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Walsh back in hockey action

August 4, 2012 19:41 pm

Great Britain women's hockey captain Kate Walsh admits the last week has been a whirlwind since fracturing her jaw but she never once felt her Olympics were over.

The 32-year-old returned to action six days after being hit in the face with a stick, which resulted in an operation to insert a titanium plate, in the 2-1 defeat to China. She displayed remarkable powers of recovery, having only left The Royal London Hospital on Wednesday, and showed little after-effects from the injury.

And Walsh insists she has remained positive ever since being hit in the opening match against Japan. She said: "It's been a bit of a whirlwind to be honest. I came out of hospital on Wednesday and did some training Thursday and Friday to make sure I was fit for the game."

Walsh wore protective strapping around her jaw during her comeback, in which she played the entire 70 minutes, for "peace of mind".

At one point in the first half a ball rebounded up from an attacking penalty corner and she quickly turned her back as it hit her on her shoulder but the three-time Olympian brushed that aside.

"That's the game. It's dangerous," was the response from Walsh, who stressed she was keen for her situation not affect the rest of the squad. "I was really keen I didn't want to be a distraction," she added. "We have come here to do a job and the team remained very focused on that."

Great Britain women's coach Danny Kerry admitted his failure to break down China and sloppy errors resulted in a first defeat of the tournament.

The hosts needed just a point to qualify for the semi-finals, but conceding second-half penalty corners from Fu Baorong and Zhao Yudiao cost them and even Crista Cullen's late set-piece could not salvage the situation.

Qualification remains in their own hands but they must beat defending champions and world number ones Holland, who have already booked their place in the last four, to be sure. A draw may get them through providing China do not win heavily against bottom side Japan.

"China sat very deep in the first half," said Kerry. We were trying to open them up and we had a flurry of corners in the first half and I thought their goalkeeper did very well with the rebound shot from Crista - that was a match-defining moment."

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