Olympic Games Day One: Talking points

Alex Danson takes on the Australia defence

The first day's Olympic matches threw up plenty of drama and plenty of talking points. We thought we'd pick out a couple of things and see what our readers think. Tweet us your views and any talking points you noticed from the first batch of fixtures in the Olympic Games, @_GBHockey. Use the hashtag #hockey and have your say!  

The margins between the top teams are very small.

The Olympic Games is the pinnacle of hockey tournaments. All the best teams make it to the competition. That means that whilst some are higher than others in the FIH rankings, almost anyone can beat anyone. Take the example of the USA vs. Argentina: Las Leonas are the World No2, won the Champions Trophy just a few weeks ago and came into the tournament as one of the favourites. However, the USA, ranked 5th were able to get one over on their Pan-American rivals with a solid, disciplined and impressive performance.

Similarly, whilst disappointing, the Great Britain men's defeat to Belgium, a side two places below them in the rankings, shows there really is little to choose between the teams in the pools.

It makes for an interesting and exciting tournament.

Alex Danson is rather good on the backhand.

The stakes were high, the opposition of the highest quality and the pressure firmly on. The Great Britain attack opened up the Hockeyroos’ defence and although momentarily the chance to score seemed to have gone, those who have watched Alex Danson before knew that once that ball fell onto her backhand, there was only going to be one outcome. Calm under pressure, impeccable technique, the winning goal. It is easy to see why the Reading star has almost 100 international goals.

Some of the GB fans have gone above and beyond with their supporter wear

Tom Mairs is becoming a recognisable face at GB matches. Supporting his girlfriend Sam Quek, Mairs embraces the GB superfan element, as his onesie and GB hat below shows! The GB fans may have been outnumbered last night but they were never out sung!

Top players are capable of some stunning goals.

Despite the defeat for Great Britain’s men in their opener, this strike from Nick Catlin was a bit special:

And GB were at it again with Lily Owsley’s beautifully worked team goal and Alex Danson’s exemplary finish:


Finally, just to show we don't just watch our teams, you will be hard pushed to find a more accurate and good looking penalty corner than Josep Romeu’s for Spain’s third goal against Brazil. About as textbook as you can get: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/olympics/36445498


There you have it. What would you like to talk about? Tweet us @_GBHockey and air your views. Use the hashtag #Hockey and join the discussion.