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HOCKEY - Int News 25 Mar, 2024

Argentina, Trinidad & Tobago men, USA women qualify for World Cup 2025
Lausanne, Switzerland (PR): The Indoor Pan American Cup 2024 came to an end on 22 March with Argentina men and USA women winning the gold medals and securing their spot at the FIH Hockey Indoor World Cups 2025. With a second available slot in the men’s competition, Trinidad & Tobago, winners of the silver medal at the competition also joined Los Leones in qualifying for the World Cup. In the men’s competition, Argentina, USA, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Canada competed in the league stage. Argentina topped the group, winning all four matches, followed by USA in second with three wins and a loss. Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana also qualified for the semi-final finishing third and fourth respectively. Argentina dominated Guyana in the first semi-final, winning 10-0, with Gaston Rodriguez and Elen Eleicegui scoring hat-tricks, sealing a spot in the final as well as gaining them entry into the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2025. USA and Trinidad & Tobago played in a thrilling 11-goal thriller in the second semi-final with the Caribbean nation edging the tie and qualifying for their third ever FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup. In the women’s competition, United States, Argentina, Canada and Uruguay competed in the league stage. United States went unbeaten in the league stage, winning all three of their matches, with Argentina finishing second, Canada in third and Uruguay in fourth. United States won the first semi-final 5-0 against Uruguay securing a spot in the finals, while Argentina beat home team Canada 6-2 in the second semi-final. The finals saw USA take on Argentina in a repeat of the opening match of the tournament, where USA dominated Argentina with a 7-1 win. With a place in the FIH Indoor Hockey World Cup 2025 up for grabs for the winner of the finals, a much closer encounter unfolded. USA took an early 2-goal lead, but throughout the game the lead changed hands multiple times and at the end of regulation time, both sides were tied at 5 goals each, resulting in a shoot-out. USA were perfect in the shoot-out winning 3-2, grabbing the gold medal and securing the only available slot from Pan America, at the FIH Indoor Hockey Women’s World Cup 2025.

HOCKEY - National 10 Mar, 2024

PHF briefs POA regarding South Asian Games preparations
Sports Bulletin ReportLAHORE: The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) briefed the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) regarding the preparations for the upcoming South Asian Games, which will be held in Pakistan this year 2024.According to an official of PHF, Haider Hussain, the Secretary-General PHF provided a comprehensive briefing during a meeting chaired by President POA, Mohammad Abid Qadri Gillani. The gathering, held under the auspices of the Pakistan Olympic Association for preparations of the South Asian Games, focused on the hosting responsibilities for the hockey event. The prestigious event is set to feature seven teams, both men's and women's, with the National Hockey Stadium in Lahore proposed as the venue.The assembly witnessed the presence of key figures, including Secretary-General POA, and officials from various national sports federations. Among them were Khalid Bashir (Secretary-General, Pakistan Basketball Federation), Haji Mohammad Shafiq (President, Pakistan Handball Federation), Faizi Khawaja (Chairman, Pakistan Rugby Federation), Nasir Ahmed (Director, Pakistan Volleyball Federation), and Mohammad Jahangir (Chairman, Pakistan Karate Federation).In their collaborative efforts, the stakeholders expressed their commitment to making the event a triumph, discussing various recommendations and strategies to ensure the seamless organization of the international competition. Secretary-General PHF Haider Hussain commended the POA's dedication to fostering the development of players and highlighted the concerted efforts being made to secure Pakistan as the host for international events.

