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Kookaburras, and Blacksticks women, win right to an Olympic lie-in

[img_assist|nid=3520|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=220|height=146]Australia’s appeal against the Olympic Games men’s hockey schedule has been successful and one of their three 8.30am games has been switched to a 10.45am start. 

New Zealand’s women have also had one of their early starts rescheduled.

The International Hockey Federation has confirmed it has re-scheduled Australia v Pakistan on August 7 from 8.30am to 10.45am, switching the Korea v Netherlands match to the earlier start.

Kookaburras Coach Ric Charlesworth had protested when the draw was released a month ago, believing it would have unfairly disadvantaged the world number one team.

“It is only right that it should be changed, we were ready to handle whatever we were dealt but this is certainly better,” Charlesworth said.

“We always expected early games but not three and I am pleased it has been rectified. The pending decision has not been at the forefront of our psyche but it is good that it’s settled.”

Hockey Australia chief executive Mark Anderson said he was pleased to get a positive result following the discussions that occurred after the release of the Olympic schedule.

“It was a matter that Hockey Australia, our coaches and players felt very strongly about. We are pleased that our position has been considered and that an appropriate adjustment has been made,” he said.

“We advocated that a change of at least one of the three matches would ensure a more equitable draw across the competition.

The change to a later time slot for the last of our three early morning matches ensures that our team has been given an equal chance to succeed and we can’t ask for more than that.”

Mr Anderson said Hockey Australia had been given a fair hearing and the organisation’s issues had been considered.

“We have been given an appropriate solution, our players and coaches are pleased with the compromise position that has been reached,” he said.

The Australian Olympic Committee were very supportive of our position and we appreciated their involvement in the process to achieve this outcome.

[img_assist|nid=3512|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=220|height=104]The New Zealand women have also had one of their three matches changed as a result of the appeal. They will play South Africa on July 31 at 10.45am, the Netherlands vs Japan game will now be played at 8.30am.

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