Monday, June 12, 2023

Holding back aces for Chennai Asian Champions Trophy...


By Jugjet Singh

MALAYSIA as well as other Asian teams are expected to hold back their firepower at the Chennai Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) which is just five weeks away from the Asian Games.

  The Chennai ACT will be held on Aug 3-12 and offers teams a chance to spar before the Asian Games, but Malaysian coach Arul Selvaraj see danger in exposing too much.

   "We will play the same teams in the ACT as well as Asian Games and there is a danger in revealing too much, especially in penalty corners, as both the tournaments are just five weeks apart.

  "The Asian Games is the end target as it offers the champion a place in the 2024 Olympics which we are gunning for right now. So, the AHF (Asian Hockey Federation) could have selected a better date for the ACT," said Arul.

  The usual suspects Malaysia, India, South Korea, Japan, China and Pakistan will play in both the ACT and Asian Games looking for glory in Asiad as it offers the highest prize in the world of hockey.

  Towards the Asian Games, the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) have brought in Australian Olympians Glenn Turner and Kieran Govers on an ad-hoc basis, the most recent being on June 9, with more sessions planned until the team departs for the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

  Malaysia will head for South Korea for 10 days on June 18-28, instead of Europe, as the ACT announcement threw a spanner in their schedule.

   "Malaysia are 10th while South Korea one rung above us and playing them will be good.

  "We had to cancel the Europe Tour (playing Belgium, Germany and Spain) because of the late Chennai ACT dates announcement," said Arul.