oleh Polishcuk – who played in the EHL last year with SG Amsicora – potentially coming up against former club mates Luca Lixi and Federico Lai who have both been named in the Italian side along with Club Egara’s Thomas Keenan.

Italy are 35th in the world with Belarus 39th, Lithuania 56th and Cyprus 57th. The tournament starts on Tuesday morning and runs until September 4th.

Then, on September 6th another five World Cup hopefuls start their journey in Glasgow, Scotland for another two tickets to Round Two. The hosts, 28th in the world, will battle it out with Wales (36th), Slovakia (50th), Portugal (41st) and Switzerland (30th).

Euro Hockey League media release

Ibarra adds to Polo's golden squad

Real Club de Polo have made one of the big signings of the summer as they announced the addition of Los Leones captain Pedro Ibarra to their panel for the upcoming season.

The Olympic gold medal winning defender links up with Polo for the new season that gets under way in September following four years in the Dutch league and two in Belgium.

Speaking about the move, he said: "I always wanted to come to Spain and when the club contacted me, I had no doubts."

He joins up with fellow Argentina gold winners Matias Rey and Lucas Vila.

"They have given me very good references about the club but what influenced me to come is that Polo is the best team in Spain and wants to win titles.

“My goal is to win everything we play from the league to the EHL," added Ibarra. He will begin preseason with the club next week.

Euro Hockey League media release

Four Army Players Added to National Camp

President Pakistan Hockey Federation, Brig Khalid Sajjad Khokhar has recommended four more players for the national camp already in progress at Johar Stadium, Lahore.

Abdul Jabbar, M.Zubair, Sajid Ali and M.Adnan (goal keeper) were selected after their impressive performance for the Army team which won the recently held Inter Services Championships in Rawalpindi.

Th camp of the national team probables is for the preparation of the Pakistan team for the Asian Champions Trophy to be held in Kuantan, Malaysia from October 20-30.

PHF Media release

Hockey World Order Turned Upside Down at Rio; Game of Hockey the Winner

By Ijaz Chaudhry
Germany were the two time defending champions, Australia, the reigning world champions as well as FIH’s no 1 ranked team and then there were the consistent Netherlands, the winners of 2015 Euro Nations and also the second ranked side. The big three had shared all the golds over last six Olympics. No different at the World Cup as the trio lifted all the five editions since 1994. Only a fool would have put money on any other side. Dark horses? Spain had been the losing finalists in three Olympics/World Cups during the above mentioned period.
What transpired at the Olympic Hockey Centre of the Rio de Janeiro surprised everyone. None of the ‘three’ even got to the final. The no 1 ranked Aussies got perished in the quarter finals.

The final was played between the two nations not ranked among the top five and who had never appeared in an Olympic final before. Belgium had their previous semifinal appearance 88 years back while Argentina had never reached that far. In fact, it was the first last four qualification for the entire American continent barring the USA’s third position out of total three sides at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.  
Los Leones (The Lions), as the Argentine male hockey team is popularly known, were the deserving winners of a well contested final.
Their campaign makes a fascinating reading. The South Americans’ previous best performance at the Olympics was 8th. At the last edition, they were 10th. And in 2008, hadn’t even qualified. At Rio, their show in the pool was hardly suggestive of things to come. They began with a 3-3 draw against the Netherlands after trailing 1-3 with 11 minutes left, lost to India, let Germany tie them 4-4 with eight seconds left and beat Ireland 3-2 with a late goal in the last game.

In the quarter finals, it was a last minute penalty stroke goal that enabled them a 2-1 victory against Spain.

But the Lions really roared in the semifinal against the two time defending champions Germany, the only side not to lose a single pool game. In what was probably their greatest display in a global hockey event, Argentina swept aside the Germans 5-2- it was 5-0 at one stage.

