Malaysia women and Singapore men have won won the Hockey Series Open held in Singapore between 23 June to 1 July. The result means both teams have qualified for the Hockey Series Finals to be held in 2019.
It was also joy for Thailand women as they took second place and therefore qualified for the Hockey Series Finals, where they will continue their journey towards qualification for Tokyo 2020.
Singapore men, who came into the tournament as favourites due to their FIH Hero World Ranking position (40) got off to the best of starts as they beat the unranked Indonesia 7-0. The host nation continued through the tournament in the same vein, much to the delight of the home crowd at the Seng Kang Sports Centre.
They defeated Myanmar (WR:89) 2-0, Thailand (WR:47) 4-1, Hong Kong (WR:45) 6-2 and Chinese Taipei (WR:52) 4-0 to set up a final where they defeated Thailand for a second time, 4-1, with sharp shooter Ahmad Johari scoring twice.
Thailand also enjoyed a good tournament, their only defeats coming at the hands of the champions.
The top goal scorer award was shared between Singapore’s Johari and Thailand’s Thanakrit Boon-Art, both of whom scored eight goals.
In the women’s event, top ranked side Malaysia (WR:22) continued on their upwards trajectory as they won the the round-robin with ease before beating Thailand (WR: 28) by a comfortable 6-0 scoreline in the final. Malaysia scored an impressive 51 goals in total and conceded just one – against fourth placed Kazakhstan.
Not surprisingly, Malaysia players dominated the goal scoring leadership board, with Nuraini Rashid topping the list with nine goals. Three of these goals came in Malaysia’s opening match, where they scored 18 goals past Indonesia (WR: 65).
While Malaysia and Thailand finished clear of the field, the battle for bronze was a tense affair between Kazakhstan (WR:34) and Singapore (WR:35). The teams were inseparable during the match, finishing 3-3 and then Singapore managed to beat their higher ranked rivals in a thrilling shoot-out, much to the delight of the home crowd.
3. Chinese Taipei
5. Hong Kong
5. Hong Kong
The event in Singapore was a continuation of the Hockey Series Open, with other events in the Series taking place across the world over the coming weeks. This stage of the FIH’s new Hockey Series is the first step towards Olympic qualification for participating teams.