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News for 06 July 2020

All the news for Monday 6 July 2020

Malaysian Seniors train, Juniors have to wait

National team management committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Najmi Razak (right) speaks to the national trainees on the first day of training in Bukit Jalil on Wednesday. -NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

THE national junior hockey squad were all excited to report for centralised training in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

However, they had to abandon their plans as they have not been tested for Covid-19.

The national seniors, even though they have yet to be tested for the virus, reported for training on Wednesday.

However, the seniors have been adhering to strict guidelines during training sessions.

Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) national team management committee chairman Datuk Ahmad
Najmi Razak explained the reason behind it yesterday.

"Our players will only be tested tomorrow because there is a long queue of athletes from other sports.

"It is arranged by the National Sports Council (NSC).

"We had informed the respective coaches that it was their call to train or not before being tested.

"The seniors decided to go ahead.

"The juniors and the women's team will only do so after getting their test results.

"We were told that the results will only be available after 32 hours upon testing.

"The juniors and the women might start training on Thursday," said Najmi.

In the initial standard operating procedure (SOP) prepared by the MHC, Covid-19 testing was part of it but since the NSC are doing it batch-by-batch, the delay was unavoidable.

"There is still time as the seniors only have the Asian Champions Trophy in November (in Bangladesh) while the new schedules for the men and women's Junior Asia Cup have yet to be announced," Najmi added.

New Straits Times

Yukari’s golden ambitions

At 26 years old, Yukari Mano is neither one of the oldest nor one of the most experienced players in the Japanese side but, since her debut in 2013, she has been an outstanding performer for the Cherry Blossoms.

An attacking midfielder, Yukari has been one of a number of players that Head Coach Anthony Farry has been building his squad around to a point where they are now challenging higher ranked teams for medal positions.

A first ever gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games and a second place finish at Ready, Steady, Tokyo, where the team finished ahead of higher ranked Australia and China, are both signs that Japan will be looking for medals at their home Olympic Games.

In this interview, Yukari talks about the forthcoming home Olympics and how her club coach in Japan has been instrumental in helping her develop her positive attitude and relentless determination on the pitch.

How are you feeling at the prospect of playing hockey in front of a home crowd at the Olympics next year?

Yukari Mano: “Needless to say, I have a special feeling towards the Olympics, especially since it is being hosted in my own country. But, moreover, for all teams participating and coming together to play at next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, there will be a great meaning under the current circumstances where all medical professionals are battling at the front line while facing risks themselves. And through the conscious efforts made by every individual to overcome the challenges.

“I am very grateful for our situation where we can continue to play hockey and our goal has not changed. We will continue working as a team and build on what is needed to win a gold medal, while enjoying hockey to the fullest.”

Who first influenced you to pick up a stick and play hockey?

Yukari Mano: “I decided to play hockey when I went to the hockey field with my mom right around when I was starting middle school. I saw the players from Sony, which is my current team.”

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

Yukari Mano: “The person that has influenced me the most in my hockey career is my current team Head Coach Mr Yuji Nagai. Not only am I thankful for his advice about skills, but I am even more thankful for making me realise what is important, which is the attitude with which I should face hockey’s challenges.”

What moment on the pitch are you most proud of?

Yukari Mano: “The moment I feel most proud is whenever the team scores. I feel proud because I feel that it’s truly a result of what the team has worked towards.”

In recent months the Covid-19 situation has impinged on you and your team’s ability to prepare. How have you stayed connected as a team during that period?

Yukari Mano: “During the time we weren’t able to practice as a team we did things to maintain communication through online training and diary exchanges about our daily lives during the Stay Home period. I feel that sharing the training status or just how we were all feeling has really maintained our motivation levels.”

Profile*: Yukari Mano – Japan
Position: Midfield
Shirt number: 8
Age: 26
International appearances: 124
Place of birth:Kakamigahara, Japan

You can follow Yukari on Twitter @manochi634 and Instagram capy.34_

FIH site

Hockey New Zealand shut down claims that former assistant coach was 'working against positive changes'

NZ Hockey has refuting claims that former Black Sticks women's assistant coach Katie Glynn was "working against positive changes in the team".