HOCKEY - National 08 Mar, 2024

Navy to Stage Chief of Naval Staff All Pakistan Hockey Tournament
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: An eight-team 4th All Pakistan Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) Hockey Cup will be held from May 16 to 24, 2024 at the National Hockey Stadium, Lahore.According to an official of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Station Commander Lahore Pakistan Navy Commodore Sajid Hussain met with officials of the Pakistan Hockey Federation and Sports Board Punjab (SBP). Also, attended by Executive Secretary PHF Ali Abbas, Director Administration and Coordination and world-renowned penalty corner specialist Olympian Khalid Bashir, Assistant Director Mubasher Ali, Deputy Station Commander Jawad, Director Sports Pakistan Navy Mohammad Kamran, and Sports Officer Navy Mohammad Rizwan.Mari Petroleum, Pakistan WAPDA, Customs, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Air Force, Police, and Sindh will fight for title during the d days prestigious national hockey showpiece. Executive Secretary PHF Ali Abbas assured full technical support and assistance from the Pakistan Hockey Federation.Station Commander Lahore Pakistan Navy Commodore Sajid Hussain Satara Imtiaz (Military) issued instructions to the subordinate staff regarding the arrangements for the event. On this occasion, he said that the Pakistan Navy would organize this tournament for the promotion and development of the national sport of hockey in a grand manner.

HOCKEY - Int News 08 Mar, 2024

Celebrating women leading the way forward in hockey
Sports Bulletin ReportLausanne (Switzerland): On the field and off the field. As players, coaches, umpires and administrators. On this International Women’s Day 2024, a year where the International Hockey Federation (FIH) celebrates its centennial, we focus on eight women who have been leading the way over the past few decades, and creating a blueprint for success that will benefit the generations to come, as they look to these role models and follow in their footsteps.In the field of hockey administration and the move towards attaining complete gender equity, Marijke Fleuren is a towering figure in international hockey. As a former member of the FIH Executive Board, member of the IOC Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Commission and Honorary Life President of EuroHockey, Marijke has had a storied career in hockey administration. We spoke to Marijke as she discussed her Journey of Passion, Equality, and Family.In the field of umpiring and umpire management, Marelize de Klerk brings with her an unparalleled level of experience, with nearly three decades spent officiating hockey at the highest level. We spoke to Marelize as she shared her unique path towards first playing hockey and then umpiring, which began with a chance incident, all the way back in 1994!When it comes to achieving phenomenal success as a player and a coach in hockey, a scarce few can rival the storied career of Alyson Annan. A winner of 2 Olympic Gold medals and 2 FIH Hockey World Cup titles as a player, to go with a 2 Olympic medals (1 gold, 1 silver) and a World Cup title as a head coach, Alyson shared with us her journey in hockey and the advice she would give to those aiming to follow in her footsteps.As an administrator in Hockey, Els van Breda Vriesman’s achievements are unparalleled. Els was the first - and so far only - female president of the International Hockey Federation (2001-2008) and brought with her decades of experience as a sports administrator and a former member of the International Olympic Committee. Els shared with us her journey starting as a junior national hockey player for the Netherlands to becoming the President of FIH.Indian goalkeeper and captain Savita is already a modern day great and the reigning three-time FIH Goalkeeper of the Year Award winner. Her stardom is a shining beacon for girls and women in her native India, showing them the path towards achieving their sporting dreams. We spoke to Savita as she spoke of the important role a family plays in helping an athlete achieve their complete potential.Subarna Shreshtha was recently elected Secretary General of Nepal Hockey Association, and long-term administrator with the Asian Hockey Federation. As a fan of hockey since her childhood, Subarna grew up in Nepal with limited opportunity to play the sport. She spoke to us about the work she is doing to make sure those opportunities are available for the next generation to play the game at the highest level.Sarah Wilson had a promising career in hockey derailed by a back injury as she was representing Scotland internationally in the under-21 category. But with a strong will to remain associated with hockey, and able guidance Sarah turned to umpiring and has since gone on to have a fabulous career with the whistle, and will soon umpire at her third Olympic Games in Paris 2024! Sarah spoke with us to share her journey and the team she has found within the hockey umpiring community, that she can’t imagine living without.Luciana Aymar is largely considered one of the best players to ever pick up a hockey stick. With 4 medals at the Olympic Games and 4 World Cup medals, Luciana had a long and storied career, which also included winning a record 8 FIH Player of the Year awards. We spoke to Luciana as she shared the story behind her stardom and how she believes the sporting community can further embrace gender equality.FIH President Tayyab Ikram said: “With global participation in hockey being 51% female and 49% male, hockey can pride itself of being a gender-equal sport on the field of play. However, we still have efforts to make. And even more so off the field of play.The FIH Statutes do stipulate that half of the Ordinary Members of the Executive Board MUST be women. That is good, but numbers are not what impacts most. For a sustainable outcome, we need, together with the National Associations, to develop capacity-building for women and empower women. And it’s my personal wish that leadership programmes shall be introduced at youth level as well.Furthermore, men MUST stand for women! This is critical. Gender equality cannot be an objective initiated or led by women only! Gender equality will only be reached if men do commit to and act in favour of it! I therefore appeal to all my male colleagues – within hockey but also sport and society at large - to become active advocates of inclusion and determined leaders in mindset changing.Throughout all our events and activities, and with the support of our Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee chaired by Marijke Fleuren, we will ensure that gender equality not only prevails but keeps on improving in everything we do.”

