Pak­istan to de­fend ti­tle in Asian hockey cham­pi­ons tro­phy

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LA­HORE— Pak­istan will de­fend the ti­tle and also aim­ing to go for ti­tle hat trick dur­ing the Asian hockey cham­pi­ons tro­phy be­ing played in Kuan­tan, Malaysia from Oc­to­ber 20 to 30.

The green shirts will be fac­ing a stiff chal­lenge from five Asian hockey na­tions dur­ing the event. Pak­istan is still an un­beaten force in the event due to its suc­cess in its last two edi­tions.

Pak­istan beat Ja­pan 3- 1 in the last edi­tion of the event in 2013, at Kakami­ga­hara, in Ja­pan be­fore win­ning the ti­tle in 2012 for the first time in Doha, Qatar beat­ing In­dia 5- 4. Pak­istan lost to In­dia 4- 2 in the first edi­tion of the Asian cham­pi­ons tro­phy in Or­dos, China in 2011.

Sched­uled two months af­ter the Au­gust Olympic Games , the Men’s Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy in­clude teams of In­dia, South Korea, Ja­pan, China and the Malaysian hosts to pose a se­ri­ous threat to the supremacy of Pak­istan, said the in­for­ma­tion made avail­able to APP here on Wed­nes­day.

In a cer­e­mony held on Wed­nes­day in Kula Lumpur, the Asian Hockey Fed­er­a­tion ( AHF) Pres­i­dent Prince Ab­dul­lah Ah­mad Shah and Malaysian Hockey Con­fed­er­a­tion Pres­i­dent, Suba­han Ka­mal for­mally signed the host­ing agree­ment that con­firms the host­ing of the Men’s Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy 2016 in Kuan­tan, Pa­hang State, Malaysia.

The Malaysian Hockey Con­fed­er­a­tion is one of the most ex­pe­ri­enced and pro­lific event hosts within the con­ti­nent, reg­u­larly host­ing FIH and AHF events.

First in­tro­duced in 2011, the Asian Cham­pi­ons tro­phy cre­ates an equal op­por­tu­nity for Asian teams to gather more high- level com­pe­ti­tion ex­pe­ri­ence. Malaysian hosts have medaled in each pre­vi­ous edi­tion, tak­ing bronze in 2011, 2012 and 2013, while the team from South Korea will be mak­ing their Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy de­but this year.

The Asian Hockey Fed­er­a­tion can also con­firm that through a re­cent de­ci­sion by the FIH Ex­ec­u­tive Board, Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy events are in­cluded in the con­ti­nen­tal rank­ing el­e­ment of the FIH World Rank­ing sys­tem from the next up­date.

The con­ti­nen­tal rank­ings for Asia will be cal­cu­lated across a four- year cy­cle, tak­ing into ac­count the re­sults of Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phies held dur­ing that time.

This also means that be­cause the Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy will not only be part of the sys­tem that de­ter­mines con­ti­nen­tal rank­ing but will be in­cluded in the Qual­i­fi­ca­tion Sys­tems for fu­ture Olympic Games and World Cups any team that does not play in the Asian Games / Asia Cup and Asian Cham­pi­ons Tro­phy can­not qual­ify for the rel­e­vant Olympic Games or World Cup.

Asian Hockey Fed­er­a­tion CEO, Tayyab Ikram said, “We will work very closely with the Malaysian Hockey Con­fed­er­a­tion to make this event world class in all as­pects, and are looking for­ward to a tour­na­ment that shows off the very best of Asian hockey.”— APP

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