Eager Australia aim for hockey clean sweep


Anger has given way to excitement as Australia’s men’s hockey team look to hold all the sport’s major titles by winning gold at the London Olympics. Heading into the Games, coach Ric Charlesworth was far from content. Indeed he was furious when the draw gave his team three 8:30am games, which he said would require players to wake up at 5:00am in a major disruption to their daily tournament routine. At the same time, reigning Olympic champions Germany avoided the early time slot altogether in the opposite group.
Hockey Australia fired in an official protest and the Federation of International Hockey said it has re-scheduled Australia v Pakistan on August 7 from 8:30am to 10:45am. South Korea against the Netherlands will be switched to the earlier start while Australia begin their quest for gold against South Africa on Monday. “I’m excited, I can’t wait,” said Australia’s Simon Orchard, who is competing in his first Olympics. “I don’t struggle with nerves at all,” added Orchard, whose cousin Stephen Holt played for the Australian hockey team at the 2000 Sydney Games.