London 2012: Comfortable wins at test event for British teams

Hockey Olympic test event

  • Venue: Riverbank Arena, Olympic Park
  • Date: 2-6 May

Coverage: GB matches live on BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and Radio 5 live sports extra

Great Britain's men defeated India 4-2 on day two of the Olympic hockey test event after the GB women maintained their 100% record by beating China 3-0.

Ashley Jackson scored twice as the men looked a different side to the one beaten 3-1 by Germany on Wednesday, particularly in the first half.

Earlier, two Crista Cullen goals helped a dominant women's team to victory.

Climate control

With a chill in the Olympic Park air this week, GB coach Jason Lee imparts his advice to foreign teams coming to London 2012 this summer:

"We've been to some hot major tournaments like the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the World Cup there. So I'm giggling to myself seeing the Indians coming here and thinking it's freezing, finding it as hard in comparison as we found it in India.

"I'm praying for an unseasonably cold August. Hopefully we'll have the coldest summer in history. My tip for acclimatisation? Twenty-four hours in the fridge."

The women are through to Sunday's final but the men's fate rests on Saturday's concluding group games.

In reality, results at the Olympic test event - the first competitive hockey on the blue-and-pink surface of the Riverbank Arena, in the heart of the Olympic Park - are relatively meaningless as far as London 2012 or world rankings are concerned.

But neither the men nor the women could take much cheer from their opening-day performances, even though the women had beaten South Korea 1-0, and Thursday's wins came courtesy of improved displays.

The women could have beaten China by five or six - Cullen opened the scoring with a straightforward penalty corner, Susie Gilbert bagged a scrappy goal and Cullen got her 49th in international hockey with a beautiful chip from the final touch of the game. Chances were plentiful.

China are ranked fifth  in the world, one place below Britain, and are expected to feature in the same group as GB's women at the Olympic hockey tournament this summer.

"China are a strong side, they are the Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallists and it's great to dominate a team like that on home turf," Cullen told BBC Sport.

"Yes, the results here don't matter, there are no world ranking points at stake and there's not an Olympic Games on our heads, but it's about getting out there and getting used to the occasion.

GB Women too good for China

"We're in the hunt for a gold medal at the Olympics, and you want to make winning a habit. It's great that off the back of yesterday's performance, which we were slightly disappointed with, we dominated."

That domination continued when the men took to the field. Rob Moore rifled home an excellent reverse-stick shot within four minutes of the start before Simon Mantell scored with the help of an Indian foot.

Jackson's first, a clever deflection past the goalkeeper, was matched only by his second, a delicate lift past the keeper from close range.

India's consolation goals came through two impressive penalty corners from VR Raghunath and Sandeep Singh. James Tindall's goal-line clearance at waist height prevented a third finding the net as India fought back in a more even second half.

"We wouldn't score those four goals again - we were fortuitous to get the four that we did - but our performance is improving," said coach Jason Lee.

Goalscorer Moore said: "That was an improvement, for sure. We got out of the blocks quickly - a few early goals really helps.

Schedule and results

  • Wednesday: GB women 1-0 Korea, GB men 1-3 Germany
  • Thursday: GB women 3-0 China, GB men 4-2 India
  • Friday: Rest day
  • Saturday: GB women v Argentina 1145, GB men v Australia 1700
  • Sunday: Women's bronze play-off 0930, women's final 1215, men's bronze play-off 1545, men's final 1830

All times BST.

"It's great to be here and have the opportunity to stake my claim for selection. Goals are not quite collectors' items for me but they don't happen that often so I'm happy."

Team-mate Mark Pearn, a veteran of the Sydney and Athens Olympics, added: "The guys are starting to understand what a home Olympics might be like. If we can play the attacking style of hockey that we did in the first half, I think the crowd will enjoy coming to see us."

GB's men play world number one Australia on Saturday, who were earlier turned over 3-2 by second-ranked Germany.

GB, Germany and Australia all have one win and one defeat to their names, while India have lost both matches so far. GB's women face Argentina on Saturday but are already in the final as they cannot finish lower than second.