Australia's loss ends 12-year winning run

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The Independent Online

The opening games in the Olympic hockey competition in Athens have already provided a couple of surprise results.

The opening games in the Olympic hockey competition in Athens have already provided a couple of surprise results.

As the women's event got under way on Saturday Australia, the defending Olympic champions, going for their third successive gold and unbeaten in Olympic competition since 1992, lost 2-1 to Germany.

Nadine Ernsting-Krienke and Sike Müller scored for the Germans, who then withstood a fierce onslaught after Julie Towers pulled a goal back for Australia on 57 minutes.

Earlier in the day, with their captain Mijntje Donners scoring a hat-trick, the Dutch women won their opening game 6-2 against South Africa.

The first surprise in the men's competition was South Africa's victory against Argentina, coming from a goal down to register a good result.

Two quick goals in the opening minutes of the half from Greg Nicol were enough to give them a 2-1 win.

Australia who opened the men's competition yesterday against New Zealand, looked sharp and well drilled, in beating their neighbours 4-1.

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