HOCKEY - National 26 Feb, 2024

Chairman, KJH thanks OHC Bully Club and Dutch Embassy
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: The Chairman, Khawaja Junaid Hockey (KJH) Academy, Olympian Kawaja Junaid thanked to OHC Bully Club, Dutch Embassy in Islamabad, Punjab Police, Higher Education Commission (HEC), and other stakeholders, who were involved and made three-match bilateral Friendship Hockey Series possible.In a statement, Khawaja Junaid said: “Over the past few weeks, the Dutch hockey club OHC Bully got an opportunity to visit Lahore and Islamabad, two beautiful cities in Pakistan. This visit was not only an exciting experience for the club members, but it also served as a way to strengthen cultural ties between the Netherlands and Pakistan. The members of OHC Bully were warmly welcomed by the locals, who were eager to showcase their hospitality and love for the game of hockey.”“During their visit to Lahore, the OHC Bully members were able to experience the rich history and culture of the city. They visited Sialkot, famous for sports manufacturers, and especially the flag ceremony at Wahga Border. Additionally, the club got the opportunity to play three friendly matches with the Prime Minister Youth Program HEC talent team, which they won and allowed them to learn new techniques and strategies from their Pakistani counterparts. In Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, OHC Bully was the chance to explore the modern and vibrant side of the country.One of the highlights of the visit was the cultural exchange between the Dutch and Pakistani hockey players. The OHC Bully members were able to share their love through songs at a dinner hosted by HEC chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad. This exchange not only strengthened the bond between the two countries but also created lasting friendships among the players.The visit of OHC Bully to Lahore and Islamabad was a memorable experience for both the club members and the locals. It showcased the power of sports in bringing people together and bridging cultural divides. The club members returned to the Netherlands with a newfound appreciation for Pakistani culture and a deeper understanding of the country.Overall, the visit of OHC Bully to Lahore and Islamabad was a successful and enriching experience. It served as a reminder of the importance of cultural exchange and sports diplomacy in fostering understanding and friendship between nations. The club members were grateful for the warm welcome they received in Pakistan and look forward to future opportunities to continue building strong connections with the people of Lahore and Islamabad, “he concluded.
Dutch end Aussies’ unbeaten streak as India finish with victory
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: The Netherlands men brought an end to Australia’s unbeaten run in the FIH Hockey Pro League with a methodical performance on the final day of action in Rourkela, India on Sunday.The 5-3 victory saw the Dutch avenging their loss to the same opposition nine days earlier and also consolidating their top spot in the standings with 26 points from their 12 matches so far. Australia are second with 20 points from their eight matches.(Men’s) Netherlands beat Australia (5-3): The Netherlands looked composed in their 5-3 win over Australia in what was a clash between the top two sides in the men’s standings. The Australians had the upper hand in the opening minutes and Jacob Anderson opened the scoring for them in the sixth minute, his lightning-fast reactions ensuring he got stick on a deflected pass to tap in at the left post. They lost some momentum through player suspensions and the Dutch got a goal back in the 13th minute, Duco Telgenkamp bunting in from close range after a good team move along the baseline. Telgenkamp added a second from an almost identical position in the 20th, getting a stick in front of his defender to deflect in the acute cross from the left. Neither team could find another goal in the half, although Andrew Charter in the Aussie goal pulled off a good penalty corner double save and then moved quickly to reduce the angle from the third shot to prevent a goal.The Dutch turned the screws in the third quarter, attacking for long periods and earning seven penalty corners. That allowed Jip Janssen to extend his lead at the top of the goalscoring table with a powerful drag flick in the 35th minute, and Tjep Hoedemakers deflected in from a penalty corner variation to the right post in the 42nd. The Kookaburras threatened a comeback with Tim Brand deflecting in from their first possession of the final quarter, but Terrance Pieters nipped it in the bud with a 48th-minute field goal. Jeremy Hayward scored a big drag flick for Australia seven minutes later, but the Netherlands emerged as comfortable winners against the previously unbeaten Kookaburras.(Men’s) India beat Ireland (4-0): Hosts India put in a clinical performance to beat Ireland 4-0 in the final match of the FIH Hockey Pro League mini-tournament in Rourkela. Ireland played positive attacking hockey throughout, but were inaccurate in front of goal and it was India who had the killer touch when it mattered. Nilakanta Sharma opened the scoring in the 14th minute, a penalty corner variation deflecting off the first wave and landing in his arc for a first-time smash. Akashdeep Singh made it two with a deflection from a flat pass across the goal a minute later and India led 2-0 at half-time, although Sreejesh had arguably been the busier goalkeeper.Sreejesh was called into action again at the start of the second half as Ireland continued to attack without reward. Gurjant Singh then made a great diving deflection to extend India’s lead in the 38th minute and India started taking more control of the match. Goalkeepers Jamie Carr for Ireland and Sreejesh for India had to make important saves throughout the final quarter, and it was Jugraj Singh who closed the book on the mini-tournament with a well-placed drag flick in the final seconds, much to the delight of the home fans.

