OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Netherlands seal back-to-back hockey gold
By Phil Jones, Sportsbeat, London 2012
WORLD No. 1 side and reigning champions the Netherlands successfully defended their Olympic hockey crown in the London 2012 women’s final, comfortably beating the world’s No. 2 side Argentina.
ORANGE OVERLOAD: Netherlands women's hockey team charged to their second successive Olympic gold after surpassing Argentina
The most decorated woman in international hockey, Luciana Aymar failed to add an Olympic gold to her tally though as the Dutch scored two second-half goals to run out 2-0 victors.
A cagey encounter was settled by two penalty corner goals from Carlien Dirkse van den Heuvel and Maartje Paumen – Paumen’s goal makes the Dutch captain and penalty corner specialist the highest scorer in women’s Olympic hockey history.
And first goalscorer van den Heuvel was delighted with her contribution to the game.
“That goal just had to be scored, we had been better than them for the entire game and if you take too long scoring it only gets more difficult,” she said.
The win gives many of the Dutch team a second Olympic gold medal and defender Sophie Polkamp was already planning the night's celebrations.
“We are so happy. Later tonight we will have some booze and have a real party well into the night,” she said.
Argentina’s loss meant seven-time world player of the year Aymar retires from international hockey having never won the game’s top prize.
The Argentinian heroine was planning on retiring on her 35th birthday with an Olympic gold medal around her neck.
Instead she has to settle for two bronzes and two silvers and was philosophical about the way events played out.
“We did everything possible to win but it didn’t work. It’s a real shame, it’s still a silver medal though and overall we are very happy about how we’ve played,” she said.
“I enjoyed myself a great deal. My objective was to enjoy it all as much as possible, so it went very well for me personally.”
© Sportsbeat 2012