2019: Year in Review

M. Ali

The year 2019 was a great and successful year for hockey in Asia. It was an eventful year with countries all over Asia showing their increased interest in the Sport by hosting a lot of events throughout the year. There was an abundance of talent on display, with the future of Asia hockey looking in safe hands.

The AHF Congress took place on February 2019 in Gifu City, Japan. Dato Fumio Ogura was named the new president of the Asian Hockey Federation succeeding His Majesty Al Sultan Abdullah Ibni Sultan Ahmad Shah. There were a lot of awards to hand out to recognize the effort and work put in by the AHF staff. All in all it was a successful event and all parties involved were delighted with its conclusion.

The 2019 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup was a successful event with all teams showing competitive spirit and the will to win. The event took place from 23-30 March in Ipoh, Malaysia. South Korea claimed their third Sultan Azlan Shah Cup after a thrilling penalty shootout win over India. Malaysia took third place ahead of Canada in fourth place. Japan and Poland were fifth and sixth respectively.

After the successful events of 2019 the Men’s Indoor Asia Cup was held in Chonburi, Thailand from 15th July to 21st July 2019.It was a great tournament with a number of thrilling matches. Iran and Kazakhstan played the Final match with Iran dominating Kazakhstan 10-0. Malaysia took third place over Uzbekistan with a 6-3 victory. This event helped the growth and promotion of hockey in Asia.

The year kept progressing with the Women’s Indoor Asia cup that took place in Chonburi, Thailand from 15th to 21st July 2019. Thailand and Kazakhstan played out the final with Kazakhstan beating the home team by 3-1. Malaysia and Uzbekistan played for the third place, it was a close encounter as Uzbekistan won the bronze. It was an exciting event overall with all teams giving it their all.

The AHF Men’s Central Asia Cup 2019 was held in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan from 2-8 September 2019. The event was a major success with teams displaying a great attitude.

Kazakhstan were crowned champions with a 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan. Oman finished as the runner-ups with Uzbekistan coming in third place.

Towards the end of the year the AirAsia Women’s Junior AHF Cup 2019 kicked off. The event was anticipated to show promising talent and must see matches for the people to enjoy. Singapore was the host and the dates were 9-15 September 2019. The home team Singapore were named champions, despite drawing their final match. Uzbekistan thrashed Sri Lanka to win 2nd place, with Chinese Taipei coming in third.

With an eventful 2019 coming to an end the Men’s Junior AHF Cup 2019 was held in Muscat, Oman from 5-14 December 2019. This was a great chance for the youth to showcase their talent and show the public what they have learnt throughout the year.

China were the winners of the cup, but only drew their final match with Oman who finished as runner-ups. Chinese Taipei came in third place with Uzbekistan finishing fourth. Overall it was a tremendous event for all parties involved.

The year closed out with the Executive Board Meeting taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The event was quite a successful one with all members of staff participating with full interest. AHF’s progress throughout 2019 was a key talking point amongst others. Planning for a better year ahead in 2020 also started with a detailed roadmap set out. Presentations were held in order to fully demonstrate the milestones and the work done by AHF this year.

The whole of AHF should be proud of the progress and development activities that took place throughout the year. AHF worked tirelessly to increase awareness and also improve the knowledge of the game amongst locals and grow the sport of Hockey in Asia with different projects, coaching courses and a lot of tournaments. There were 45 planned and delivered coaching and umpiring courses held in Asia in 2019. Equipment support was provided to 28 National Associations, along with more than 26 development visits. There are 7 ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah development support Awards, with 4 ongoing TAP projects as well.

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