Indonesia starting earlier than Malaysia in indoor hockey?


While there is little talk about it in Malaysia, Sea Games men’s indoor hockey champions Indonesia are already preparing for the event’s World Cup next year.

To qualify for it, Indonesia need to finish in the top two in the Indoor Asia Cup in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan, from May 22-28.

The coach helping Indonesia to achieve their goal is a Malaysian, K. Dharmaraj, who is a former national coach.

Dharmaraj guided the Indonesian men’s team to their first ever indoor gold in the Phnom Penh Sea Games last year.

Indonesia edged Asia Cup champions Malaysia 2-1 in a penalty shootout in the final after both teams were tied 3-3 in regulation time.

Dharmaraj, who is the technical director of Indonesia hockey, said his players are in high spirits for the Asia Cup in Kazakhstan.

“The Asia Cup serves as a tournament to qualify for the World Cup next year (dates and venue yet to be decided).

“The draw is not out yet and I’m not sure how many teams will take part in the Asia Cup but the top two will qualify for the World Cup.

“In preparation for the Asia Cup, we played eight matches in Europe with Austria, Croatia and Switzerland national teams in February.

“We expect a strong challenge from defending champions Malaysia, former Asian champions Iran and Kazakhstan in the fight for the top two places,” said Dharmaraj.

In the last Asia Cup in Bangkok in 2022, Malaysia stunned eight-time Asian champions Iran 3-2 in a penalty shootout in the final

after both teams played to a 4-4 draw in regulation time. Kazakhstan edged Indonesia 5-4 to finish third.

The women’s Indoor Asia Cup will be held in Bangkok from May 12-16. Only the champions will qualify for the World Cup. In the 2002 edition in Bangkok, Thailand beat Indonesia 2-1 in the final while Malaysia defeated Kazakhstan 2-0 for third place.


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