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London calling for Asian Games hockey champions

The 2012 Olympics may seem a fair way off but the first hockey teams to qualify for the London games are being decided at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, this week.
The men’s qualification place will go to either Pakistan or Malaysia, the women’s China or Korea. A slump in the world rankings means there is just one automatic qualification spot for Asian teams now – one men, one women that is – so gold at the Asian Games represents a double prize.

The 2012 Olympics may seem a fair way off but the first hockey teams to qualify for the London games are being decided at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, Guangdong, China, this week.
The men’s qualification place will go to either Pakistan or Malaysia, the women’s China or Korea. A slump in the world rankings means there is just one automatic qualification spot for Asian teams now – one men, one women that is – so gold at the Asian Games represents a double prize.
The men’s final will be played between Pakistan and Malaysia tomorrow (Thursday November 25), after Malaysia forced a shock semi-final defeat on India 4-3. Amin Rahim scored a late equaliser and the golden goal clincher as to give Malaysia the upset win.
“It’s very sad … this is a big disaster,” said India’s Spanish coach Jose Brasa, whose contract expires after the tournament.
In the other semi, Pakistan defeated Korea 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
In the women’s competition, either China or Korea will have booked an Olympic place after today’s final (Wednesday). This game is due to start at 11.30am UK time – if anyone can find video for any of these games, let us know.
The big scandal of the hockey competition has been the kicking out of three Kazakh women hockey players after they admitted playing for Belarus at a World Cup qualifying tournament earlier this year. Anastassiya Chsherbakova, Alessya Pyotukh and Yuliya Mikheichik have all been banned from competing further at Guangzhou, organisers said in a statement.
“Kazakhstan will also be deemed to have withdrawn from matches against their previous opponents. Japan, China, Thailand and Malaysia will all be awarded a score of 5-0 against the Kazakhs,” the statement said. The 10-3 defeat by South Korea was left to stand.

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