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News for 14 December 2017

All the news for Thursday 14 December 2017

Gucassoff retires from Red Lions after nine strong years

©: Frank Uijlenbroek / World Sport Pics

Royal Racing Club de Bruxelles Jeremy Gucassoff has decided to call time on his international career with Belgium after nine years and 160 caps.

Announcing his decision on social media, the goalkeeper said: “Because all good things come to an end, I have decided to step aside with the World League in India my last tournament with the Red Lions.

“It's been a nine-year journey and I'm proud to have been part of this adventure but it's time to take a deeper look at my family and my professional career.”

He also thanked his Belgian team mates and adds that he will now “become your number one fan”.

The Racing man was part of the extended Belgian squad for the Rio Olympics and also played in the World Cup and three European Championships.

Euro Hockey League media release

WKS Grunwald Poznan win Kringsja Cup in Oslo

WKS Grunwald Poznan claimed gold at the indoor Kringsja Cup in Oslo, Norway last weekend, winning the final ahead of French club Lille Metropole 4-2 in the final.

Leading into the final, the Polish side had defeated two Irish clubs – Three Rock Rovers and Railway Union – Team Hamburg from Germany as well as Norwegian opposition.

In front of a large crowd, Grunwald held the lead from early in the game and always had a slight advantage en route to the victory. The vastly experienced Artur Mikula ended the campaign as top scorer but the tournament also served to integrate younger players.

The line-up of Mateusz Popiołkowski, Jakub Janicki, Ryszard Wiśniewski, Mateusz Hulbój, Mikołaj gumny, Michał Kasprzyk, Adrian Krokowski and Dominik Kotulski all used the tournament as perfect preparation for the Polish championship, welcoming the €600 prize money into the bargain.

Euro Hockey League media release

Defending champs Pahang sent packing in both boys and girls’ events

By Aftar Singh

Timely: Perak goalkeeper M. Azlan Ridwan coming off his line to block an attempt by Perlis’ M. Irfan Shah during the National Under-14 match at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil. — Azhar Arif / The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: The Pahang boys and girls’ teams, both defending champions, crashed out in the second round of the 1MAS National Under-14 Hockey Championships.

The Pahang boys, two-time winners, were stunned by Sabah 1-0 in Group Y at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

Haziq Haiqal Daus scored Sabah’s winner in the 37th minute.

Sabah will wrap up their group fixtures against last year’s runners-­up Johor today. They need a win to reach the final.

In the girls’ competition, Penang upset Pahang 3-2 in Group Y at the Education Ministry Turf.

Penang complete their group fixtures against Selangor today.

Sabah coach Hasrul Jideh praised his players for their fighting spirit.

“We made less mistakes and did well to score one vital goal to collect full points,” said Hasrul.

“We’re in the group of death as Pahang are defending champions, while Johor were runners-up last year.

“We’ll face another tough match against Johor as they had a day’s rest while my players are tired after today’s (yesterday) tough match.

“I hope my players can rise to the occasion.”

Perak also took a step closer to the final after a 3-0 win over Perlis in Group X.

Aiman Safwan Abdullah fired Perak ahead off a penalty corner in the 21st minute.

Muhammad Haikal Azeem Rozai­nil converted two penalty corners in the 25th and 37th minutes to give the silver state full points.

Perak, who finished fifth last year, must beat Kuala Lumpur tomorrow to reach the final.

In the girls’ action, Penang took a 2-0 lead over Pahang after just 11 minutes.

Dayang Nur Atasha Shahrulsani struck in the second minute before Nur Syahirah Azwan sounded the board in the 11th minute.

Pahang fought back with two goals in 10 minutes via Zawia­tu­lak­ma Hartomo in the 15th minute and J. Thibathurshini 10 minutes later.

But Dayang scored Penang’s winner in the 44th minute.

Penang team manager Shanta Devi said they executed their game plan well.

“We knew we could beat Pahang as we defeated them (2-1) in the group match last year.

“We finished third but this time we want to go all the way.”

