12 October 2005
Commonwealth Games Hockey fans can expect quality clashes in March next year, with ticket holders now knowing exactly which matches they will be watching, following today’s release of the competition draw.
With tickets to preliminary rounds available for purchase from October 15, Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Chief Executive Officer, John Harnden said Hockey fans were sure to feel the excitement of this competition from the very start.
“The first day of competition sees the women in action and a highlight will be the Hockeyroos against India on the evening of Thursday 16 March. For four years the Hockeyroos have been waiting to avenge their upset defeat in Manchester, when they went into the 2002 Games as favourites and ended up winning bronze to India’s Gold and England’s Silver,” Mr Harnden said.
“The men’s competition is equally exciting, with five teams ranked in the world’s top ten.”
“Today’s Hockey draw announcement - with just 154 days to go until the Opening Ceremony of the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games - sets the stage for the intense clashes we can expect in March next year.”
The draw for this Commonwealth Games Hockey tournament would result in some great competition between traditional rivals, and both Australian teams will fight hard to win gold in front of a home crowd.
“While the Kookaburra’s will be going for a hat trick of Commonwealth gold medals in Melbourne, the current Olympic champions will have tough battles on their hands from the likes of Pakistan, India, New Zealand and England,” he said.
“Like their male counterparts, the Hockeyroos are the highest ranked team going into the competition, however they will be seeking to reassert their place as the Commonwealth Champions and continue the winning run that started at the 1998 Kuala Lumper Games.”
The 12 nations to compete at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, in order of world ranking are:
Men – Australia (W/R 1), Pakistan (5), India (6), New Zealand (9), England (10), South Africa (11), Malaysia (14), Canada (16), Scotland (22), Trinidad & Tobago (23)
Women – Australia (W/R 4), New Zealand (6), England (8), South Africa (11), India (13) Scotland (17), Canada (22), Nigeria (22), Malaysia (25), Barbados (28)
International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Els van Breda Vriesman anticipates the Commonwealth Games contest will be world class.
“The teams competing at the 2006 Commonwealth Games have between them won 19 Olympic gold medals, eight silver and ten bronze. Because of the strength of Hockey in many Commonwealth nations, there will be an extremely high quality competition and with 12 nations represented it will also be an example of the rich cultural diversity of the sport.“ he said.
Australian clashes at the State Netball and Hockey Centre:
|Thur 16 Mar
||Women: Australia v India|
|Fri 17 Mar
||Men: Australia v Scotland|
|Fri 17 Mar
||Women: Australia v Malaysia|
|Sun 19 Mar
||Women: Nigeria v Australia|
|Sun 19 Mar
||Men: Canada v Australia|
|Tue 21 Mar
||Men: Australia v England|
|Tue 21 Mar
||Women: Australia v South Africa|
|Wed 22 Mar
||Men: Australia v New Zealand|
Hockey fans can still snap up tickets to preliminary rounds, and from October 15, these tickets will be available via Ticketmaster outlets, by www.melbourne2006.com.au and via the Games hotline – 1300 00 2006.
The XVIII Commonwealth Games will be held from 15-26 March 2006 and will bring together 4,500 athletes from 71 nations. Further information can be found on www.melbourne2006.com.au
Toyota is the presenting Sponsor for Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Hockey.
For further information on the Hockey team draw, visit the Hockey competition schedule.
For further information please contact:
Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games
03 9613 2006
0438 604 584
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