At the last Asian Games, in 2014, Pakistan again managed to reach the final where they met India. Pakistan had defeated India in the pool match. The final was an exciting game between the two traditional rivals. It was 1-1 after the regular time. However, Pakistan went down in the shootout. Thus, they lost the chance to get an automatic qualification for the Olympics. Eventually, Pakistan failed to qualify for the Olympics – for the first time ever.
However, Eight-time Asian Games Champions will be a completely different outfit in Jakarta, says Pakistan Hockey Teams captain Muhammad Rizwan Sr.
“Last time at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, we lost to India in the finals and thus lost the route to qualify directly for the Rio Olympics Games. Eventually, we had to pay a heavy price as we couldn’t get through to the Olympics from the tough qualifying round. We don’t want that to happen this time round.”
Since getting the Dutchman onboard, the team is on the right track and the results will come according to Rizwan Sr.
“The foreign coach has brought in professionalism and is putting a proper structure in place. What we are looking at is trying to get the prefect blend of Asian and European style of hockey,” he said.
Rizwan Sr added that a lot of work has been put on improving the player’s fitness.
“Physical trainer Daniel Barry has made us realise the importance of peak fitness and more importantly on how to conserve energy. The team has also worked hard on the short corners. We missed a lot of scoring opportunities in the Champions Trophy and that’s another area we were working on.”