Arul: We must adapt to modern game to keep up with top hockey nations

Arul: We must adapt to modern game to keep up with top hockey nations

The Star Online - Sport·2021-08-13 08:01

PETALING JAYA: Hockey has evolved over time as shown during the Tokyo Olympics.

It is not just about having an array of skills and tactics as the game now emphasises more on sports science, particularly strength and fitness.

This is the assessment made by national coach A. Arulselvaraj after watching the matches which ended with Belgium winning the final against Australia.

In the bronze-medal match, India stunned four-time Olympics champions Germany 5-4 to finally win a medal after 41 years.

Arul said these teams were able to produce top-quality performances because of their physical strength and ability to adapt to the transient nature of the sport with their fitness.

If Malaysia wants to close the gap with these nations, they too need to possess these elements.

“Before the Olympics started, I expected India’s men and women’s teams to finish in the top six.

“But they defied the odds when the men won bronze and the women finished fourth.

“Why? Because they invested a lot in sports science, especially in the fitness and strength aspects of the game,” the former international said.

“The Indian team have been training since early 2020 and their progress can be seen in Tokyo. The Europeans, always known for their strength and fitness, have been dominating the game where Asians once ruled.


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