In a Group X, Kuala Lumpur beat Melaka 2-0 to stay on course for a final spot.

KL led through Kirandeep Kaur in the 14th minute before skipper Nur Faridah Sulaiman converted a penalty stroke in the 26th.

KL must beat Terengganu today to reach the final.



13th-15th classification playoff: Melaka 2 Kedah 0
10th-12th classification playoff: Penang 2 Terengganu 1
7th-9th classification playoff: Kelantan 2 N. Sembilan 2


Group X: Perak 3 Perlis 0
Group Y: Pahang 0 Sabah 1


10th-12th classification playoff: Kedah 0 N. Sembilan3
7th-9th classification playoff: Perlis 0 Perak 2


Group X: Melaka 0 K. Lumpur 2
Group Y: Penang 3 Pahang 2



13th-15th classification playoff: Kedah vs Sarawak (7am)
10th-12th classification playoff: Terengganu vs Singapore (8.30am)
7th-9th classification playoff: N. Sembilan vs Selangor (4pm)

Second Round

Group X: Perlis vs K. Lumpur (5.30pm)
Group Y: Sabah vs Johor (7pm) (Matches at National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil)


10th-12th classification playoff: N. Sembilan vs Sarawak (7.30am)
7th-9th classification matches: Perak vs Johor (9am)

Second round

Group X: K. Lumpur vs Terengganu (3pm)
Group Y: Pahang vs Selangor (4.30pm)
(Matches at Education Ministry Turf)

The Star of Malaysia

Vikas Dahiya willing to bide his time

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: To avoid facing the wrath of his chemistry teacher in school, Vikas Dahiya would often bunk classes and would spend that time at Sonepat's Sports Authority of India (SAI) grounds. As a lanky youngster, he first impressed coaches with his fitness and later was asked to man the goalpost because he was pretty tall for his age.

"That's how my career in hockey started shaping up," recalled Dahiya, who is one among the four goalkeepers in the Senior India scheme of things. The others being PR Sreejesh, Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera.

For a young boy who bunked school and was never sound academically, Dahiya comes across as a person with clear priorities. It was not a surprise then that he spoke highly about the competition he is facing to sneak into the senior India team. In fact, he knows very well that all the goalkeepers will get their chances and the one who delivers, will serve India in the days to come.

"There was always competition for a goalkeeper's spot, but it has only increased now," he said on the sidelines of the Bombay Gold Cup hockey tournament being conducted by the Mumbai Hockey Association Limited at their Churchgate premise. Dahiya manned the bar for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited in a drawn encounter against Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) on Wednesday.

"In the present scenario, all of us are bound to get opportunities. We are four goalkeepers, and both Akash Chikte and Sreejesh had gone for the Hockey World League semifinal in London. Now Suraj and Akash were given a chance in the Hockey World League Final. So yeah, everyone gets a chance because all four goalkeepers go through the same training regime. If all don't get a chance then it will be unfair," Dahiya observed.

Sreejsh is the senior-most and the most experienced among the four. But the Kerala goalkeeper does not have too much time left in international hockey. In a year or two, he will have to pave the way for either Dahiya, Karkera or Chikte. Dahiya admits that the trio, even though they have and are still learning a lot from the senior pro, can hope to replace Srejeesh in the senior national team.

"All of us are growing under Sreejesh, because after he departs, one of us will have to take his place. So there is a lot of competition between us. Sreejesh undoubtedly is the most experienced among us. We spend the whole day under him and receive similar level of training. But because we know he has to make way for one of us in the days to come, we have started thinking about competing with him in a healthy way. Earlier, none of us could even imagine competing with him," he said.

Even Sreejesh knows he doesn't have much time left and he is mentoring juniors in every way he can. "He (Sreejesh) has created a very positive environment for us. Normally, if someone is competing with you, you wouldn't offer tips or share secrets, because you fear he may end up replacing you, but that's not how it is with Sreejesh," Dahiya said.

For now, Dahiya is awaiting his turn.

