Hockey

Dohmen, Naomi van As win FIH awards

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It isn’t often that Olympics-winning team members get sidelined at a function to honour the best in the business. But at the first-ever FIH Hockey Stars event here on Thursday, Argentina was conspicuous by its absence among the men even as Belgium swept the awards. Among the women, though, the awards were more equally distributed.

Belgium, which finished runner-up at Rio, saw its captain John-John Dohmen named ‘player of the year’ while compatriot Arthur van Doren, currently participating in the HIL, was named the ‘under-23 player of the year’. This is the first time a Belgian has won the award in either category.

Irishman David Harte, meanwhile, was named ‘goalkeeper of the year’ for the second year in a row.

It was, however, surprising to see the Argentine men’s team — that won its maiden Olympic gold in 2016 — go completely unrepresented in the winners’ list. The team had two nominations for the ‘player of the year’ and one among the goalkeepers but remained empty-handed.

India had two nominations — P.R. Sreejesh and Harmanpreet Singh — but couldn’t win any either.

The changing dynamics in world hockey can be gauged from the fact that among the men, the powerhouses — Germany, the Netherlands and Australia — had no winners. Australia, in fact, had just a single nomination across all categories —Kathryn Slattery in the young player category.

Among the women, Naomi Van As, who announced her retirement after Rio, became the third Dutch woman in as many years to be named the ‘player of the year and was joined by Rio gold-medallist ’keeper Maddie Hinch of England and Maria Granatto of Argentina as the ‘young player of the year’.

Though the annual awards have existed for almost two decades, this is the first time such an event has been organised to recognise the achievements of players and coaches.

Till now, the awards were handed over on the sidelines of the season-ending Champions Trophy.

The winners:

‘Player of the year’: Men: John-John Dohmen (Bel); Women: Naomi van As (Ned).

‘Goalkeeper of the year’: Men: David Harte (Ire); Women: Maddie Hinch (Eng).

‘U-23 player of the year’: Men: Arthur van Doren (Bel); Women: Maria Granatto (Arg).

‘Coach of the year’: Men: Danny Kerry (Eng); Women: Karen Brown (Eng).

‘Umpire of the year’: Men: Christian Blasch (Ger); Women: Laurine Delforge (Bel).

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 7:34:14 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/hockey/Dohmen-Naomi-van-As-win-FIH-awards/article17355001.ece1

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