The Homebush Telegraph Day 9
THE HOMEBUSH TELEGRAPH
THE DAILY FIH NEWSLETTER FROM SYDNEY
Monday, 25. September 2000
IT IS BREEZY AT THE TOP
Day 9 of the competition
1100hrs WMP Spain - China 0:0 (0:0)
1600hrsWMP Australia - N Zealand3:0(0:0)
1900hrs MA Great Britain-Canada 1:1 (0:1)
2100 hrs M B Poland - Korea 2:3 (0:2)
The second part of the women's tournament started yesterday at the halfway mark of the actual playing days. The medal pool games are even more crucial now, and teams looked as if they wanted to make sure that they did not drop any points. That resulted in a scoreless draw in the first game of the day!
Then Argentina were out on the pitch, once again playing their hearts out, this time against the Dutch. The Argentine players never seem to be nervous unlike their opposition of yesterday. Luciana Aymar put them ahead in the third minute and they never looked back. The Dutch equalised, but two goals from Augustina Garcia gave Argentina the match and their first points in the medal pool to keep things more interesting.
New Zealand held Australia to a scoreless draw in the first half of their encounter, but Nikki Hudson then got away once too often to give Australia the lead and added another one within two minutes as Australia cruised home easily.
Great Britain had yet another shock to cope with when Canada went ahead through a goal by Ken Pereira after just five minutes. Great Britain then tried to fight back and managed to equalise ten minutes after the break with Canadian goalie, Mike Mahood, securing the draw for his side. Britain is still looking for its first win, again creating opportunities but failing to score.
Korea started well in their game against Poland with fast attacking hockey, giving them three goals, two before halftime and one straight afterwards. Poland fought their way back into the match and gave the Koreans a real scare with their wholehearted approach in the closing minutes of the match.
The only non-English player in the GB side is David Hacker, the36-year old midfielder who played for Hounslow and Canterbury. He actually lives in England, but has a Welsh mother and has spent 16 years in international hockey. He has had 5 caps for GB before this tournament which he played in the build - up for the Barcelona Olympics but then got dropped and did not go, though he felt he played his best hockey then. To be in Sydney is very exciting for him: "It has always been my dream and my belief that I could be an Olympic Athlete," says the PE teacher. Even though this is his dream, the enjoyment factor is still important for Hacker. Before the Olympics, Britain wanted to be a difficult team to beat. Things have not quite gone their way. But they are still hopeful to beat Germany and avoid the worst.
Names and News
The New Zealand hockey team uses anything possible to detach themselves from the Australian influence. In this case it could almost be described as psychological warfare. They, in contrast to the other athletes and every other accredited person at the Olympics cannot be identified by the yellow band round their neck. Theirs is - what else? All black. Their Olympic committee issued these for the whole team - and look where it has put their women's hockey team! Top of the pool after the preliminaries. Who would have guessed that?
The good performance of their hockey team has sparked a wave of interest in hockey in New Zealand. Apparently, there have been close to a million people watching the game against the Netherlands, the number increasing in the game against South Africa, and expected to rise even more for the game against Australia. There could be as many as 1.5 million people watching, which outdoes even the Rugby ratings. Good on you, Kiwis!
Here is today's transport story: Getting to the hockey proved rather difficult today because the women's marathon was on in the main area. Crossing the road was a major problem. So now that we have ruled out buses, taxis and foot travel we are looking for a volunteer to fly in in the morning and parachute to the hockey. There is an option of delivering the match ball.
Tribute to the late Sydney Friskin? There were Korean supporters out with shirts saying "Sydney's Olympics". There are, however, no relations to a certain TV program that featured a man with the same first name as Mr Friskin. The rumours that this memorable hockey writer wanted to change his surname to Games is absolutely unsubstantiated. The editor can also not make any disclosure about his middle name.
Patrick Rowley and Nick Irvine were training for the microphone relay during the New Zealand press conference. It looks as if they still need a lot of hard training.
8.30 am M B Spain - Argentina
10.30 am WMP Great Britain - S Africa
13.30 pm WMP Argentina - China
15.30 pm WMP Korea - Germany
18.30 pm WMP Australia - Netherlands
20.30 pm WMP Spain - New Zealand
Quotes of the day
We only get Sunday's off. The rest of the week we train from morning to night.
Feng Yu Long, Chinese captain.
The problem with hockey these days is that you can't even watch the grass grow any more.
Michelangelo Rucci, on the ninth day of competition after watching a lot of hockey.
For the time being we get a bit of overexcitement.
Jan Borren, New Zealand Coach on the recent hockey hype in New Zealand
The summer Olympics are over. These are the winter Olympics.
A freezing journalist
We played without heart, soul and mind.
Tom van't Hek, Dutch women's coach.
I am pleased that I decided to stand down after the Olympics. Otherwise I would have resigned over these performances.
Tom van't Hek, Dutch women's coach, after their game against Argentina