BEIJING, Sept. 23 (APP): Pakistani national men’s hockey team is making final preparations to show their best at the 19 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
“There is a brand new team, young but competitive,” Shehnaz Sheikh, Head Coach of Pakistan’s hockey team told China Economic Net. He expressed his confidence in the team and their abilities, saying that even though they know that medaling in China will not be easy, they are fighting for honour.
Umar Bhutta, the captain of Pakistan’s hockey team, has voiced his aspiration of producing a good result in Hanghzou. “The 2010 Asian Games were held in China in which Pakistan won the gold medal in hockey,” he said, adding “We are hopeful that the team will be successful in winning medals in this year’s game and make the country famous.”
The team also spoke highly about China’s excellence in organizing mega events, saying the previous two editions of the Asian Games, in 1990 in Beijing and 2010 in Guangzhou, have been a resounding success.
Pakistani hockey team has been assigned to Group A along with bitter rivals India, Japan, Bangladesh, Singapore, and Uzbekistan, according to the schedule that has been made public.
The much-anticipated Pakistan vs India hockey match is scheduled for September 30. The Indian men’s hockey team are two-time Asian Games champion while Pakistan has won the gold medal at the continental showpiece a record eight times.
According to Pakistan’s sports board, over 250 Pakistani athletes will participate in the 19th Asian Games, which begins on September 23. This edition is set to be the largest ever, with around 12,500 athletes from 45 countries and regions competing in 40 sports, 61 disciplines, and 481 events.