Other Sport

SA hockey men at crossroads

2011-12-01 13:12
Gregg Clark (File)
Johannesburg - Two roads loom for the South Africa men’s hockey team as they go into their 17:30 Champions Challenge quarter-final against Japan at the Randburg Hockey Stadium on Thursday.

Their chosen road is victory and a place in Saturday’s semi-finals. The road Japan will be willing the South Africans to follow leads to Kakamigahara in Japan in April next year.

The SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) has said that only a berth in Sunday’s Champions Challenge final will convince them that the men in green and gold are worthy of being included in Team South Africa’s athlete contingent for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

And should the SA team not negotiate the hurdle in the form of the formidable Japanese squad on Thursday, they will be resigned to playing in the last-chance saloon that is the Olympic Games qualifier tournament in Japan in April/May next year, an event they will have to win in order to get to London.

It's not mission impossible, but one that can be avoided - at least until Saturday - with a win over the Japanese.

The first quarter-final on Thursday morning saw Belgium outplay Canada 4-0.

Quarter-final results and fixtures:

10:00 - Belgium 4-0 Canada
12:30 - Argentina v Poland
15:00 - India v Malaysia
17:30 - South Africa v Japan


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