Thursday, September 20, 2012

Canada boys and girls qualify for 2013 Junior World Cup

In outstanding team performances today, the Canadian Men's and Women's Junior National Teams have qualified for the 2013 Junior World Cup and moved into the finals of the 2012 Pan American Junior Championships.      Canada's Junior Women took the field against Chile early this afternoon.  With the support of a loud Canadian fan section and a ticket to the Junior World Cup on the line - this team played with grit and determination.  Holly Stewart scored the first goal of the match, but Chile quickly responded to even the score.  With a 1 - 1 tie at halftime, the second half was up for grabs.  A field goal by Jessica Buttinger just two minutes into the half gave Canada the edge.  Caashia Karringten's goal off a penalty corner in the 57th minute followed by a strong Canadian defense gave the Junior Women a solid win. 
   "When it comes time to execute - we've delivered," says Karringten.  "Under tremendous pressure in our last two games, we have managed to deliver the result we wanted.  We are really proud of our efforts and are now focused on the final match."
   The Canadian Men's Junior National Team also kept fans on their seats throughout the first half of their semi-final match against Chile.  In the 5th minute, Chile took the lead after scoring on a penalty corner.  Down 0 - 1, Canada maintained composure.  After 20 minutes of patient pressure Canada earned their first penalty corner and evened the score.  The first half ended 1 - 1. 
   "In the second half we put everything out there," says Head Coach Mathias Ahrens.  They certainly did. 
   Within the first 13 minutes, Canada took a commanding 5 - 1 lead.  With a ticket to the Junior World Cup in sight, the men took no chances and sealed the deal with three consecutive goals between the 57th and 60th minute.  Gordon Johnston pulled a hat-trick and Andrew Kanerva scored two goals for Canada. 
   "We got it done," says Ahrens.  "We played tough on the penalty corners.  I am very proud of this team.  This was our best performance so far, but we still have so much more to offer.  We are ready to take on whoever we meet in the finals!"
   The Women will compete in the final match on September 22 at 7:00pm local time in Guadalajara.  The Men's final match is on September 23 at 11:00am.
   This is the first time the Canadian Women's Junior National Team has made it to the final match of the Pan American Junior Championships since 1997.  The Junior Men last competed in the finals at the 1985 Championships.  The Women's most recent appearance at the Junior World Cup was in 2005.  The Men last qualified in 2001.

   Field Hockey Canada media release

Shakeel wants KLHC scalp..

MAYBANK import Shakeel Abbasi is hell-bent on carving  an upset against Kuala Lumpur Hockey Club (KLHC) in the  Premier Division of the Malaysia Hockey League today.
    That, said Shakeel, should put them in the running to chase  for the League title after a chaotic weekend saw KLHC shed  five points.
    Maybank, with help from Pakistan Olympians Shakeel and  Muhammad Waqas, have eight points and are only six adrift  off table-toppers Tenaga Nasional.
   In the first leg encounter, Maybank lost 1-4 to KLHC.
    “Our direction depends on the matches this weekend and  the one against KLHC will be of particular interest to us as  they are bent on winning to keep their league title charge  alive,” said Shakeel who made his MHL debut two years ago  with Yayasan Negri Sembilan.
    “So the pressure is on KLHC, and as long as Maybank have  a outside chance for the title we will continue to fight and that  is why I believe that the race for the title is still open as even  Sapura will fancy their chances.”
     The initial stages were difficult for the Pakistan duo as they  failed to forge an understanding with the Maybank strike  force.
    “It is always difficult to play for a new team and it took some  adjusting but we have become more accustomed and have fit  in nicely,” said Shakeel.
     KLHC losy 4-3 to Tenaga Nasional and were held to a 1-1  draw by Sapura last weekend and can’t afford another  disastrous weekend.
     Coach K. Dharmaraj’s KLHC are expected to be take to the  wire by Maybank, but should collect maximum points against  Nur Insafi-MBI on Sunday.
     Surprise leaders Tenaga face Nur Insafi today, whom they  beat 5-2 in the first leg, but must be at their best against  UniKL on Sunday to keep their lead.
    As for UniKL: “We have two tough matches, Sapura  (Friday) and Tenaga (Sunday) and our target is to collect at  least four points this weekend,” said UniKL team manager  Amir Azhar.

                          P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
TNB                   6  4  2  0  16 10  14
KLHC                 6  4  1  1  26 7  13
Sapura               6  3  1  2  13 11  10
Maybank            6  2  2  2  14 14  8
UniKL                6  1  0  5  11 19  3
Nur Insafi-MBI  6  1  0  5  8 27 3


                   P  W  D  L  F  A  Pts
BJSS           4  3  0  1  17 - 12  9
Forces        4  2  2  0  6 3  8
T’bolt         4  2  1  1  7 5  7
Johor HA    4  2  0  2  1111  6
Uniten        4  1  1  2  8 10  4
UiTM          3  1  0  2  2 6  3
Politeknik   3  0  0  3  6 10  0

   TODAY: Premier Division -- Nur Insafi-MBI  v  TNB  (Azlan  Shah Stadium, 5pm), UniKL  v  Sapura  (National Stadium II,  6pm),   Maybank v  KL Hockey Club  (National Stadium II,  8pm).

A hat-trick of appearances for Jean Chua...

