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Rio Olympics: Crista Cullen knows GB face a tough final hurdle in hockey final

By Simone Bruce

Crista Cullen accepts that Great Britain will be tackling opponents "with a big history" in the Olympic women's hockey final today.

Cullen and company reached their first Olympic gold medal match following a 3-0 semi-final victory over New Zealand in Deodoro on Wednesday.

Standing in their way, though, are Holland, who have not lost an Olympic hockey game since the 2004 final, reeling off 21 successive wins and now standing one victory away from completing a Games title hat-trick.

Read more: Rio Olympics 2016: Live blog, full events schedule and medals tables

"Holland have a big history," said Cullen, who won her 100th cap earlier in a tournament that has seen Britain clinch seven successive triumphs. "They've been a dominant force within the hockey fraternity for years.

"But we have worked really hard on our culture together, trying to create winning mentalities.

"We have a huge amount of attacking threat that take their chances, and we've demonstrated that through numerous goalscorers in the competition.

"It's difficult for a team to cover everybody if we are attacking and able to score through numerous people. That's what it is all about, and what we have demonstrated."

Britain's women are already assured of their best Olympics by eclipsing bronze medal successes in 1992 and 2012, but Cullen has no intention of stopping there.

"That's what gets us up in the morning, to fight for an Olympic medal, let alone a silver and gold medal play-off," she added.

"We are hugely proud of where we've got to, but we've got to go back and get ourselves ready.

"Our expectation? To fight for a gold medal, that's what our expectations are."

Belfast Telegraph

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