ibnlive » Sports

Jun 16, 2007 at 11:20am IST

Malaysian hockey team getting better

Kuala Lumpur: After a creditable performance in the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament earlier this year, the Malaysian team is now gearing up for Olympic qualifiers.

The past few weeks have been particularly good for the Malaysians, especially after a runners-up finish in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.

But the players say that the loss in the finals against the Australians really hurts.

"I think we tried our best to compete against the Australians but unfortunately they were a better side and won the game. We are now looking forward to other matches," skipper Chua Boon Huat says.

Ever since the Malaysian hockey team made it to the finals of the Sultan Azlan Shah Hockey Tournament, they have made rapid strides not only in terms of confidence but in terms of technique as well.

With a young line-up after the team was disbanded following the dismal showing in last year's Doha Asian Games, Malaysia are now in the rebuilding process.

"They are young and need to play more matches. As they play more matches and have more exposure they will get better," Sarjit Singh says.

A lot of players in the new line-up are of Indian origin but that hardly comes in their way even if the competitor happens to be India.

"I am an Indian but I am a Malaysian Indian. So it is not an extra pressure on me. It is normal for me," goalkeeper Kumar Subramaniam adds.

They might have lost against the second best team in the world, but now the Malaysians are determined to stand and deliver specially with the Olympics qualifiers fast approaching.

And going by their enthusiasm, things can only get better for them.

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