Passing the Test…By Reading Hockey Club • May 7th, 2012 • Category: Events, Home Page, Match, News
Yesterday saw the culmination of an excellent week of hockey at the Riverbank Arena in the new Olympic Park with the London Prepares VISA International Invitational Hockey Tournament. Held as the “Test” event for the Olympic Games later this summer, it was a chance to try out the new smurfturf pitch, arena, and organisation – and all came through with flying colours with a great atmosphere and some top class hockey on show.
In the women’s event the GB ladies faced Argentina, Korea and China and stormed to gold with 4 straight wins and no goals conceded – beating rivals Argentina 2-0 in the final. In the men’s competition GB took on India, as well as the world ranked numbers 1 and 2 in Australia and Germany – eventually taking the bronze with a 2-1 victory over India, and having lost a close encounter with eventual winners Germany and held the world number 1 Australia to a draw. All bodes well for an exciting and successful Olympics…
Reading Hockey Club was very well represented – not only with 6 women and 4 men included in the GB squads for the event, but in the stands supporting and behind the scenes within the army of volunteers that made the week so successful.
The week was only marred by injuries to the Reading participants. Simon Mantell broke the 5th metatarsal in his left foot in the closing minutes of the group match against India, and Alex Danson damaged her shoulder in a collision against Argentina in the final – we wish them both a speedy recovery and hope that the injuries will not affect their Olympic dreams. Iain Mackay also took a nasty knock on the knee early in GB’s opening match with Germany, missing the rest of that match and the following day against India – but returned to play in the last two games.