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News for 02 August 2020

All the news for Sunday 2 August 2020

Hockey on the Olympic Channel: Dhyan Chand, Kate Richardson-Walsh and Jacques Brinkman

Photo credit: Olympic Channel

As we continue our series of feature stories marking the original event dates of Tokyo 2020, we take a look at a small selection of the fantastic hockey content that is currently available on The Olympic Channel, the official news and video service of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  

Feature: Dhyan Chand – the hockey wizard who had the world on his stick
Journalist Naveen Peter looks back on the remarkable career and impact of Dhyan Chand, the man who inspired India to Olympic gold medals at the Amsterdam 1928, Los Angeles 1932 and Berlin 1936. Chand mesmerised the world with his silky stickwork, earning him his ‘hockey wizard’ nickname. To read the complete story about this legendary figure of Indian sport, click here.

Podcast: Great Britain’s Kate Richardson-Walsh on a broken jaw and making dreams come true.
Team GB hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh had a year from hell in 2014. “I started to ask myself some really big life questions. Why am I here? What is my value?", she said. After breaking her jaw in the first game of the 2012 Olympics, she won a bronze medal on home soil. The quest for an Olympic gold seemed to be impossible after a disappointing performance in the 2014 World Cup. But the team did become champions at Rio 2016. So, how did she make her dreams come true?To listen to Kate Richardson-Walsh’s revealing interview, click here.

Video: Jacques Brinkman’s tips for hockey
When a double Olympic champion such as Netherlands legend Jacques Brinkman offers advice to become a better player, people tend to listen. In a special video, Brinkman – one of the all-time greats of Dutch hockey and father of current Netherlands men’s international Thierry – offers eight tips to improve your on-field hockey skills. To see Jacques Brinkman’s tips video, and also get a glimpse of the Olympic gold medals at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Games, click here.

As well as the above, there is a great selection of Olympic hockey match highlights available for your viewing pleasure, more of which we will tell you about next week.

You can see an overview of some of the Hockey Channel’s biggest hockey stories by clicking here. To see a complete list of hockey videos and stories on the Olympic channel, please click here.



Olympic hockey through the ages

A look back at over 100 years of hockey at the Olympic Games

Atlanta 1996: This was a big year from the Dutch men’s team, who finally achieved Olympic gold after years of missing out. Exactly 24 years ago today, the Netherlands - featuring a 20-year-old Teun de Nooijer alongside established stars Floris Jan Bovelander, Stephan Veen, Taco van den Honert and the aforementioned Jacques Brinkman - defeated surprise package Spain 3-1 in the final thanks to goals from Bovelander (2) and Bram Lomans. The all-conquering Hockeyroos took gold in the women’s competition, beating Korea 3-1 thanks to strikes from Australia legends Alyson Annan (2) and Katrina Powell.

Tomorrow: Sydney 2000


On this day – 2 August: In addition to the Netherlands men winning gold on this day in 1996, the hockey competitions at London 1948, Los Angeles 1984, Barcelona 1992 and London 2012 were also up and running. Argentina women took a significant stride towards the final of London 2012 by defeating New Zealand 2-1 thanks to a double from Carla Rebecchi, a result which proved crucial in seeing Las Leonas finishing at the top of Pool B ahead of the Black Sticks. Argentina would go on to defeat hosts Great Britain in the semi-final before being beaten to gold by the Netherlands, losing 2-0.

To find out more about purchasing tickets for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, please click here.

FIH site

‘Being an Olympian is something I am forever grateful for’, says South Africa icon Marsha Cox

Marsha Cox is an undisputed legend of South African hockey. Making her senior international debut in 2001 at the tender age of 18, Cox – or Marsha Marescia, as she was known before her marriage to renowned Dutch hockey coach Alexander Cox – went on to represent her country a staggering 347 times over a 14-year career, competing at the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games, captaining her country both in Beijing and London.

As well as the Olympics, she also played in four World Cups, four Commonwealth Games competitions and is a multiple African continental champion. It was a remarkable journey for Cox, who grew up in Durban and experienced apartheid in her early years before going on to become a trailblazing and iconic figure in South African hockey, not to mention a truly world class player.

In the first of two interviews, Cox – who lives in the Netherlands with Alexander and their daughter, with baby number two set to arrive in September – reflects on her Olympic memories as a player, whilst also recalling the day she was left completely star-struck by meeting track icon Usain Bolt in the Olympic Village at Beijing 2008.

Hi Marsha, thank you for talking to us! Looking back on your international career, what moment would you say that you are most proud of, and why?

