THE Malaysian women's hockey team started their Japan Tour on a good note, but could not sustain the pace after playing two matches per-day in Kakamigahara.
Coach K. Dharmaraj's players beat Japan juniors A 3-2 in the morning and held Japan juniors B 2-2 in the evening of May 3, but their next back-to-back matches turned out to be drubbings.
They lost 2-0 to Japan juniors A 2-0 and Nanto Bank Japan 5-0 in matches played in Wednesday morning and evening.
And on Thursday, they played two more back-to-back matches and lost 2-1 to Japan Juniors and 5-1 to Japan Juniors A.
The women will play three more matches before ending the Tour on May 10.
Meanwhile, 14 teams will kick-start the inaugural 1MAS Boys' Under-13 tournament at the Azlan Shah Stadium in Ipoh Friday.
The two-day tournament will be played on a zonal system with Penang, Perlis, Kedah and Sabah drawn in North zone while Perak, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur in central zone.
In East zone are Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan and Sarawak while South zone has Malacca, Negeri Sembilan and Johor.
The champion of each zone will advance to the final at a later date.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) Director of Development, Tai Beng Hai, said the 1MAS programmes complements the age-group tournaments organised by the Ministry of Education (KPM) and Malaysian Schools Sports council (MSSM).
“MHC is working in tandem with KPM and MSSM in our efforts to create a wider pool of junior players. These tournaments are good exposure for the younger players who will develop into better players as they progress to play in the National Under-14 and Under-16 tournaments in future,” said Beng Hai.
MHC, said Beng Hai, looks into organising National Under-14 and Under-16 tournaments while the Under-11, Under-13 and Under-15 tournaments come under the purview of 1MAS.
The 1MAS Girls Under-13 tournament will be held at a later date.