Argentina replaces national coach ahead of Rio 2016

Buenos Aires, Oct 15 (IANS) Argentine Hockey Confederation announced they had parted ways with national female field hockey team’s coach Santiago Capurro and replaced him with Gabriel Minadeo, bronze medalwinner at Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Capurro’s exit on Wednesday came after the team’s recent tour of New Zealand where they won two matches and lost two, reported Xinhua.

The change came just 10 months before the start of the Olympic Games Rio de Janeiro 2016.

Capurro, 40, took over the coaching position in June 2014, the same year the female team won the “Champions Trophy” in the Argentinian city of Mendoza, 1,050 km west of Buenos Aires.

However, after this tournament, Luciana Aymar, the best player in Argentinian history, announced her retirement from the sport and key players in the team such as Rosario Luchetti and Silvina D’Elia distanced themselves from the South American side. This hindered the team’s performance.

The defeat in the Panamerican Games final against the US in 2015 drove a wedge between the coach and the players even though the team managed to qualify for the Olympics.

Capurro’s replacement is an old acquaintance of Argentinian field hockey who was also previously the coach for the female side between 2005 and 2009.

In this period, Minadeo led his team to win the bronze medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics, a championship (2008) and a runner up position in the Champions Trophy (2007).

Minadeo also led his team to the third place in the Hockey World Cup in 2006, the gold medal in the Panamerican Games (2007) and the Copa Panamericana (2009). He also helped them win two South American championships (2006 and 2008).

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