Marsha Cox: “I would probably say that one of my proudest moments would be my first Olympic Games. I think that would always be something special. You know, growing up in apartheid South Africa, and being part of pretty much the first generation of change as a teenager, being exposed to the Olympic Games at a time when for the first time we were possibly even allowed to dream of it, it was a seed that was planted. In 2004, when I was part of the Athens Olympic team for South Africa, that was huge honour and a huge achievement, and something that I had dreamt about, but never, as a teenager, thought that could ever become a reality. So, when it did, it definitely marked one of the most special moments in my playing career.”

What is your best memory from competing at the Olympics, either on or off the field?

Marsha Cox: “It’s a bit tough! I think the first on-field amazing memory would be at the 2004 Games in Athens, which was my first Olympic Games. We were having a really rough start to the tournament, and in the pool stages we came up against Germany, and we ended up winning that game 3-1. As the tournament continued, it only got tougher of course, but Germany went onto win the Olympic gold medal. Actually, we were the only team to take points off Germany at the Olympics in Athens, so that one will definitely stick in the memory bank.

“Off the field, there have been so many great memories. I think one I’ll always treasure was at the Beijing [2008] Olympic Games, the moment that I met Usain Bolt just outside the Jamaica House in the Olympic Village. It was after he had broken the 200m world record. I remember being so star-struck, not knowing what to do! I didn’t have my telephone with me, I didn’t have anything. I just had my SA gear that I would need to travel back home to South Africa [wearing]. I asked him for his autograph, and as I had nothing, he signed his autograph on the leg of my tracksuit pants. So, I travelled back to South Africa in the tracksuit pants that had Usain Bolt’s signature on them. That is definitely one [moment] that I will remember as well.”

This month would have been the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which has now been delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic. As a triple Olympian who captained the team at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012, what did it mean to both you and your family to represent South Africa on the biggest sporting stage in the world?

Marsha Cox: “I can totally understand the disappointment, for some athletes, that it has been extended by a year. But, for others, it is a great opportunity, to have an extra year of training and preparation. Being a triple Olympian is something that is special, and something that I am extremely proud of. For my family of course, growing up in a completely different time, this is something I think will always be dear to my family, the fact that I participated in three Olympic Games. It’s an amazing event, and I think participating and being one of those very unique athletes thereafter makes it something even more special. You truly understand how unique it is, to be an Olympian. I can only imagine the excitement and anxiety as we build up to Tokyo 2021, for some of the players. But for myself alone, being an Olympian is something that I am forever grateful for.”

South Africa’s teams, both women and men, will both be involved in Tokyo next year, something you must be delighted about. Do you have any words of advice for those younger members of the teams who will be attending their first Olympic Games?

Marsha Cox: “It’s fantastic that South Africa will compete in Tokyo 2021, both the men and women’s hockey teams. For all the youngsters going to their first Olympic Games, I think the only advice I can give you is to cherish every single minute of it. It is going to be over before you know it, but one thing to bear in mind is that everyone is there to compete, and everyone is there with the winning mind-set. So, go out there with that exact same mentality, that exact same conviction, and do your best. But most of all, enjoy every single moment of every single experience that you are exposed to at the Olympic Games.”

The second part of our extensive interview with Marsha Cox will be published in the coming weeks.


Olympic hockey through the ages

A look back at over 100 years of hockey at the Olympic Games

Barcelona 1992: With Spain being the location, it was only fitting that a Spanish team would perform well in Barcelona. However, few predicted it would be the women. The unfancied Spanish overcame Germany in the women’s final with a 2-1 triumph, with Eli Maragall’s winning goal arriving thirteen minutes into extra-time, producing one of the biggest shocks in the history of the sport. The men’s gold medal went to Germany, who defeated Australia 2-1 in the final thanks to a double from Michael Hilgers.

Tomorrow: Atlanta 1996


On this day – 1 August 1996: Australia women won the first of two consecutive Olympic gold medals at Atlanta 1996, with Alyson Annan (2) and Katrina Powell giving the Hockeyroos a 3-1 win over Korea. Superstar Annan finished joint tournament top scorer with eight goals, level with Korea’s Chang Eun-Jung.

To find out more about purchasing tickets for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, please click here.

FIH site

Tokyo-bound Indian men, women’s hockey teams to resume camps at SAI Bengaluru after Karnataka gives green signal

The Olympics-bound Indian men's and women's hockey teams will return for their respective national camps on 4 August at SAI Centre in Bengaluru and head straight to a 14-day quarantine in keeping with the COVID-19 protocols.

The decision was taken by the Sports Authority of India after the nodal body received the go-ahead from the Karnataka government that has been battling rising COVID-19 cases in recent times.

"The camp will begin in keeping with all protocols and in strict adherence to the SOPs of SAI and that of the state government.

"Athletes, coaches and support staff will also be tested when they arrive in Bengaluru to ensure that all campers are at a reduced risk of contracting the COVID-19 virus," SAI said in a statement on Saturday.

