From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.34 :: NO.45 :: Nov. 10, 2011
The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) unveiled the Olympic Hockey Centre's first blue and pink pitch and revealed that a yellow ball will be used during the hockey competition for the first time at an Olympic Games.
The Hockey Centre in the Olympic Park will host over 780,000 spectators during London 2012 staging both Olympic hockey and Paralympic 5 and 7-a-side football competitions.
The Great Britain women's hockey squad got the chance to train on the water-based pitch, allowing them a taste of what to expect next year. The main competition pitch is now complete and will be used for Olympic hockey and 7 a-side Paralymic football. The hockey warm-up pitch which doubles up as the 5 a-side Paralympic football competition pitch is due to be completed in early November. The erection of the stands and infrastructure will follow in early 2012.
David Luckes, Head of Sport Competition at LOCOG, said: “We are delighted with how the main pitch at the Hockey Centre looks. The blue and pink pitch combined with the yellow ball will not only make following the ball easier, it also has a fantastic London 2012 feel. The player feedback has been excellent and we will continue to work together to ensure the pitches are perfect for the Games next year.”
Leandro Negre, President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH), commented: “It is very exciting to see the Hockey Centre now taking shape and seeing the blue pitch for the first time. We feel confident that the spectators both in the stands and on television will get a fantastic visual experience.”
After the Games, the temporary arena will be dismantled and elements will be moved to Eton Manor in the north of the Olympic Park which will offer multi-purpose sport and leisure facilities including two hockey competition pitches.
Kom gearing up for Olympics
Five-time world champion M. C. Mary Kom is aiming at nothing less than a gold medal when women's boxing makes its debut in the Olympic Games next year.
“My aim is to win gold in London and I am training harder than ever. I am aware of the billion hopes I am carrying. I can't let the people of India down.
“What I am looking forward the most to is to become first woman boxer to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games,” the 28-year-old Manipuri said in an interview to 'Olympic Review', the official magazine of the Games.
The pugilist will seek to qualify for the mega event during the women's world championships next year.
Mary said she found it difficult to believe that her dream of representing the country in the Olympics could come true when she first learnt about the International Olympic Committee's decision to finally make women's boxing a part of the biggest sporting extravaganza in August 2009.
“At first I could not believe my ears. But when it was confirmed, I was so happy. I have won everything that could be won, but it was the Olympic gold that eluded me. Now, it's a dream coming true for me to get the chance to represent my nation at the Olympic Games when I am at the peak of my career,” she said.
The Guangzhou Asian Game bronze-medallist, who has switched to the 51 kg category, revealed that the silver medal winning feat in the 2001 Women's Amateur Boxing Championships in USA added to her confidence of competing at the highest level.
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