Dohmen, Naomi named best hockey players of 2016

Chandigarh, Feb 23 (IANS) Olympic silver medallist John-John Dohmen of Belgium and retiring Netherlands star Naomi Van As were named the male and female Players of the Year for 2016, respectively, by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) here on Thursday.

Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Maddie Hinch was adjudged the female Goalkeeper of the Year while David Harte of Ireland was crowned the best goalkeeper in the world for the second year in a row among the men.

Belgium men’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games medal success was a big factor in the nation’s athletes picking up two awards, with Dohmen’s compatriot Arthur van Doren being named the male Rising Star of the Year (aged 23 years and under).

Maria Granatto from Argentina picked up the title of the female Rising Star of the Year after a hugely successful period which saw her team win the 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy, where she won Best Junior Player, as well as being crowned Hockey Junior World Cup champions in November.

The coaching team who guided the Britain women’s team to their first ever Olympic gold medal were also recognised as Danny Kerry and Karen Brown were adjudged the male and female Coach of the Year respectively. Brown won the award for the second consecutive year.

Meanwhile, Christian Blasch of Germany was recognised by the FIH Umpiring Committee as the best official among the year for 2016. Laurine Delforge, of Belgium, the youngest official to take part in the hockey competition at the Rio Olympics, was chosen as the women’s Umpire of the Year.

“Sincere congratulations to all of the award winners today. I’m delighted that this stunning event has given them the global recognition that they deserve,” FIH President Narinder Batra said in a statement.

–IANS

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