Australia's men's field hockey team won't have to play three early matches at the upcoming Olympics after winning an appeal to the International Hockey Federation.
The team's Aug. 7 match against Pakistan swapped places with the Korea-Holland game scheduled for 10:45 a.m. London time (BST). The Kookaburras had been scheduled to play three of their five preliminary games at 8:30 a.m. local time. No other nation had so many games slated for the earliest time slot.
"It is only right that it should be changed, we were ready to handle whatever we were dealt but this is certainly better," said coach Ric Charlesworth after hearing of the the decision.
His conciliatory tone is far different than a month ago, when he found out his team would have two 8:30 a.m. starts in London. The team had been concerned with potential 5 a.m. wake-up calls in London. "It's crazy," he said at the time. ''And it's not like we're the 12th-ranked team in the tournament. How do you develop a routine around that program?"
The team was reportedly scheduled for such early start times so games could be shown at night across Australia.
It was a fortunate ruling for the team, and not just for REM cycles. Had Team Australia lost the appeal, it could have felt like a pre-Olympic defeat. As a wise man once said, "you cannot bring this negative energy into the tournament, dude."