India, S.Korea become joint hockey champions

IPOH, Malaysia: India and South Korea were named joint champions of the 19th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup on Sunday after the final was abandoned because of heavy rain in northern Malaysia.

The decider in Ipoh was only in its 12th minute when the match was suspended because of the heavy downpour and after waiting an hour organisers cancelled the match, declaring both teams the winner.

Officials say it is the first time in the history of the tournament that a final had to be called off, with both teams also going down as the first joint champions of the tournament.

For defending champions India it is their fifth Sultan title, matching Australia, while for Asian Champions South Korea it will be their second title after winning the cup before in 1996.

"It is the decision of the organisers and we respect that. Anyway the rain was not about to stop and in the end that may well be the right decision," said India''s assistant coach Harender Singh.

South Korea''s penalty corner flicker Nam Hyun-Woo was the top scorer overall with nine goals, while India''s Sardar Singh was named player of the tournament.

In the play-off for third place, world champions Australia defeated Malaysia 5-3.

Pakistan clinched fifth place after defeating China 6-5 on penalties after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time.