SYDNEY (AFP) –
The Australian men’s field hockey team has won an appeal after the world’s number one side was handed three early morning starts in their group matches at the London Olympics.
Kookaburras coach Ric Charlesworth was furious when the draw gave his team three 8:30am games, which he said would require players to wake up at 5:00am in a major disruption to their daily tournament routine.
At the same time, main rivals Germany avoided the early timeslot altogether in the opposite group.
Hockey Australia fired in an official protest and the Federation of International Hockey said Wednesday it has re-scheduled Australia v Pakistan on August 7 from 8:30am to 10:45am.
South Korea against the Netherlands will be switched to the earlier start.
“We always expected early games, but not three, and I am pleased it has been rectified,” said Charlesworth.
Hockey Australia chief executive Mark Anderson said it was a matter the organisation, its 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.
Australia have dominated international men’s field hockey since Charlesworth took charge of the national team in 2009 and are strongly fancied for the gold medal in London.