Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Australia expect better draw after protest

SYDNEY: Coach Ric Charlesworth said on Monday that he was hopeful the Australian men’s field hockey team would receive a fairer draw at the London Olympics after lodging an official protest.
   Charlesworth was furious last week when his world number one “Kookaburras” were handed three early morning starts in their group matches, while main rivals Germany avoided the early timeslot altogether in the opposite group.
   Hockey Australia fired in an official protest, along with recommendations, to the organising committee of the London Games and the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
   Charlesworth said he was optimistic of a positive outcome and expected a decision to be made this week.
   “There are 10 early starts, there are 12 teams in the tournament and we got three of them. That doesn’t make any sense and I suspect there will be an adjustment,” Charlesworth told reporters in Perth.
   “I wouldn’t have been so keen to be vociferous if I didn’t think we could change it.
   “We expect to play early games. We expect to play one or two, but we don’t expect to play three spaced over the tournament like they are.
   “That doesn’t make any sense and it’s unfair.”
   Charlesworth said the 8.30am timeslot would require players to wake up at 5am in a major disruption to their daily tournament routine.
  Australia have dominated international men’s field hockey since Charlesworth took charge of the national team in 2009 and are strongly fancied for the gold medal in London.