 JEAN Chua (pic) is set to make it a hat-trick of appearances at  the US$1.9 million Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia after she  received a sponsor’s exemption to play at the Kuala Lumpur  Golf and Country Club on Oct 11-14.
     Ainil Johani received the second sponsors card, making it  her second second appearance at the only LPGA sanctioned  tournament in Malaysia.
    According to Dato’ Wahab Maskan, the Managing Director  of Sime Darby Property and the committee member of the  Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia:
  “With Jean and Ainil, we have two wonderful and well  deserving additions to the world class field. Both are young  and talented with great futures ahead and will present the  other golfers with some tough competition,” said Sime Darby  Property managing director Datuk Wahab Maskan.
    Both ladies will be aiming to improve on their previous  appearances at the KLGCC as Jean ended 53rd in 2010 and  69th last year, while Ainil 71st last year.
    “I’ve been working hard and I feel much more comfortable  about my game and I think I’m better prepared to handle the  conditions at the KLGCC. This is a world-class event and there  are so many great players competing. It’s not going to be easy  but I’m definitely going to give my best and hopefully give my  fellow Malaysians something to cheer about,” said Jean.
   The 25-year-old is a member on the LPGA’s developmental  Symetra Tour and has been in consistent form this year,  missing just one cut in her last 13 events. She has already  notched four top-10 finishes in 2012, including a tied-2nd at  the Riviera Nayarit Classic in April.
   While the younger Ainil, 22, only joined the professional  ranks last year, she has already made a strong impression.  She finished tied-12th at last year’s US$300,000 Women’s  India Open, a Ladies European Tour event.
    The former top amateur, who was sixth at the prestigious  Callaway World Junior championship in 2006, has even held  her own against her male counterparts. She competed in two  Professional Golf of Malaysia tournaments last year and  made the cut at the Seremban Classic where she finished in  36th spot.
     Said Ainil: “I’m honoured that Sime Darby has given me  this opportunity to compete in such a prestigious event. My  dream is to play on the LPGA Tour and this experience will  definitely help me become a better player.”
  Amongst the superstars already confirmed to arrive at the  KLGCC East Course are Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings  No 1 Yani Tseng of Taiwan, a five time Major winner, while  South Korean world No 2 and reigning US Open champion Na  Yeon Choi returns to defend her Sime Darby LPGA title.

Maybank Malaysian Open golf now worth US2.75 million

THE Maybank Malaysian Open will return to the Kuala  Lumpur Golf and Country Club on March 21-24 with an  increase of US250,000 in prize money .
    The lucrative purse now stands at US2.75 million, and is set  to attract the best golfers from around the globe.
    “Our sponsorship of the Malaysian Open is entering its  eighth year now and we are upping the ante by offering a total  purse of US2.75 million. We are confident that this will fire up  the competitive spirit of the golfers. Spectators can also  expect an electrifying tournament come March,” said chief  marketing officer of Maybank Mohamed Adam Wee.
    Echoing Maybank’s delight on the announced prize purse  are the event’s custodian - The Malaysian Golf Association  (MGA).
  “The Maybank Malaysian Open has established itself as  one of the major golf events to look out for. In this region, it is  a golf event that has drawn international players and  spectators alike, due to its world-class status and world- recognized stature. The increase in prize money will def initely up the prestige of the event and heighten the per formance of the golfers,”  said MGA president Admiral (R) Tan  Sri Datuk Setia Mohamed Anwar.
    The Maybank Malaysian Open is one of the most an ticipated championships in a professional golfer’s schedule.  It is the first tournament in Asia to be co-sanctioned by the  PGA European Tour and Asian Tour.
    It has also been the nursing ground for young professionals  who aim to lay their mark and build up to the ranks of  experienced professional players.

Champions Challenge for Revington..

LAUSANNE – The FIH today announced the schedule for the 2012 Argentina Hockey Men’s Champions Challenge 1, hosted in Quilmes, Argentina from November 24-December 2.
  The tournament will be the first major FIH event after the 2012 London Games and kicks off the next cycle as teams turn their attention from the Olympics to the 2014 World Cup. 
    Three of the eight teams in the competitive field were in London for the Games. Of the trio, Korea was the highest finisher in London, coming in at eighth place. Argentina and South Africa closed the games in 10th and 11th place, respectively.
   The eight-team field will be split into two preliminary round groups of four teams each. 
   In Group A is highest-ranked Korea, which holds down the seventh spot in the FIH World Ranking. They are joined by Malaysia, Canada and Poland. Group B will feature host Argentina as the top-seeded team, ranked 10th in the FIH World Ranking. Challenging Argentina in the group will be South Africa, Ireland and Japan.
   All eight teams will move onto a quarterfinal game with the first place finishers taking on the last place finishers from the other groups and the second and third place teams playing in a similar cross-over. From there, the winners will move onto the semi-finals and medal games, while the losers will play for placement.
    All eyes are sure to be on the Argentina vs. South Africa preliminary round game on the second day of action. The teams met in the bronze medal game of the 2011 edition of the Champions Challenge 1, which South Africa won, 3-1.  
      Argentina exacted revenge for that loss in London, beating the South Africans 6-3 in the preliminary round.
     The Argentina Hockey Men’s Champion’s Challenge 1 will give the teams World Ranking points and the winner of the tournament will be automatically qualified for the next edition of the men’s Champions Trophy.