Friday, May 24, 2024

Commonwealth Games Hockey 2022: Preview guide to Birmingham Games

Full Commonwealth Games coverage
Commonwealth Games match schedule and fixtures for men’s + women’s

The 2022 Commonwealth Games will be the seventh time hockey has featured at the quadrennial Games.

History favours Australia
Hockey has been played at the Commonwealths since 1998 – Australia dominated, winning gold in both the men’s and women’s competitions. The Kookaburras have won the title an unbeaten six times, while England men and women will be vying for a first ever gold medal in the event.

Stat Attack
There will be 54 hockey matches in total, with 40 group games, six classification matches, four semi-finals, four medal matches and all of these matches will be played at the University of a Birmingham.

9: Medals claimed by England in hockey at the Games – three silver and six bronze, but no gold.    

4: The most Commonwealth medals claimed by an athlete in hockey, a record set by three athletes: Mark Knowles, who has four gold medals; Kate Richardson-Walsh and Alex Danson-Bennett.

3: Nations have won gold medals – Australia have 10, while India and New Zealand have one gold medal each, both in the women’s competition, India in 2002 and New Zealand in 2018.

Commonwealth Games is being played at the University of Birmingham pitch

One to watch — Super Sunday
The final of the women’s event will be held on Aug 7 and will be part of a super Sunday for women’s sport at the Games, with the final of the netball tournament and the final of the first ever Commonwealth Games women’s cricket T20 tournament being held on the same day, all in the space of a few hours of each other. The men’s final will be played on Aug 8, just a few hours before the Closing Ceremony.

Titles up for grabs?
With Australia men sitting at world No 1 – and travelling to Birmingham on the back of a 3-0 win over the Dutch at the weekend – the Kookaburras, the Olympic silver medallists, must rank as favourites for the men’s title under Colin Batch.

The Hockeyroos may enter the women’s event as slight favourites following their bronze medal at the recent World Cup and could be on track to win their fifth gold medal. New Zealand women are the reigning champions and, like Australia, will have endured three months on the road in Europe once the Games are over.

Can South Africa upset the odds?
The men’s side produced some great storylines at last summer’s Tokyo Games. The Cassiem brothers, Mustapha and Dayaan, are now well-known players among hockey fans, but also watch out for the penalty corner specialists Connor Beauchamp and the power of Matt Guise-Brown. South Africa women have their own skilful star who can cause chaos among even the most solid of defences in the form of Onthatile Zulu. Only 22, the forward was a star at both the Junior and Senior Women’s World Cups.

Did you know?
Wales’ Xenna Hughes is the daughter of Mark, football manager and ex-Manchester United great.

Scotland’s Katie Robertson’s partner is Glen Muirhead, sister of curling great Eve.

A Games of firsts
Kenya women are making only their second appearance at a Commonwealth Games. They first participated in 1998 when they finished 10th. This edition will be the first time Ghana men have qualified for the Commonwealth Games, while the women’s team first appeared in 2018, where they finished 10th.

How to watch on TV

BBC Sport will have hours of Commonwealth Games action, live hockey schedules not yet known.

Catch the Hockeyroos and Kookaburras from the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games on Seven and 7plus.

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