The gold medal game between the two surprise packages was worthy of planet’s biggest sporting extravaganza. Belgium had taken the lead in the 3rd minute. Off Argentina’s first penalty corner in the 12th minute, everyone expected Gonzalo Peillat, Argentina’s penalty corner ace, scorer of his team’s first three goals in the semifinal through excellent conversions, to take the strike. Instead, he made the back pass to the team captain Ibarra, who equalized.

Ignacio Ortiz followed three minutes later, taking a right-inside feed for a 2-1 lead. It didn’t take long for Peillat to get in the act as he made 3-1 with a low drag flick for his tournament-leading 11th goal on Argentina’s second penalty corner seven minutes into the second quarter.                         

After some missed opportunities on both ends, Gauthier Boccard made it interesting. Displaying brilliant piece of stick work, he accelerated past three defenders to put Belgium back in the match 3-2 at the end of third quarter. The last quarter saw Belgium look for the equalizer in desperation but the Argentineans didn’t budge. With less than three minutes remaining, Belgium pulled its goalkeeper out and it backfired. Argentina's Agustin Mazzilli intercepted a clearance in Belgium’s end, and put the ball in the empty net with eight seconds left. His teammates and the large number of Argentinean fans in blue and white erupted into joy as the celebrations began while the Belgians collapsed in anguish.

Despite losing the final, it was a dream journey for the Belgians as well. Didn’t appear at Olympics hockey for almost quarter of a century: from 1980 – 2004. Their only two top four positions had come a long time back: bronze in 1920 when only four teams competed and 4th position in 1928.
It was perhaps the most well contested hockey tournament in the Olympics’ history. No less than 10 of the total 12 teams appeared capable of beating any other side on their day. Only the hosts Brazil, making their Olympic debut, had entered without any hope. Canada, who finished at the bottom of the other group, too didn’t have a win but still managed a draw
Even the gold medallists of the women event, Great Britain, had their first ever appearance in the final.
There were more than just medals at stake for hockey players at the Rio Games as the pressure was on to produce a crowd-pleasing tournament, cementing their place in the top-flight of world competition.
Despite being the third biggest-selling event at the 2012 games in London, hockey narrowly avoided being dropped from the Olympic roster in 2013 over concerns that organisers were not doing enough to engage new fans.

The FIH responded by introducing a number of changes to the way hockey was played and broadcast at the Rio Games.

Those included 15-minute quarters and scheduling more time for television replays and analysis to showcase players' virtuoso skills with a ball moving at more than 160 kilometres an hour.

The Rio hockey tournament also featured quarter-finals, making it the last team sport to adopt the format at the Games.

The move was aimed at giving fans the thrills and excitement of an extended knock-out competition-and it succeeded.
The hockey family was also honoured by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to his first Olympic sports event as guest of International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. The pair watched the opening match of the Rio 2016 Olympic hockey events between Argentina and Netherlands men and were treated to a thriller, with Argentina coming back to draw 3-3 after being 3-1 down earlier in the match.

Guided through the match by the FIH President Leandro Negre and CEO Kelly Fairweather, both the guests were staggered by the speed and skill of the game.

With the power base now expanded to all corners of the globe, a truly spectator delight with speed, artistry and thrills, and getting the approval of the UN Secretary General and the IOC President, the sport of hockey couldn’t have asked for a better Olympics.

Ijaz Chaudhry writes on hockey & other sports. For more about him and his work,visit www.sportscorrespondent.info


Hockey Wales takes logical approach to improvement

Coaching technology specialist Coach Logic has partnered with Hockey Wales to support the National Governing Body for Hockey in Wales as it aspires to raise the sport to the next level.

Coach Logic provides sports teams with an easy-to-use online video feedback and communication platform. The system allows athletes and staff to upload, review and discuss match video as well as cater for all aspects of team management – from player availability and fitness objectives to sharing resources and more.

Coaches and players across Wales, from elite squads to grass roots level, will be able to use the system to support Hockey Wales’ 360 philosophy – to provide every hockey player at whatever level, with a holistic approach to self improvement.

