FIH reiterates its stand on World Series Hockey, says WSH not a sanctioned event

International Hockey Federation (FIH) on Wednesday once again reiterated that World Series Hockey (WSH) was not a sanctioned event since it does not have the approval of the world body. According to TOI, FIH chief executive officer Kelly Fairweather said, “We have read the Delhi High Court judgment and it actually reinforces the rules of FIH. As far as WSH is concerned, there is no change in our stance. It (WSH) is an unsanctioned event because the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) is not a member of FIH.”

FIH’s reaction came a few days after the Delhi High Court in its interim order gave the green signal to the players to participate in the tournament, provided the schedule did not clash with the international commitments of the national team.

Meanwhile, having seen Indian hockey from so close, Jose Brasa is confident that both the men's and women's teams of the host country will make the cut for the London Olympics. According to The Hindu, former Indian men's team coach Brasa, who is now here for the Olympic qualifier as an adviser to the Ukrainian women's side, said the format of the tournament and the quality of the rival teams favoured the home side being coached by Australian Michael Nobbs.

“There is 100 per cent chance that they (men) can qualify. The format of pool-cum-final is designed for India. They have the tendency of losing control over easy matches. In the pool, even if you lose one match it is not going to make much difference. So, the final is important, (in fact) that is the only match (to win). I am sure India will qualify,” said Brasa during an interaction at the National Stadium here on Wednesday.

According to newspaper reports Indian women's team was blanked 5-0 by China in the Uber Cup (Asia Zone), while the men's team went down 2-3 after a valiant fight against Indonesia in the Thomas Cup in Macau on Wednesday. India's biggest hope, Saina suffered a narrow 19-21, 19-21 defeat to world No. 6 Yanjiao Jiang before Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost 19-21, 10-21 to Yunlei Zhao and Qing Tian.

According to a report in The Times Of India, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) will be forced to foot all the expenses of the national team’s three-week trip to Dubai and Muscat as part of its preparations for the forthcoming AFC Challenge Cup in Kathmandu.  The AIFF had planned to send the team to Dubai based on the Sports Authority of India’s assurance of financial help. SAI’s decision on Wednesday to focus solely on the Olympics hopefuls, and freeze funding for other sports — which includes football — has left the federation in a spot of bother.  The trip will cost around Rs 70 lakh and SAI was supposed to bear a part of the expenses (Rs 50 lakh), under the Long Term Development Programme (LTDP) scheme.

A report in The Hindu says double GM norm holder Vaibhav Suri came within striking distance of his final Grandmaster norm after defeating Alexei Iljushin of Russia in ‘B' group of Aeroflot International open chess tournament. Suri took his tally to 5.5 points out of a possible eight and a victory against A. Grishchenko of Russia will fetch him the coveted Grandmaster title. The fact that the young Indian won with black and will have white pieces in the last game is certainly a confidence booster and it will be a battle of nerves.

Other News:

Vijay Kumar clinches gold (The Hindu)

New Delhi: Vijay Kumar clinched the rapid fire pistol gold with a strong finish in the knock-out final of the 12th Kumar Surendra Singh shooting championship at the Karni Singh Range, Tughlakabad, on Wednesday.

The results: Men: 25m rapid fire pistol: 1. Vijay Kumar 30 (569); 2. Gurpreet Singh 28 (566); 3. Pemba Tamang 23 (565). Juniors: 1. Shivraj Sase 539; 2. Vikrant Ghaisas 539; 3. Naveen Kumar 492. Women: 50m rifle prone:  1. Meena Kumari 592; 2. Tejaswini Sawant 590; 3. Tejaswini Muley 589.

Juniors: 1. Tejaswini Muley 589; 2. Jayashree Das 578; 3. C. Jagruti Shivputra  575.

Jamia meet Motilal in final (TOI)

New Delhi: Hosts Jamia Milia Islamia beat Maharaja Agarsen College 3-1 in the semifinals to enter the final of SA Rahim football tournament here on Wednesday. They will take on Motilal Nehru College (Evening) who overcame Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education 4-3 in the tie-breaker. For Jamia, Sahir, Ajay and Yasin were the scorers. The final will be held at Jamia Sports Complex (Bhopal Ground) on Friday.

Saravia stars in win (TOI)

New Delhi: Miguel Saravia scored the winning goal to help Jindal Steel & Power overcome Panasonic 6-5 in the opening match of Maharaja Jiwaji Rao Scindia Gold Cup polo. Saravia’s strike came in the sixth chukker after the fourth and final chukker as well as an extra one failed to produce a result. In another tie, Trident Group–IPG beat ASC-Navy 5 1/ 2-2. On Thursday, Cavalry will meet Panasonic and Cavalry-USPA face ASC-Navy at 4 pm respectively.