Hockey: GB women vow to stay in winning groove as captain Kate Walsh has jaw surgery


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The Independent Online

One of the goalscorers in Britain's 4-0 opening triumph against Japan said ahead of today's second Pool A match against South Korea that the home side are fiercely adhering to the same routines in an attempt to maintain the momentum which made them feel "on fire" in Sunday's victory.

Sarah Walton said that the women, who are contenders for gold, sensed in the warm-up before the Japan game that something special was about to happen. "Sitting in the changing room before the game, looking around the room, you could tell," she told The Independent. "We know each other so well – you could see people just sitting there in their own little world, smiling, and you know that they are on it. The warm-up was very good [against Japan]. There was plenty of chat early on in the game. We were on fire from the minute we started.

"Everyone has their individual routine – we have the same place we sit in the dressing room for every game. You get a little bit of banter, people winding each other up a bit – normally we pick on someone and take the mick and get in the mood. This group has been together for a very long time. Yes, we're playing in the Olympics, but it's almost like we are playing in any other tournament." The South Koreans opened with a 4-0 defeat by China.

Captain Kate Walsh has undergone surgery on a fractured jaw after taking a blow with a Japan player's stick, though she may continue playing in the Olympics. Walsh, 32, who spent the night in hospital, has had a plate inserted to stabilise the jaw. She was expecting to be released from hospital shortly and her progress will be monitored before a decision is made.