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China picks up Hockey hat-trick

11-25-2010 16:16 BJT Special Report:Guangzhou Asian Games |

Guangzhou, November 25 - China won its third successive gold medal in the Asian Games Women's Field Hockey after ousting Korea in a penalty shootout on Wednesday.

The host, cheered on by some 1,000 home fans in the final, clinched the tiebreaker 5-4 after both teams were locked goalless at the end of extra time.

Kim Eun-sil missed the first penalty stroke for the Koreans, while the Chinese converted all their five shots and sealed the win when Sun Sinan beat goalkeeper Moon Young-hui.

Both China, which won the title in Busan in 2002 and repeated the feat in Doha four years later, and Korea booked direct entries to the 2012 London Olympics.

The International Hockey Federation has awarded two direct Olympic berths to the women's finalists, but only one so far for the men's competition.

The Koreans, winners of four gold medals and two silvers since women's hockey was introduced at the 1982 Asiad in New Delhi, had failed to bag a medal at Doha.

"The important thing is we have qualified for the Olympics," said China's veteran Korean coach Kim Sang-ryul.

"It was not the best match we played because we missed many scoring chances, but I am happy the girls stayed mentally strong 'til the end.

"We played safe because you can't take chances against a solid side like South Korea.

"And I am glad we trained hard for penalty strokes for a month, because that is what helped us in the end."

Chinese captain Fu Baorong, a member of all three winning sides since 2002, said she was always confident of winning the final.

"I had a lot of faith in my team," she said. "We knew we were stronger than the Koreans. But it was a tough game."

Earlier, Japan took the bronze medal with a 1-0 over India, Keiko Manabe scoring a golden goal in the 77th minute when she pushed in a loose ball following a penalty corner in extra time.

Japan, which took silver at the Doha Asiad four years ago, had beaten India 3-0 in the seven-nation round-robin league where it finished third.

India, bronze medalist at Doha, will return home empty-handed.

"It is disappointing not to win a medal again, but I must say the girls played their hearts out," said Indian coach Sandeep Somesh, a former men's international.

"I think the girls need to improve their fitness and ensure they do not miss chances that come their way. We had a lot of scoring opportunities today."

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: China Daily

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