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Hockey: Korea, Japan, India to challenge holders China for Women’s Asia Cup

Japan and Korea will be among the leading contenders at the eighth Women’s Asia Cup, which starts this Saturday. Photo: AHF.

Japan and Korea will be among the leading contenders at the eighth Women’s Asia Cup, which starts on Saturday. Photo: AHF.

September 17, 2013: Defending champions China will start as favourites for the eighth Women’s Asia Cup in Kuala Lumpur, which is being hosted in Malaysia for the first time and begins on Saturday.

 

The tournament, will runs from September 21-27, offers the winners an automatic spot in next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands, although China and Korea have already earned places in the quadrennial event. Japan and India have also won the Asia Cup, once each, and will have extra motivation to win the eight-team event.

 

Malaysia have placed fifth in the last two Asia Cups and had an excellent tournament at the World League Round 3 in February, while Kazakhstan, Hong Kong and AHF Cup winners Chinese Taipei round out the teams.

 

China, India, Malaysia and Hong Kong will compete in Pool A, while Korea, Japan, Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei fight it out in Pool B.

 

Olympian Umar Bhutta will captain Pakistan’s junior men in the Sultan of Johor Cup. Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek.

Olympian Umar Bhutta will captain Pakistan’s junior men in the Sultan of Johor Cup. Photo: FIH / Frank Uijlenbroek.

Meanwhile, London 2012 Olympian Umar Bhutta has been named captain of the Pakistan junior men’s team that will compete in the Sultan of Johor Cup, which starts on Sunday, also in Malaysia.

 

The Sultan of Johor Cup, which will be held in Johor Bahru from September 22-29, features Korea, Pakistan, England, India, Malaysia and Argentina. Teams will use the event as a key work-out ahead of December’s Junior World Cup in New Delhi, India.

 

Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) announced the 18-member squad during a training camp overseen by head coach Rana Mujahid Ali.

 

“The Johor Bahru tournament is an ideal chance for us to examine the real strength of our players before going to India for the Junior World Cup,” Mujahid said. “In Malaysia, our team will also face England and Argentina for the first time which will give them experience to test their muscles against these non-Asian teams.”

 

Pakistan Squad – Sultan of Johor Cup

Mazhar Abbas, Amin Yousuf, Mohammad Khalid, Mohammad Umar Bhutta (captain), Syed Kashif Shah (vice-captain), Mohammad Faisal Qadir, Mohammad Rizwan Jr, Mohammad Tousiq, Mohammad Kashif Javed, Ammad Shakeel Butt, Zohaib Ashraf, Muhammad Umair, Mohammad Dilber, Ali Shan, Mohammad Suleman, Arslan Qadir, Ahmed Zubair, Ayub Ali.

 

Officials: Rana Mujahid Ali (head coach), Mohammad Danish Kaleem, Anjum Saeed (coaches), Mubashir Mohsin (doctor), Syed Abuzar Umrao (video analyst).

 

For more information, visit: www.sultanjohorcup.com.my

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