The statement from Hockey NZ was signed by all 24 current players, with the Blacksticks players going on to say they’re saddened by Glynn’s departure. Source: 1 NEWS

The statement released by Hockey NZ, which was in response to a 1 NEWS story last week, is signed by all 24 current players.

In the statement, the womens Black Sticks players go on to say that they are saddened by the Glynn's departure.

Hockey NZ also denied rumours of a breakdown in relationship between Glynn and head coach Graham Shaw.


Why Kenyan star Guchu’s rise to the top has not been smooth

By Elizabeth Mburugu

Caroline Guchu (L) of Telkom contest for ball with Phanice Ayieko of USIU-A during their Hockey Premier League match at City Park hockey stadium in Nairobi on June 08, 2019. Telkom won 2-1. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Former Kerugoya Girls player has had to overcome many challenges including losing her mother while on national team duty

She was the first Kenyan captain to lift the East Africa Secondary Schools girls’ hockey title.

Since childhood, Kenya and Blazers midfielder Caroline Guchu believed that nothing could beat the power of self belief.

It is with that conviction that she gave her all to everything she did ensuring that she attained success no matter how difficult the task was.

An all-rounded individual Guchu was multi-talented in sports and played handball, athletics, volleyball and football in her formative years until she discovered that hockey was her true love.

She enjoyed sports and wanted to succeed, rise to stardom and become a celebrated star just like many Kenyan athletes she had watched on television.

Just like the stars she had admired she knew too well that the best place to start her journey was in secondary school.

In 2005 she thought that success was instant, she had just joined Form One at Kerugoya Girls and without much struggle made it to the school’s handball first team.

They excelled at the Kirinyaga District and qualified for the Central Province school games. Earning a trip excited her and ignited the desire for more outings.

She was a multi-talented and a promising footballer. It was while playing football in 2006 that the then Kerugoya girls hockey coach Joseph Maina convinced her to join the hockey team.

“Coach Maina believed that as long as a student was active in any sport they had the potential to excel in any discipline and so he urged me to join the hockey team,” Guchu said.

She heeded Maina’s call and started as a goalkeeper before switching to the midfield.

“He (Maina) thought that I could make a great goalkeeper but I was afraid of the shots and so I approached him and expressed my fears. He was a good listener and he agreed to train me in field play. I worked very hard in training because I didn’t want to let him down.”

Her efforts paid off and she mastered the basic playing skills. However, it was not easy to get play time due to competition for slots in the team.

“Hockey was the only sport that was doing very well in our school and so because of the success and trips it was every student’s favourite,” she added.

However, as Sir Winston Churchill once said success is going from failure to failure without losing the enthusiasm, Guchu had her fair share of disappointment.

Despite putting in extra hours to improve her game, Guchu’s dreams to play at the 2006 national games crashed when they lost to Maryhill Girls High School in the Central Province games final.

In 2007, Kerugoya fell to Maryhill for a second year in a row. Though Guchu lost to Audrey Omaido and Margret Rotich who would later become her teammates at Telkom Orange that rebranded to Blazers last year, she bursts into laughter as she remembers how it all happened.

“Their coach (Maryhill coach) was something else, how could we even win against them? He came to the pitch with a public announcement system to cheer his girls, that alone frightened us,” she added.

After two years of heartbreak, they finally got it right making it to the 2008 national games in her final year of high school.

It was a good year for Kerugoya as they went all the way to the final losing to Pangani Girls 4-5 flicks after the march had ended in a barren draw.

As the captain Guchu was determined to fight for her school and was not ready to let anything stop her as it meant enduring pain after breaking a finger during the grueling final encounter.

“I did not disclose to the team or even our coach that I had broken my finger because it would have dampened their spirits. I remained silent and played to fulltime, it was a very important moment for our school and even though we did not win the title we made a statement by stretching the city giants to a tie-breaker.”

Having proved their worth at the national games, there was no looking back for Guchu and her charges as they embarked on preparations for the East Africa games. They had everything to train hard for, a chance to make history, pride to represent Kenya at the regional games and to spice it up a trip to Kigali, Rwanda.

“We were very excited, it was a first in all aspects, hockey was going to be played at the East Africa games for the first time, a first trip out of the country and a chance to become the first regional champions, we had every reason to work hard it was very exciting,” she remembers with nostalgia.

