Nov 24, 2010


After reaching their historic first ever men's hockey final in the Asian Games, Malaysia are now one match away from earning a direct ticket to the 2012 London Olympics if they beat Pakistan for gold medal in Guangzhou.

Malaysian Hockey Federation president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah, wants the team to put aside the euphoria and celebrations on the 4-3 win over India in the semi-final at the Aoti Hockey Stadium on Tuesday and switch their focus on tomorrow's final against the new-look Pakistan.

"We have to forget the fantastic win over India. Let us switch our focus to final. It is an all-important match that we need to win for obvious win our first ever Asian Games hockey gold and more importantly earn a direct ticket to London Olympics," said Tengku Abdullah, who is also the Tengku Mahkota of Pahang.

Malaysia last played in the Olympics in 2000 Sydney and finished 11th. The Malaysians failed to qualify for the last two Olympics in Beijing (2008) and Athens (2004).

"Not many gave us a chance in Guangzhou but we have showed tremendous fighting spirit, guts and determination to make good after a rather disappointing outing in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi last month.

"Let us rebuild Malaysian hockey and make Malaysia a powerhouse in the sport. It is a long process but what the present team has shown in the Asian Games, against the hockey giants in Asia, is something that we can be proud of.

"We have the hockey talent to take on the hockey giants in the world. Pakistan may have come with a new look side to Guangzhou after the disastrous outing the World Cup but they are the team to beat now as they have reached the final after knocking out defending champions Korea in the semifinals.

"We have to be wary of our opponents (Pakistan). But Pakistan can be beaten if we keep our focus on the match. Give your full commitment and determination, just like you showed against India and I am optimistic that we can achieve another positive result."

Tengku Abdullah thanked the band of Malaysians supporters who have turned up at the Aoti Hockey Stadium for every match to support the team.

"The Malaysian supporters have been simply great. They have come to cheer the team every time Malaysia played. In fact, I am pleased with everyone, from the media, team officials, contingent officials and all others who have thrown their support behind the team.

"Let us also not forget those who have kept glued to the Television back home. Hockey fans and supporters have been praying for the team. No matter where they are, let us not disappoint them for their tremendous support," added Tengku Abdullah.

Malaysia's best efforts in the Asiad since the Games were incepted in New Delhi in 1951, were winning the bronze medals. The last bronze effort was in Busan in 2002. The other bronze The other bronze medals were won in 1962, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1990.

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