Friday, August 3, 2018

Dharmaraj dares to dream..

MEN AT WORK.. Dharmaraj under the spotlight.

KUALA LUMPUR: National women's hockey coach K. Dharmaraj has taken up the Malaysian Hockey Confederation's (MHC) challenge for a podium finish at the Jakarta Asian Games.
  In the Games where only the gold medallists qualifies for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Malaysia are in Group A with China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while in Group B are South Korea, India, Thailand, Kazakhstan and Indonesia.
  "If I had been asked to deliver a medal in the last Asian Games, I would have said its not possible because we were not ready yet back in 2014.
  "But after three years with the team, and watching them grow in confidence during the five friendlies in Australia, I can now say that we are ready to take up the challenge of a podium finish," said Dharmaraj.
  In Brisbane, Dharmaraj's girls started with 1-1 and 2-2 draws before winning 3-1, 2-1 and 3-2.
  "In all my years with the girls' team, they have no been consistent, meaning there was never a time that they did not have one or two bad days in a tournament or friendlies.
  "But in Brisbane, where we played with the Australian League champions minus five of their national players who are competing in the London World Cup, my players grew in confidence after each match.
  "Now I can say they are ready for the Games, and we will go for a podium finish.
  "I will now adapt the same policy with these girls which I held when coaching the men's national juniors team.
  "People never gave us a chance at the beginning but we won gold at the Sultan of Johor Cup and Junior Asia Cup and then fourth in the Junior World Cup.
  The women will be travelling to Jakarta on Category B, where they must win a medal to be reimbursed.
  In the last Games, Malaysia ended fifth.
  For the record, the only medal ever won by Malaysian women at the Asian Games was a bronze in New Delhi 1982 when there were no playoffs as it was a round-robin tournament.