Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oman Hockey Association (OHA) is drawing a plan ahead of the 2014 Asiad

Following Oman's excellent performance in the Asian Games Qualifier in Bangladesh, the Oman Hockey Association (OHA) is drawing a plan ahead of the 2014 Asiad set to be held in South Korea from September 19 to October 4.

Speaking to Times Sporton Monday, OHA General Secretary Redha Taqi Al Lawati said arrangements have been made to help the national team achieve success at the Asian Games.  "We are doing everything possible to help our team achieve good results in the Asian Games," Redha said.

As part of the plan, the team will undergo external training camps in Germany and the Netherlands.

"We have not yet decided on the itinerary but this is one part of the plan to send the team for a rigorous training camps in Germany and Holland," he noted.

Oman won four games in the eight-nation Asian Games Qualifier in Dhaka before losing to Bangladesh in the title decider on Sunday. In the qualifying matches, Oman beat Chinese Taipei, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Singapore. In Sunday's final, Oman lost to Bangladesh 6-1.

OHA officials are satisfied with the performance of the Oliver Kurtz-coached team. "We are extremely happy with the performance of our team and, more than that, we are satisfied with the progress they are making as a team," Redha said.

According to Redha, the timing of the title decider could have affected Oman's show against Bangladesh.

"They were playing so well in all the games and, therefore, going down 6-1 was rather unfortunate," Redha said. "I think it has mostly to do with the timing of the matches. There should have been a break before the title decider. With four consecutive games at a stretch, I feel our players may have been tired but we will have to wait and see the coach's report to know what went wrong," he informed.

"Bangladesh was playing on their home turf and thus the advantage was with them. We wasted 12 short corners. That is something strange," he said.

"But we are pleased with the performance. The boys are doing extremely well and the level of their playing skills has certainly improved. We look forward to a good show in South Korea during the Asian Games," Redha added.

'Work harder for Asiad'
Meanwhile, hockey veteran Saiyed Ali Sibtain Naqvi urged the Oman team to work hard to face some of the toughest teams from the continent at the Asian Games.  "If they want to survive in the Asian Games against them, they need to seriously improve their level of playing," the former Oman coach said.

According to Naqvi, six Asian teams that include India, Pakistan, Japan, Malaysia, China and host South Korea could prove a stiff challenge for Oman.

"They are the best sides in Asia and could prove a big challenge for Oman. There is no doubt that we have good talents and they have done well in the qualifier but they need to work hard for a better performance in the Games," Naqvi added

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