Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Pakistani hockey official unfazed with poor results

Pakistani hockey official unfazed with poor results
A top hockey official in Pakistan is expecting the national team to do well in next month's Guangzhou Asian Games despite a string of poor finishes this year.
Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Asif Bajwa said the squad is capable of winning a medal in the quadrennial multi-sport meet.
"We've always said that our main target this year is the Asian Games and I'm confident that the team will click in the event," he said.
Bajwa explained that the team should not be judged based on their disappointing performance in this year's World Cup and the recent Commonwealth Games, which were both held in New Delhi.
He said most Pakistani players succumb to pressure whenever a tournament is held in India, which is considered a hostile territory.
Bajwa said the national team's runner-up finish in this year's Asian Cup final, which was held in Malaysia, is an indication that the South Asian nation is still a force to reckon with in the region.
The former Olympian said the outcome of Pakistan's matches will likely be different in Guangzhou.
"We will do much better in China. We know that we have to beat India to enhance our chances of reaching the final and I'm sure that the boys will go all out to beat them," he said.
Bajwa also urged the fans to be patient, saying that Pakistan is no longer the hockey powerhouse that used to dominate the sport.
"Pakistan hockey is not where it was 30 years ago. We cannot expect our team to win in major international events like the World Cup and Commonwealth Games," he said.
However, Bajwa assured fans that the squad is slowly making their way to the top.
"Our journey back to the top has to begin at the Asian level which is why all our efforts our aimed at getting the best out of our team in China," he said.
The members of the national team will resume their training on 25 October. They are scheduled to play two tune-up matches against Malaysia on 6 and 7 November. Pakistan will play one more warm-up game against China in Guangzhou on 11 November before taking part in the Asian Games hockey tournament.

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