Continuing our series of video interviews with the teams that will participate in the upcoming FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, Malaysia (FIH World Ranking:11) captain Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib and goalkeeper Subramiam Kumar look ahead to his team’s all-important two-match clash with Great Britain (WR:7), with a place at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 on the line. The crucial matches will take place at the Lee Valley Hockey Stadium, London on 2/3 November 2019, with the matches taking place at 16:30 (GMT) and 15:00 (GMT) respectively. A transcription of the interview can be found below.
The FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will be taking place very soon. How is your team preparing for these hugely important matches?
Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib: So far the team preparation has been really, really good. We are all looking forward to the game. It is a big game and it is a crucial game.
What are your thoughts about your opponent in the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers and how is your squad feeling about these matches?
Subramiam Kumar: These are the Olympic Qualifiers which means they are not easy, they are always tough. And of course, everyone is out to win the qualifiers because they want to be at the Olympics. We will be competing against Great Britain which is never easy but for me, whether you meet Canada or New Zealand or Spain or Great Britain it will be tough. So we will need consistency in our upcoming two matches in London. For us the preparation, focus and confidence will be very important for these coming two matches.
What can we expect to see from your team at the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers?
Mohamad Sukri Abdul Mutalib: Spirit and desire because we really want to win the game and qualify for [Olympic Games] Tokyo 2020
What would qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 mean to you and your team?
Subramiam Kumar: It is very, very important for us. Not only for me but also for the team. For 19 years we have been away from the Olympic Games. Everybody knows the last time was in Sydney . For me, this is my fifth Olympic Qualifier so it is very important for me and also some senior players who really want to make it for this Olympics and have a good ending [to their careers]. And also for the hockey squad, the future hockey squads and Malaysia Hockey, it is very important to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic [Games].
Each qualifier consists of two back-to-back matches which will be played in the same venue. The winners of these FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers will qualify for the 2020 Olympic hockey tournaments which will be staged in Japan’s capital city next year and involve 12 Men’s and 12 Women’s teams.
For complete information about the men’s and women’s draw for the FIH Hockey Olympic qualifiers, .
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