(Photo: FIH)

Chile’s President, Mrs. Michelle Bachelet, received on Tuesday the Chilean National Team and Officials of the Olympics Qualifier, currently held at the Prince of Wales Country Club in Santiago.

Mrs Bachelet welcomed the athletes at the Bernando O’Higgins’ room of the Government House, alongside the Sports Minister Jaime Pizarro and the Chilean Olympic Committee President, Nevel Ilic.

The International Hockey Federation Vice President, Antonio Von Ondarza, the Chilean Hockey Federation President, Esteban Geyger Mailath, and one of the Chilean Hockey Federation directors, Fernando de la Fuente were also present at the historical Presidential Palace “La Moneda”.

Mrs Bachelet shook hands with all the athletes and officials and Chilean captain Felipe Montegú offered her a hockey stick with a commemorative plaque. Later, Mr. Von Ondarza gave the President a silk shawl with the FIH logo, which Mrs Bachelet immediately put on her shoulders.

Mrs Bachelet admires the FIH silk shawl presented by Antonio Von Ondarza

The President showed her knowledge about hockey, congratulating Captain Montegú as the tournament top-scorer, and also made comments about the tournament and Chile’s results.

“Today you have an important game”, she said, referring to the match against Great Britain. And added: “The government goal is to support sport in all its disciplines. Chile has done well, and we hope to continue supporting it”, she continued. “It doesn’t matter if you qualify or not, we’ll be anyway proud of you”, she told the players.

Referring to their efforts, Bachelet said: “A government has to support the sport and its effort. Our commitment with the sport and field hockey is important. I wish you success”.

In his response, FIH’s Vice President Von Ondarza, said the Prince of Wales facilities were “excellent”, describing them as “one of the best in the continent”.