Hockey team ready to add lustre to China's medal haul

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 12:00am

China's female hockey team can add to the nation's impressive Olympic medal haul with victory against Germany in the semi-finals today.

The Chinese have yet to drop a match and have only conceded two goals while Germany started well before going through a dry patch during the pool phase. In the second medal match, world champions Argentina face the Netherlands, the top-scoring team so far in the Olympics. Other teams start a series of play-offs for places 5-10 which will affect their world rankings.

In diving, the mainland's Wang Feng is favourite for the men's three-metre springboard title but Russian Dmitry Sautin, twice a bronze medallist, could yet again pose a threat. China are also going for gold in women's volleyball and today face regional rivals Japan in the quarter-finals.

On the track, the men's 1,500m, 3,000m steeplechase, and women's 400m and 100m hurdles finals will take place today.

In the 1,500m, world record holder Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco has won four world titles, but has yet to win the Olympic gold.

In the steeplechase, Kenyan Paul Kipsiele Koech is the favourite.

In the women's 400m, Mexican Ana Guevara, who became her nation's first female world champion in 2003, began the year as a huge favourite but Tonique Williams-Darling of the Bahamas has made up ground with three of the top five times of 2004, each quicker than the Mexican's best.

In the 100m hurdles, Perdita Felicien of Canada has won both the outdoor and indoor world titles over the past 12 months. She also holds the fastest time of the year.