MHC expect quick rebound after Speedy Tigers’ setback in Tokyo

SERDANG: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal is not pleased with the national team’s performance at the Tokyo Four-Nation tournament in Japan.

The Speedy Tigers were the whipping boys when they lost all their matches – to India (6-0), Japan (3-1) and New Zealand (3-1). They also lost the third-fourth placing match 6-1 to Japan at the Oi Hockey Stadium yesterday.

Subahan, however, is still optimistic that coach Roelant Oltmans will turn their fortunes around and make the cut for the Olympic Games next year.

“I’m not happy with the recent results as we started well in our tour of Europe earlier this month but faltered towards the end.

“For the Japan tourney, we played with five to six youngsters, ” said Subahan after closing the Universiti Putra Malaysia’s (UPM) Three Pulse programme here yesterday.

“We wanted to expose them to high-level competitions but I’ve told Oltmans there will be no more trials or experiments after this.”

The team will next travel to South Korea in September before naming the squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifying playoffs in November.

Meanwhile, UPM’s Sports Academy director Prof Datuk Dr S. Shamala said the Three Pulse programme, which was held in partnership with the Selangor Hockey Association, will help develop the sport at grassroots level.

The programme touched on the importance of three aspects of coaching – sports management, nutrition and psychology – and was attended by 51 grassroots coaches from Selangor.

“With this three aspects, we hope we can produce quality players for the country. We will follow up with the coaches to assess the effectiveness of the programme, ” said Shamala who is also the MHC deputy president.

“We also hope we can engage other states in the future.”

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