By JIT Mukherjii
Ipoh, 17th May: India and Korea were declared joint champions after the cup final was abandoned a little over six minutes after start of the game in the Sultan Azlan Shah hockey tournament on Sunday. India, the defending champion, leads the pool with a tally of 13 points.
Heavy rain forced the Tournament Committee to arrive at this unprecedented decision. This is the first time that the teams have been declared joint winners in this tournament since its inception in 1983.
Even the two earlier matches, which Australia and Pakistan won, were affected by rain.The rain had abated in the second half of the Australia-Malaysia encounter. But the drizzle began when the Indian and Korean teams lined up for the national anthem. It intensified into a heavy downpour reducing the visibility of the umpires and players. The rain continued for about 30 minutes leaving the pitch inundated.
The Tournament Committee and the TD, Paul Richards, met to take stock of the situation and decided to abandon the final. It was then conveyed to Sultan Azlan Shah, President, Asian Hockey Federation, for his approval.