The players and support staff, who will arrive from various parts of the country and abroad, will undergo a two-week quarantine inside the campus before resuming training.

They will be tested on arrival and will be tested again after the quarantine period ends.

Having spent nearly four months in the camp due to the nationwide lockdown, the players headed to their home towns on 19 June for a four-week break after the easing of restrictions.

"Considering the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Bengaluru, the permission from the state government has been given subject to all arriving athletes, coaches and support staff adhering to institutional quarantine protocols issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Health and Government of Karnataka," the SAI stated.

SAI Bengaluru administration has already held online workshops for athletes, coaches and support staff scheduled to join the camp on precautionary measures to be followed while inside the campus.


Indian women's hockey prodigy aims for nation's first Asian Games title since 1980s

By Michael Houston

Mumtaz Khan is looking for Asian Games success in the future ©Getty Images

Teenage Indian hockey sensation Mumtaz Khan has said that she hopes that as she grows as a player, she can help her nation win an Asian Games title for the first time in nearly 40 years.

With India last winning the Asian Games in women's hockey in 1982, 17-year-old Khan is looking to move into the senior set-up as she continues to play with the junior hockey team.

As a forward, she took up the sport in 2011 after being spotted at her local school and in 2014 began to train under the tutelage of the woman that had spotted her - Neelam Siddiqui.

She comes from a humble background with her parents both working as vegetable vendors in her hometown of Lucknow, and has said she hopes she can improve her family's life.

"I do come from a very humble background so one of the factors in me playing hockey was that I might be able to help my parents," said Khan.

"I have been fortunate enough to have represented the Indian junior women's team and have always aimed at giving my all on the pitch, and I am hoping that it can translate into a bright future for us off the field."

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Mumtaz Khan's performances at the 2018 Youth Olympics ©Getty Images

Khan has been lauded for her efforts as a player at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires in Argentina, by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi.

There, she scored 10 goals, helping India take the silver medal and despite her lofty hopes in the future, has said that she plans to take it one step at a time.

"I know that whatever I have done so far is nothing as compared to what I want to achieve in my career, so I don't want to get too ahead of myself," said Khan.

"I want to ensure I am taking small baby steps, and doing the right things always.

"I am happy to have the support of my parents and my coaches, and my dream is to repay their faith in whatever way possible."

In her young career she has also won bronze at the Girls Under-18 Asia Cup in 2016, silver at the Six Nations Invitational Tournament in 2018 and the gold at the Cantor Fitzgerald Under-21 International Four Nations Tournament in 2019.

Speaking of potential success at the Asian Games, Khan said she was excited about the possibility of inclusion within the senior team.

India last won the title when the nation hosted the Games in 1982, with the women's hockey team defeating the likes of South Korea and Malaysia on their way to gold.

She added: "I have very clear goals in mind, which are to perform very well in each training session and each match that I play for my country, and eventually help my team in winning medals at big tournaments like the Olympics and the Asian Games."

Inside the Games

Becher moves on to big football job after crucial role at Mannheim

Matthias Becher is set to move on from Mannheimer HC after 11 years as a key part of the club’s growth to being one of the powerhouses of European hockey, taking up a big job with Stuttgart Kickers football club.

He joined the club in 2009 as a 32-year-old and his time at the club culminated in their first German men’s championship in 2017 while they also landed EHL bronze in the 2018/19 season. 

Becher was a long-time assistant coach to Michael McCann and was instrumental in ensuring that the team established itself among the elite teams nationally and at European level

Before that, Becher worked for the German Hockey Federation in a variety of coaching roles and, in that realm, he helped win the Junior World Cup in India in 2013 as an assistant. 

At the same time, he was part of the coaching team that won the European Indoor Championships with the A squad and the bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Rio. Since January 2017, he has concentrated fully on his tasks in Mannheim. 

It means there will be a very new look coaching team with Mike McCann stepping away this summer from the head coach role for family reasons with Andreu Enrich taking on the reins, supported by Peter “Bob” Maschke. 

He will now take on the managing director’s role at Stuttgart Kickers

“We would like to thank Matze for his excellent work and wish him the very best for his new challenge. He will always have a place in the MHC family.” said a statement from the club’s board.

Euro Hockey League media release

Roche steps down as captain after magic eight-year stint at HWHC

Hampstead & Westminster’s Toby Roche has stepped down after a remarkable eight years as captain of the club’s men’s first team.

Roche helped bring the team from the brink of relegation to lift the trophy as England champions and compete in the Euro Hockey League for the first time last October.

He has been first team captain since Jonny Dodds, joined HWHC, with the latter saying: “Toby’s contribution to HWHC has been enormous both on and off the pitch. Thank you for everything you’ve done for HWHC and me personally as Men’s Club Captain.”

