Asian Games

Women vie for Asia Cup glory

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 August, 2007, 12:00am

There's great news for hockey fans. Hong Kong will host the sixth Women's Asia Cup from September 1 to 9 this year.


Nine top national teams from the region will compete in the tournament to be held at King's Park, Jordan.


Keen competition is expected at the biggest Asian women's hockey event since the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, Qatar.


'We are absolutely delighted to host the Asia Cup in Hong Kong. This is the largest women's hockey event in Asia before the 2008 Olympic Games,' said Brenda Smith, vice-president of the Hong Kong Hockey Association (HKHA).


Pool A sees China, the highest-ranked team in the tournament at world number five, taking on India (ranked 13th), Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.


The Chinese, who surprisingly defeated the top-ranked Netherlands last month, are heavily favoured to win their group.


Hong Kong, ranked sixth in Asia, are in Pool B, along with regional hockey powerhouses Japan (sixth in the world) and South Korea (eighth in the world) and Chinese Taipei.


'Both Japan and South Korea play a fast-paced game and have a good technique. They attack opponents very aggressively,' said Steve Rodrigues, coach of the Hong Kong women's team.


'We have been focusing on these areas in training and our defence has been significantly strengthened since last year's Doha Asian Games where we were overwhelmed by them.


'I'm sure we will put up a good performance against them this time around.'


China will face Malaysia in the opening match at 2.30pm on September 1, to be followed immediately by a game between Hong Kong and Japan.


It will be interesting to see if Hong Kong can beat Japan and get the tournament off to a flying start.


Admission is free. For more information, visit www.hockey.org.hk or call the HKHA office at 2782 4932