MHC at WORK..
KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are confident of playing in the Tokyo Olympics aftar a lapse of 20 years, and to make sure, they have put Plan B into motion.
Failing which, MHC president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal reitrated that he will not seek re-election next year.
"We are confident our men will qualify for the Tokyo Olympics by winning the Asian Games gold medal in Jakarta. But just to make sure, we will also bid for the World Series Final in June next year, which offers two tickets to the Olympics.
"And if we fail at both attempts, I will not seek re-election, as I have said many times before," said Subahan after MHC's 12th Executive Board meeting.
The Asian Games in Jakarta offers only the champion to play in the OLympics, a feat last achieved by Malaysia at the 2000 Olympcis.
The World Series is a better option, as many double qualifiers will also make the round and the early indications are that Malaysia only need to make the semi-finals to qualify for Olympics after 20 years.
"The MHC knows it will not be easy to win the Asian Games gold and that's why we extended every help we could to Stephen van Huizen (coach) and his men.
"They played six matches in Argentina, and even though they lost the first four, they managed to draw the Fifth and win the Sixth Test to show progress," said Subahan.
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) have invited Malaysia to bid for the men's World Series: "We did not ask, but were offered by the FIH to put in a bid for the men's tournament. Which means we are almost assured of hosting the event in June 2019. Simultaneously, we will also bid for the Women's World Series as well as the next World Cup (2022)," said Subahan.
In Argentina, Malaysis lost the first four matches 1-0, 6-1, 7-2, 2-1 and then drew the Fifth Test 1-1, before winning the Sixth Test 2-1.
And for the record, Malaysia only managed to enter the final of the Asian Games once in 2010 in Guangzhou, China, but lost 2-0 to Pakistan.
The Asian Games was incepted in 1958, and Malaysia only have one silver and six bronze medals to show.
Malaysia need to beat India, Pakistan, South Korea and China as well as early Olympic qualifier Japan, as hosts, in Jakarta.
And while Malaysia played Six Test matches against Argentina, India and Pakistan will be playing in the last Champions Trophy in Breda, Netherlands, on June 23-July 1.
Netherlands, Australia, Argentina and Belgium are the other teams.
Malaysia only qualified to play in the Champions Trophy twice, and both times as hosts -- 1993 (ended sixth) and 2007 (ended eighth).
And our Jakarta Asian Games opponents India have played 16 times in the Champions Trophy, while Pakistan 32 times since its inception in 1978.
History does not favour Malaysia to win the Asian Games gold, but nothing is impossible if one puts mind and heart into it.