Saturday, June 23, 2018

Shamala: Dharmaraj's girls going to Asian Games

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian women started their Hockey Series Open campaign with a sizzling 18-0 win over Indonesia at the Sengkang Stadium in Singapore yesterday.
  And there was more good news for the women, as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) will be sending them to the Jakarta Asian Games, even though the Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) has placed them on Category B, which is self-funded by the association.
  Yesterday's win was a vast improvement from the 11-0 win at the 2017 Kuala Lumpur Sea Games.
  The women play Hong Kong today, and another big win is expected as when both the teams met at the World League Round Two in Kuala Lumpur last year, coach K. Dharmaraj's charges won 9-0.
  Malaysia, at world n 22, winn then meet Kazakhstan (34th), Thailand (28th) and Singapore (35th).
  Hockey Series Open was known as World League Round One earlier, and it serves an an Olympic qualifier. The finalists move into the next round.
  The match was also historical, as 15-year-old Kirandeep Kaur became the youngest player ever to play with the senior women's squad when Dharmaraj fielded her in the 11th minute itself.
  The 18 were scored by Norfaiezah Saiuti (3rd, 4th, 23rd), Nuraini Rashid (11th, 22nd, 35th), Fazilla Sylvester (14th), Nuramirah Zulkifli (17th, 38th), Nuraslinda Said (19th, 20th, 41st), Nurmaizatulhanim Syafi (24th), Safiqah Mat Isa (26th), Zafirah Aziz (26th, 49th), Surizan Awang (43rd, 60th).
  "We (MHC) received news yesterday (Friday) that our senior women’s team have been re-categorised from A (fully funded by OCM) to B (funded by the National Sports Association) and if we secure a medal finish we will be reimbursed.
  "Irrelevant of whatever category our women’s team are in, just as our MHC President Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal has said earlier 'the girls are definitely going to feature at the Asian Games'," said MHC deputy president Datuk S. Shamala.
  "We believe greatly that all the hard work the entire ecosystem has done tailoring for this edition of the Asian Games for the past 30 months with the dedication and extensive work of coaches Dharmaraj, Lailin Abu Hassan and Roslan Jamaluddin our girls will finish on the podium at the Jakarta Asian Games," said Shamala.