The Times of India

FIH chief Narinder Batra set to be elected as the president of Indian Olympic Association

File image of Narinder Batra. AFP

New Delhi: International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Narinder Batra is set to be elected as the president of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) during its Annual General Body Meeting, in New Delhi on Thursday.

Besides Batra, incumbent secretary general Rajeev Mehta is to be re-elected for a second term.

Batra's election to the top post for a four year term will be a formality though technically there will be a contest against former All India Tennis Association (AITA) president Anil Khanna, who withdrew from the poll after the due date.

Interestingly, Khanna, who is the incumbent treasurer, did not withdraw before the deadline of December 3 but informed the Election Commission on December 7 that he will not contest the polls and will support Batra for the top job.

He said he was 'withdrawing' his candidature to "keep the IOA family united".

Indian Weightlifting Federation president Birendra Baishya was also initially in the fray for the post of President but later pulled out of the race.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court refused to interfere with the IOA elections after advocate and well-known sports activist Rahul Mehra sought an interim stay on the poll process on the ground that it was being held in violation of the sports code.

The bench also clarified that the election process and its result will be subject to the final outcome of the application pending before this court.

Batra will thus become one of the few sports administrators who heads an important international federation as well as a National Olympic Committee.

Meanwhile, Mehta was the lone candidate for the post of the secretary general and will be declared elected for the same post tomorrow in the AGM of the IOA.

Initially, there was some uncertainty whether Batra will be eligible to contest for the post of the president but the doubts were cleared after Returning Officer S K Mendiratta ruled that those persons who were members of the Executive Councils of 2012-14 and 2014-17 can stand for the top post.

Later, a Special General Body Meeting held on November 29 passed a resolution which, in effect, was the same as the ruling of the RO.

Batra was a member of the Executive Council of 2012-14 when the IOA was under suspension for allowing chargeframed persons in the election process. He was initially an associate member of the Executive Council of 2014-17 (not a full member) but later resigned from that also.

All the other posts will have elections with the IOA Electoral College set to vote through secret ballot.

Jharkhand Olympic Association chief RK Anand will have a straight fight against former Kabaddi Federation of India president Janardhan Singh Gehlot for the lone post of senior vice-president.

There will be a three-cornered contest for the post of treasurer among Anandeshwar Pandey, Mukesh Kumar and Rakesh Gupta.

For the eight posts of vice-presidents, 12 are in the fray, including the likes of Virendra Nanavati, Athletics Federation of India president Adille Sumariwalla, Luge Federation of India chief Karan Chautala and former BJP National Council member Sudhanshu Mittal.

Nine candidates are also in the fray for the six posts of joint secretaries while 15 will contest for the 10 other members of the Executive Council.

The total members of the electoral college is 184, including two IOA Athletes Commission members — PT Usha and Rajeev Tomar. Out of these, 116 are from the National Sports Federations and remaining from the state Olympic associations.

Each NSF has maximum of three voters while each state Olympic unit has two voters.

There is a possibility that International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Council from Asia (OCA) may not send any observer for the elections as it has been a smooth poll process so far. The government though is sending an observer during the polls which will be held after all the other proceedings of the AGM are over.


Batra set to be elected IOA president

NEW DELHI: International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra is all set to be elected as the president of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) here on Thursday after the Delhi High Court refused to interfere with the IOA elections on a petition filed by sports activist Rahul Mehra.

However, the Court has directed that the election process and its result will be subject to the final hearing of the application pending before the court. Mehra, in his application, had sought an interim stay on the IOA elections, citing violation of the national sports code.

But, with the Court giving a go-ahead to conduct the IOA elections during its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in the Capital on Thursday, Batra's election is almost certain. His opponents in the fray, former All India Tennis Association (AITA) president Anil Khanna and Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) chief Birendra Baishya, have already withdrawn from the race after extending support to Batra.

Same is the case with current secretary general Rajeev Mehta, who will be elected unopposed at the post for the second consecutive term after none of the IOA member chose to contest against him. The AGM will also witness elections for the eight posts of vice-president, six joint secretaries, a lone treasurer and 10 Executive Council members.

The Times of India

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