HOCKEY - Int News 23 Feb, 2024

Dutch Hockey Club clinch three-match Series 2-1 against HEC
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: Oldenzaal Hockey Club aka Billy Club of Netherlands have won the thrice match tie 2-1 after beating the hosts Higher Education Commission (HEC) hockey team on a penalty shoot-out 4-3, as the score-line was 1-1 after all 4 quarters at Nasser Bunda Hockey Stadium Islamabad on Friday.Both teams started the match at a bit slow pace and were looking defensive, however, after a few minutes, players showed nice game skills and attacked the goalposts but could not score a goal. In the 11th minute, Mubasher scored a field goal and put the hosts in a 1-0 lead. He received the pass from the right side and diverted the ball into the goal without wasting a fraction of a second.The HEC team upheld the lead till the end of the third quarter. However, in the 52nd minute Dutch player Niels Engberink leveled the match 1-1 after scoring a goal on a penalty corner. The scoreboard remained unchanged 1-1 till the final whistle. Each side was given 5 penalty shoot-out to get the results of the 3-match tie.Mattis Barttelink, Ruben Kattier, and Leen Timmers scored goals for the Dutch Club while Jan Willem Wunbergen and Niels Engberink failed to score goals. Ali Murtaza and Mubasher showed excellent stick work and pushed the ball into the net but the other three lads including Ahmed Raza, Mohammad Zain, and Shaheer Ali missed the goals.The diplomats from various countries watched the match along with Olympians, sports enthusiasts, and university students from twin cities Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Ambassador of Dutch to Pakistan, Henny de Vries, the Australian High Commissioner, Neil Hawkins, Acting Ambassador of Romania to Pakistan, Eduard-Robert Preda, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan, Totuiaev Ulanbek Asankulovich, the High Commissioner-designate of Brunei Darussalam, Colonel (Retd) Pengiran Haji Kamal Bashah and Ambassador of Morocco to Pakistan and Dean of the African Corps Mohammed Karmoune were present on occasion.

