Selangor Journal
The national men’s hockey team in action during their match against China as part of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games at the Gongshu Canal Sports Park Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on October 2, 2023. — Picture by BERNAMA

Speedy Tigers must quickly bounce back from recent disappointment — Marhan

HANGZHOU, Oct 3 — The men’s hockey squad must quickly recover and bounce back from the recent disappointment of failing to advance any further than the quarterfinal stage of the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games.

The failure to make the semifinals in Hangzhou has also dealt a blow to the hopes of the Speedy Tigers to secure a good standing to qualify for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Malaysia, ranked number 10 in the world, had started their Group B campaign here in style by whipping Thailand 9 – 0, Oman 11 – 1 and Indonesia 9 – 2, but failed to maintain the momentum after losing 3 – 4 to South Korea and ending their final fixture with a 4 – 4 draw against China last night.

The Speedy Tigers will on Friday play against Pakistan in the 5th – 6th Classification match.

National skipper Muhammad Marhan Mohd Jalil said the team must remain positive ahead of their final fixture in the Asian Games to at least finish in fifth spot and continue their march towards qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“A result that is negative and disappointing, as we could not make the semis. The result also means we could not achieve the target of winning the gold medal. As the skipper, I will remain positive when playing in the next game.

“We cannot afford to lose because ranking points are equally important to remain in the hunt for a spot in the qualifying tournament.

“We cannot be complacent because we still have a chance of qualifying for the Olympics. After this, we have to work even harder to raise the intensity of our game in coming championships because all teams competing in the qualifiers are strong,” he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian contingent chef-de-mission (CDM) Datuk Chong Kim Fatt urged the Speedy Tigers and the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) to evaluate the performance and quickly find a remedy to bounce back.

“We are sad because we wanted hockey to hoist the Malaysian flag by winning a medal. However, I am proud of their spirit and ambition to chase the gold. As the CDM, I wish to apologise to all Malaysians.

“We need to conduct a detailed post-mortem to see how our target can be achieved in future games. We need to learn from mistakes,” he said.

— Bernama


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