With the National Hockey Centre in Cardiff playing host to the 2017 Women’s EuroHockey Championship Division II and both the men and women’s national teams competing in Hockey World League (HWL) Round One events later in the year, hockey’s governing body is ambitious when it comes to improving performance. Currently the men are ranked 36th in the world and the women 30th, but a good showing in the HWL will see them move up the rankings and challenge for honours on the European and World stage.

And with the girl’s U18 squad recently winning a gold medal and promotion back to Division B of the U18 EuroHockey Champions competition and the U18 boys team giving a good account of themselves in the same competition, the future of hockey in Wales is bright.

The idea behind the 360 initiative is to support each player in all aspects of the game – technical, tactical, physical and emotional – and this is an approach that Coach Logic is uniquely able to deliver.

The idea behind Coach Logic is a simple one: the ability to share relevant, easy-to-access feedback and information leads to more effective coaching, better team management and improving players. Through targeted video feedback and clear communication channels, all aspects of the game are covered – from on-pitch issues such as systems of play or penalty corner conversions through to team management such as player availability or pitch directions.

Head of Performance at Hockey Wales, Dan Clements is already a big fan: “Performance analysis is a huge part of the game at present and technology that assists with this is developing on a daily basis. Utilising a platform that enhances a squad’s ability to analyse and reflect on performances or training will undoubtedly improve performance and continues to drive a culture of self-improvement, something we are big on at Hockey Wales.

“Coach Logic technology will enhance our senior programmes through the dissemination of video but it will also create learning communities. Being able to log in and communicate with peers and coaching staff on specific aspects of a performance will prove invaluable as a means of sharing knowledge.”

With players able to utilise the platform from smart phones as well as computers, the ability to access feedback quickly is a big win says Clements, adding: “The technological age has left us with a desire to consume information at a quick pace, Coach Logic allows our athletes to do this in and around their hectic work schedules.”

Andy Muir, director and one of the founders of Coach Logic says: “Everyone at Coach Logic is delighted to be partnering with Hockey Wales and supporting the Men’s and Women’s senior squads with their video feedback and team management in what is an exciting time as the country builds towards hosting the Women’s EuroHockey Championship in 2017.

“We have been really enthused by the energy and drive coming from within Hockey Wales, which is typified by the approaches of Dan [Clements], Kevin [Johnson] and Zak [Jones] at the performance level.

“It is clear that Hockey Wales has a clear vision for the game across all levels to raise performance and increase participation. We firmly believe there is huge value that sport can play in people’s lives whatever the level, which is why it’s great to be involved.

“Everyone at Coach Logic wish the best of luck to all Welsh teams for the coming season and beyond.”

About Coach Logic

Coach Logic is an easy-to-use online coaching platform created by coaches, for coaches. It allows coaches and players to view and share detailed video analysis of matches as well as improve team communication and management. Coach Logic was founded in 2012 by Mark Cairns and Andy Muir and its proven technology has been adopted by more than 14,000 coaches and players in leading sports teams across the globe. Coach Logic is the official partner of the Federation of International Hockey (FIH) Academy.

Coach Logic media release

Marist plans big event

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari

MARIST Hockey is anticipating hosting the biggest club hockey tournament in Fiji next month.

Marist Hockey executive Paul Fraser said one overseas team had confirmed participation in the men's division where they would be up against 11 local teams.

In the women's division, seven teams are expected to participate.

"Of the 11 local teams in the men's division, four will be from the Western Division while the women's competition will have three from the West," Fraser said.

In its 22nd year of the Geotech Drilling Eastgate Memorial tournament, Fraser said this year should be the biggest especially with the assistance they had been getting from sponsors.

"And after winning the Valerie Daveta memorial tournament last weekend, it gives us much boost to win our own tournament too."

The Fiji Times

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