HOCKEY - Ice Hockey 22 Feb, 2024

Dutch Hockey Club Oldenzaal honored by Holland Ambassador in Islamabad
Abdul Jabbar FaisalISLAMABAD: Holland's Ambassador in Islamabad Henny de Vries hosted a reception to honor the Dutch team of Oldenzaal Hockey Club (OHC) aiming to highlight the pivotal role of sports diplomacy in fostering international relations and building bridges between nations.Henny de Vries said on this occasion: “Hockey holds a special place in the hearts of both the Dutch and Pakistani people, and it this week is a testament to the power of sports in bridging cultures and fostering understanding. The matches played in Lahore, and the upcoming match in Islamabad, have not only showcased the skill and ability of our athletes but have also provided an opportunity for cultural exchange and mutual appreciation.”The Ambassador expressed her gratitude to Khawaja Junaid Hockey Academy for extending the invitation to the club and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for their invaluable support. The presence of such influential voices from the media, sports, and diplomatic community underscored the collective commitment to leveraging sports as a vehicle for strengthening international relations.Through initiatives such as these, the Dutch Ambassador emphasized the willingness to continue leveraging the power of sports to foster mutual understanding and friendship between the Netherlands and Pakistan.Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC assured of HEC support in the revival of Hockey through the generating national and international opportunities for aspiring players. He also thanked the Dutch embassy for coming forward for a noble cause of promoting sports and cultural exchange excursions in Pakistan. Also, Incharge Sports & Co-curricular Activities Division HEC, Javed Ali Memon, sports personalities, and diplomats attended the ceremony.
Dutch edge India in shootout as Kookaburras trounce Red Sticks
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: Australia’s men extended their unbeaten run to five matches with a convincing victory over Spain as FIH Hockey Pro League action continued in Rourkela, India on Wednesday.As they have done in several of their previous matches, the Kookaburras came from behind to beat the Spanish 4-1 in an encounter where the Red Sticks were left to rue numerous missed shots and ill-discipline. (Men’s) Australia beat Spain (4-1): Pepe Cunill ran out for Spain for a 50th time in a losing cause as Australia came from behind to win 4-1. The match got off to a flying start with two excellent team goals. Pere Amat gave the Red Sticks the lead with a second-minute tap-in before Flynn Ogilvie responded for the Kookaburras two minutes later. Nathan Ephraums then put Australia ahead with skilful work close to the goalkeeper in the eighth minute before both keepers had the final say in the quarter. Johan Durst made a good double save for Australia and Rafael Revilla saved two drag flicks as the clock ran down. The second quarter produced fewer opportunities until Jeremy Hayward’s drag flick for Australia screamed in off the postman’s head in the 25th minute. Spain laced a shot wide in the final seconds of the half and Australia led 3-1 at the break.The second half was hard-fought and physical, and both teams were creative and looked dangerous if they found space to attack. The Kookaburras had a good spell towards the end of the third quarter and were rewarded when Tim Brand squeezed in a field goal in the 44th minute. That ended the scoring but not the action as Australia picked up a green card and Spain were handed two yellows in the final quarter. (Men’s) Netherlands beat India (1-1 SO: 4-2): The Netherlands and hosts India played out a cracking 1-1 draw to earn a point each, with the Dutch winning the shootout 4-2 for a bonus point. The Indians created the first scoring opportunities of the match, but it was Floris Middendorp who pounced on a rebound to score his first international goal for the Netherlands in the fourth minute. Krishan Pathak then made a crucial double save off a penalty corner as the clock ran down on the first quarter. The second period was hard-fought but remained goalless, meaning the Dutch led 1-0 at half-time.India started building momentum through an intense third quarter and found an equaliser in the 38th minute, Hardik Singh finishing sharply from a recycled penalty corner. India promptly threw away possession with a poor pass across their own 23-yard area, but Pathak was on hand with another great save to set up a tense finish. Both teams had their chances in a thrilling last quarter, but when the final hooter sounded the scores remained locked at 1-1, and the Dutch prevailed 4-2 in the ensuing shootout.
India, Argentina men take shootout bonuses, Dutch edge Ireland
