KUALA LUMPUR: Two years ago, national hockey team goalkeeper S. Kumar’s world came crashing down when his three-year old son died of fever.
Kumar was already in Antwerp, Belgium, preparing for the start of the World Hockey League Semi-Finals, which was an Olympic qualifier, when he received word of his son Harshenn’s death.
The devastated goalkeeper flew back immediately and did not play any part in the campaign, which ended in disaster as Malaysia failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics.
Now, Kumar finds himself back in Europe – London to be exact – and facing another World Hockey League Semi-Final, which also happens to be a qualifier for the 2018 World Cup.
The tournament brings back painful memories for the keeper, but he has vowed not to let anything stand in the way as the team attempt to make the cut for the Finals next year in India.
Kumar also revealed that he dreamt of his son a few days ago.
“In my dream, I saw my late son playing with his two siblings (Varshan, 7, and Siddataa, three months’ old).
“He asked me how come my three-month old son looked just like him. He looked cheerful and that brought relief to my heart and mind.
“The last two years have been a painful time for us ... we are still coming to terms with it,” said the 37-year-old Kumar in a telephone interview from London.
The World Hockey League Semi-Finals begins today and Malaysia are in Group A with Argentina, England, South Korea and China.
Group B comprises Holland, Belgium, India, Canada and Scotland.
Malaysia, whose opening match is against world No. 1 Argentina tomorrow, defeated Wales 4-1 in their second friendly on Sunday.
Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin, Mohd Shahril Saabah, Mohd Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri Mohd Nor were on target against Wales.
Last Friday, Malaysia defeated the British National Juniors 4-2.