PENALTY corner specialist Razie Rahim will be banking on his vast experience to steer the men’s hockey team to a first Asian Games gold medal.
The 30-year-old will be making his fourth Asiad appearance and believes he has matured into a wiser player since his debut at the Doha Asian Games in 2006.
Razie still remembers the heartbreak of missing out on a gold medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asiad when they fought valiantly before losing 2-0 to Pakistan in the final.
The memory of that loss is still painful for Razie and he hopes to get it right this time.
“I’ve learnt a lot from my past experiences. There were mistakes but I’ve worked hard to rectify it,” said Razie.
A gold will assure the team a ticket to the 2020 Japan Olympic Games and Razie hopes his team will seal the deal.
“It’s our dream to qualify for the Olympics and we are focused on achieving it,” said Razie.
“But we don’t want to make the mistake of putting undue pressure on ourselves. We’ll take one match at a time.”
Razie scored a total of 16 goals in his last three Asiad stints and was the joint top scorer with South Korea’s Jong Jang-hyun (nine goals) at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, where Malaysia finished fourth.
Razie, who is expected to lead the scorers chart once again, said he was not looking for personal glory in Jakarta.
“I’ll try to score goals but I have no targets to be the top scorer. My focus is to play well and help the team win,” he added.
Nicknamed the Speedy Tigers, Malaysia will open their campaign against Kazakhstan in Group B at the Gelora Bung Karno hockey field tomorrow.