Sports Bulletin ReportISLAMABAD: On the final day in Santiago del Estero, Argentina and Germany couldn’t break a 2-2 deadlock and headed to a shootout for the second time in the mini-tournament. Lucas Martinez scored the winner for the Leones to take the bonus point with a 4-3 shootout result. Two first-half goals and a solid defensive performance gave the German women a 2-0 win over the Leonas, their first win over Argentina in the teams’ last eight matchups.(Men’s) Netherlands beat Ireland (2-1): Back-to-back FIH Hockey Pro League champions the Netherlands had to grind out their 2-1 win over debutants Ireland, who are proving to be tough competitors despite their lack of exposure at the highest level. The Irish defended well before taking the lead against the run of play in the 12th minute, Matthew Nelson banging in a penalty corner rebound. The Dutch hit back with two Jip Janssen drag flicks, one in the 15th minute, and another in the 23rd that struck a brave postman hard on the way in. The Dutch led 2-1 at half-time but their error rate was poor by their exceptional standards.While the second half remained goalless, it didn’t lack entertainment. The Dutch dominated the stats with plenty of strong circle entries and penalty corners, but they lacked their usual clinical touch and were denied by the brilliant Irish defensive effort led by Jamie Carr in goal.(Men’s) India beat Spain (2-2 SO: 8-7): Hosts India played out a riveting 2-2 draw against Spain with both teams earning a point each. The Indians went on to claim the bonus point by winning the shootout 8-7. Jarmanpreet Singh gave India the perfect start when he collected an overhead in the opening minute and slammed it in from an acute angle. But José Basterra struck back immediately for the Spanish, his third-minute drag flick giving the Red Sticks a chance to settle down. Borja Lacalle then snatched a stunning field goal for Spain from a long-range counterattack following an Indian error just seconds from the quarter mark. The Spanish went on to dominate the remainder of the first half and led 2-1 at half-time.India started the third quarter well as Abhishek pounced on a penalty corner rebound for the equaliser in the 35th minute. The rest of the match was tightly contested with goalkeepers PR Sreejesh for India and Rafael Revilla for Spain both doing excellent work. The final quarter was a frantic affair full of opportunities, dramatic video referrals, and tension, but neither team could find a winning goal. The shootout delivered more exciting action with 15 consecutive goals scored, the match eventually ending with Spanish captain Marc Miralles putting his shot wide, much to the relief of the local fans.(Men’s) Argentina beat Germany (2 -2 SO: 4-3): In the final day of the mini-tournament in Santiago del Estero, hosts Argentina came out of the gate in good form. Nicolas della Torre and Tomas Domene each released superb drag flicks on the game’s opening two penalty corners for a 2-0 Argentina lead. Germany were flat and uninspiring despite loading their roster with a more experience side from a day earlier against Belgium. Late in the first half Germany started to show some flair as hard work for Raphael Hartkopf created a chance for Paul-Philipp Kaufmann to one-time on goal. The ball was well struck and keeper Tomas Santiago got a piece of it but Hartkopf finished the run and tapped in to cut Argentina’s lead to one.Germany came out of the gate with good intensity and were rewarded just moments into the third quarter. A brilliant ball across the goal was deflected in by Elian Mazkour to make it 2-2. Both teams struggled to look threatening in the circle as play hypnotically moved between the 23-meter areas and for the second-consecutive match-up the game needed a shootout. An important save from Tomas Santiago on Malte Helwig, followed by a great finish from Lucas Martinez gave Argentina the 4-3 shootout win and the bonus point. (Women’s) Germany beat Argentina (2-0): Despite having most of the pace and possession, Argentina struggled to generate quality scoring chances against Germany. Two first-half penalty corners that were mistrapped and circle entries with no outcome was the story of Argentina’s performance. Die Danas capitalised on their few chances, first on a penalty corner deflected into Valentina Raposo’s body on the line giving Viktoria Huse the go-ahead finish from the stroke mark. Argentina continued to hunt for an equaliser but despite a high count of circle penetrations, German keeper Nathalie Kubalski had yet to be tested. At the other end, a quick free hit left Argentina scrambling and a ball from Jette Fleschütz found its way through traffic to a waiting Pauline Heinz at the back post to lift Die Danas 2-0. The second half was all Argentina but the Leonas lacked that clinical quality expected of the No. 2 ranked team in the world. Two Agustina Gorzelany flicks were steered away by the gloves of Kubalski, while a goalmouth scramble was cleared on the line by Jule Bleuel and shots from Maria Granatto and Agustina Albertarrio went uncharacteristically unconverted. Kubalski then denied Victoria Manuele from close range and another Gorzelany flick to seal Germany’s first win over Argentina since 2021. 
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