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Netherlands claims gold in Olympic women's hockey
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18:46, August 23, 2008

World champion the Netherlands snatched the Olympic women's hockey gold with a 2-0 win over China in Beijing on Friday.


The team of the Netherlands pose for a group photo after the awarding ceremony of the women's hockey match at Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, Aug. 22, 2008. The Netherlands won the gold of the event while China got silver and Argentina ranked the third.(Xinhua Photo/Wang Changshan)

It is their first Olympic hockey title since the Los Angeles Games 24 years ago.

Hosts China also picked up their first ever hockey medal at the Olympic Games.

The first half saw a 0-0 tie, in which the Dutch's four penalty corners were all saved by Chinese goalie Zhang Yimeng.

A penalty corner converted by Van As Naomj in the 51st minute broke the tie and gave the Netherlands 1-0 lead. Maartje Goderie added another in the 62nd minute and sealed their 2-0 win.

"It is amazing that we can finally get the Gold medal. You can see, almost the whole stadium is orange. China was really tough but in the last 25 minutes we managed to score," said Dutch defender Maartje Paumen.

The Dutch coach Marc Lammers said he always had respect for Chinese coach and Chinese team. "They don't have many hockey players, but still they are the No. 2 in the world," he said.

He noted that lots of hockey players in his country started to train at the 14 or 15 years old and laid a very good foundation. So, he suggested China cultivate their hockey players from a young age.

"Every player wants to stand at the top podium, but the silver is still a breakthrough," said Huang Junxia, who played in three Olympic Games since 2000.

"We confronted the world No. 1 today, and my players went all out," said China's coach Kim Chang-back. "Dutch players are excellent, but our players are not inferior since they did their best."

World No. 2 Argentina took the bronze with a 3-1 win over defending champion Germany.

Source: Xinhua

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1 China 48 17 27 92/td>
2 USA 31 36 36 103
4 Russia 19 20 23 62
3 Great Britain 18 13 14 45
5 Germany 15 10 15 40
6 Australia 13 14 16 43
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