Club Chairman Jonny Witt added: “A massive thank you for all of your hard work. Eight years must be a record for almost any captaincy at this club, so to do it as the first team captain is all the more impressive. I know we would not have had as much success if you had not been leading from the front.”

Former Irish international Chris Cargo will take over the role. The Rio Olympian joined the club in 2016 following spells with, among others, Reading and Racing Club de Bruxelles. With Reading, he won an EHL bronze in 2011 amid 26 appearances in the world’s best club competition. 

Euro Hockey League media release

Surbiton welcome back three former youth players for new season

Surbiton have welcomed back three former youth players who have rejoined their first team squad for the 2020/21 season.

Lottie Ross, Meg Dowthwaite and Louisa Bray return “home” to the ENglish hampions from Sugden Road after time away from hockey and university. 

All three players bring excellent playing pedigree with them, with several years of junior international hockey representation under their belts from Under 16 through to Under 23 level.

Ross, a versatile defender, returns to Surbiton after three years at the University of Nottingham, playing Premier League hockey for Beeston and as captain of her university’s first team.

Goalkeeper Bray also comes back to Surbiton after three years of studying and has picked up extensive experiences as part of the GB development squad alongside Ross, together with playing National League and BUCS hockey for Durham University. 

Meg Dowthwaite will add firepower to Surbiton’s forward line and returns to the club after eight years away. After starting her career as a youngster at Surbiton, she went on to have a stint at Wimbledon HC followed by four years of hockey at the University of Michigan in the US.

Coach Brett Garrard is delighted about the squad’s latest signings, saying: “We are really pleased to welcome three of our former Colts back to the club and it’s brilliant to see Lottie, Louisa and Meg out on the pitch at Sugden Road again for pre-season. 

“Our success over the last few years has been underpinned by our strength in depth and it’s always a great reflection on SHC that players who grew up at the club want to come back to us after time away for hockey or study. 

“I know that the return of the girls will bring a lot to the squad both on and off the pitch. I am excited to see the progress that Lottie, Louisa and Meg have made since they last represented Surbiton and look forward to helping them continue to develop over the coming season.”

Euro Hockey League media release

Alex Danson-Bennett returns to hockey on Wimbledon Women’s coaching team

By Rod Gilmour

England and GB great Alex Danson-Bennett will return to the game – albeit on the sidelines – after being announced as part of the coaching team at newly-promoted Wimbledon Women for the upcoming season.

Danson-Bennett, 35, retired in February following her mild traumatic brain injury in 2018 – but had hinted at a future coaching role to The Hockey Paper with her competitive career at both club and international level now over.

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Wimbledon Women’s coaching team for the 20/21 season,” she said.

“I’ve missed competitive hockey immensely and can not wait to join the women in their Premiership campaign.”

Wimbledon have been searching for a head coach following the departure of Simon Organ, who had taken the side back to the top flight before the pandemic took hold and the Wimbledon Club was forced to reasses its finances. Organ has since returned to Holland.

It is not yet known the role the former GB captain will play at the club. But the news that Danson-Bennett, regarded as one of Britain’s greatest forwards, will be utlising her wealth of on-pitch experiences could now herald the start of a lengthy coaching career.

Kate Richardson-Walsh said recently: “We can use the likes of her better in this country in terms of coaching, because of her prowess as a goalscorer, her awareness of the game, her positioning and understanding of formation.

“It is an inspirational thing and the GB guys have done it better than the women. We haven’t had that same connection, perhaps because there have been fewer female coaches.

“Can we use Alex in a specialist role in the junior and senior game? We certainly need to keep that talent in the game.”

Both Danson-Bennett and Wimbledon are part of Team STX, with the former an ambassador.

The Hockey Paper

Negri fired up for inaugural MIHL

By Jugjet Singh

NEGRI Sembilan are eager to play in the inaugural Malaysia Indoor Hockey League (MIHL) from Oct 17 to Dec 20.

The tournament will be held at the Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI) in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

Negri will train in Klang to prepare for the tournament as there are no indoor venues in their state.

"Negri took part in the National Sports Council Director General's Indoor Cup many years ago, but the event just died off after that.

"Now that the Malaysian Hockey Confederation are promoting Hockey 5s and indoor hockey, Negri will make a comeback," said Negri Sembilan HA secretary P. Tamil Selvam.

The NSC Director General's Indoor Cup was hosted in 2012 but the interest died off as many preferred field hockey.

National men's junior coach Wallace Tan and assistant Megat Azrafiq were recently in Negri to conduct a seminar on Hockey 5s.

Both had guided Malaysia to the Youth Olympics 5s gold medal in Buenos Aires in 2018.

"The Hockey 5s seminar has rekindled the interest of officials and coaches in Negri, and we will build on it," Tamil added.

The MIHL competition is open to state teams and clubs.

New Straits Times

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