File photo shows the national women’s hockey team (in blue) in action against Hong Kong during the 2nd Asian Cup Challenge Hockey Tournament in Thailand in December 2015. Picture: BT file
THE national hockey team created history on Saturday after both the men’s and women’s team made it to the Federation International Hockey (FIH) world ranking for the first time.
In the latest revised world ranking table updated in the FIH official website, the men’s team is ranked 82nd out of 89, recording a total of 20 points, sitting ahead of Solomon Islands, Tonga, Ecuador, Myanmar, Panama, Vietnam and Morocco. Meanwhile, the women’s team is ranked 68th out of 72 countries, 18 points ahead of Cambodia, Tonga, Puerto Rico and Myanmar.
“I would like to congratulate the national hockey teams for achieving their first world rankings in the FIH, they have just created history, I am very proud of them and this is definitely a big step forward for us,” said the national caretaker coach Fauzi Hj Awang in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
“I hope that we will be given the chance to move forward and improve on our ranking in the FIH in the future, but it can only be done if we are actively competing in tournaments and playing against other teams who are in the FIH ranking.” Australia topped the men’s world rank table with 2,190 points, meanwhile, Asia’s powerhouse India is sixth with 1,697 points. Malaysia is leading the Southeast Asian region in 14th place with 902 points, while Singapore is in 39th place with 209 points.
Netherlands sits at the summit of the women’s world rank table with 2,335 points, meanwhile, Asia’s leader China is in eighth position with 1,496 points. “We weren’t actually expecting to be included in the FIH world ranking…It was quite surprising but I really think that this resulted from our last participation in the previous Hockey World League Round 1 held in April.”
The national teams were led by former national coach Shaiful Azli at the Hockey World League Round 1 held in Singapore. The men’s team started their campaign with a 7-0 defeat to Thailand, and followed that up with a 3-0 loss to Hong Kong. They registered their only win by beating Vietnam 3-1 in their third match but lost to Myanmar 5-2 in the last match in the group.
Meanwhile, the women’s team only managed to draw one game and lost the remaining matches in the group. They began with a 3-0 loss to Hong Kong before going down 7-0 at the hands of Thailand.
The Stingers went down 8-0 to Kazakhstan in their third match before losing to Sri Lanka and Singapore with 6-0 score line respectively.