Kigali presented Guchu a final chance to become a schools champion and she made the best out of it leading her side to the historical victory. Maina says that he believed Guchu would deliver.

“She was very talented and commanded respect from other students easily influencing them. So I made her the captain because I believed that apart from being hardworking and learning very fast she would also influence other players into working hard for positive results,” Maina said.

While at the school games, Guchu had caught the eye of current women’s national team assistant coach Glennis Namasake of Blazers.

Namasake ensured that Guchu joined the former continental champions after school.

“I joined Telkom Orange (Blazers) in 2009 and even though I had been training with the veterans prior to that I almost quit because club hockey was very tough and demanding. I’m very grateful to the late Betty Tiony and Jacqueline Mwangi for encouraging me not to give up. Mwangi made sure I never had any reason to miss training as she dropped me home after every session.”

Since joining the hockey giants, Guchu has won six Africa Cup of Club Championship trophies, 11 league titles and other tournaments.

Her star kept shining making her international debut in 2012 where Kenya finished second behind South Africa in the 2012 London Olympic Qualifiers held in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.

In spite of winning countless gold medals, Guchu says that winning the International Hockey Federation (FIH) World League Series One and qualifying for round two which was held in Montevideo, Uruguay is the highlight of her playing career.

However, it is also during that tournament that she had to show her strength and courage as she was still grieving the loss of her mother. “It was a very tough and my lowest moment, I had just lost my mother and I knew life has never been the same again. I was grieving but I had to overcome my grief, my mother had supported and always wanted me to be the best I could be so I had to gather courage and return to national team training because the country and team also needed me.”

Guchu who is one of the best midfielders in the country has been a regular in the national team and has never missed a spot since 2011.

She says that playing for the top club in Africa has been possible due to the passion and dedication of her teammates and the technical bench led by long award winning coach Jos Openda.

“It is amazing playing in a top club it is more of a family. Everyone fights and wants the best for the team. I have grown since joining as a junior close to a decade ago and I’m grateful to the team for they have all contributed to my growth more so to Tiony and Rose Mbulo who molded me into a dependable midfielder. I have also learned that staying at the top is very hard and calls for more work and sacrifice.”

She ventured into coaching and has had been training students back in Kirinyaga. “I want to transition into management and I have been developing my coaching skills so as to gain more experience. I coach students but my aim is to manage top teams in the near future.”

The Standard Digital

Hockey India congratulates Cuttack Youth on promotion by FIH

Pic Courtesy: bizbehindsports.com

New Delhi: Hockey India on Monday congratulated Biswaranjan Sarangi of Cuttack, Odisha on being promoted to Technical Officer – Advancement Panel by the FIH Officials Committee.

The sport’s world governing body had announced its decision on Friday. Having worked his way from the domestic circuit to the international level, Sarangi has been an exceptional technical official for the past few years, which has seen him being appointed for various tournaments around the globe. His first international appointment by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) was in August 2018 when he was promoted to FIH International Technical Official.

Sarangi had then become the first official from Odisha to have been promoted as an FIH International Technical Official, which was a result of him delivering excellent results as a judge at the Men’s Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand, and as Technical Official at the 27th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup 2018 in Ipoh Malaysia.

His exposure at the international level has also seen him being involved as an Assistant Technical Delegate at the 30th Southeast Asian Games 2019 in the Philippines, and as Judge during the 2020 edition of the FIH Hockey Pro League.

“I am delighted to have been granted the promotion to Technical Officer – Advancement Panel by the FIH Officials Committee. It is a huge honour for me to be representing our nation at such a huge level, and it comes down to the exposure I have been provided by Hockey India during my career as a Technical Official,” Sarangi said.

“I first gained exposure at the Hockey India League in 2015 as a Technical Official, and have ever since been officiating at various domestic and international events.

“My growth as a technical official could not have been possible without the support of my family and of the Hockey India umpiring, technical and competitions committee, which has trusted my abilities and given me opportunities to serve in this profession,” he added.

Congratulating Sarangi, Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, President, Hockey India said, “With our federation working tirelessly towards achieving best results in hockey at the international arena, I am happy to note that Sarangi’s promotion to the advancement panel further strengthens India’s representation through technical officials and umpires at the international stage.”

Sambaden English

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