Satinder to officiate in Beijing Olympics

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Chandigarh, Nov 19: Chandigarh based Satinder Sharma got another feather in his cap as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) appointed him as umpire for the Beijing Olympic Games to be held in December, 2008.

Already in the elite group of FIH umpires, Satinder will be officiating in his second Olympic Games. Earlier, he had umpired matches in the Athens Olympics.

According to information received here, Satinder, who works as a assistant manager in SBI here, is among the 11 umpires from the Elite Group of the FIH panel who have been appointed as umpires for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The other umpires who are appointed for Beijing Olympics are, Henrik Ehlers (Denmark), John Wright (South Africa), Ten Cate Rob (Holland), David Leiper (Scotland), Adell Xavier (Spain), Blash Christian (Germany), David Gentles (Australia), Kim Hong Lae (Korea) and Andy Mair (Scotland).

The selected umpires have been directed to report at Beijing on December 7, 2008 after attending the FIH Umpires Clinic. The FIH will soon announce the dates and venue of the clinic.

Considered as one of the best hockey umpires in the world, Satinder Sharma has so far officiated in 91 international matches.

He is just nine short of hitting a grand century. On completion of 100 internationals, the FIH would award him the "Golden Whistle".

When he would achieves this milestone, 42-year-old Satinder would earn the distinction of becoming the first Indian to be presented the Golden Whistle award by the FIH. So far the FIH has awarded Golden Whistle to 25 men and 24 women hockey umpires.

Satinder had recently supervised matches in the Oceania Cup at Buderim (Australia) from September 10 to 17. Earlier this year, Satinder worked as umpire in the African Zone Olympic Qualifiers in Nairobi, Kenya from July 14 to 22. Satinder Sharma has already officiated as umpire in the junior and senior World Cups, Champions Trophy, Asian Games and a number of other FIH sanctioned international tournaments and Test series.

UNI

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