Fintro-Hockey-World-League-Semi-Final-AntwerMalaysia must ensure at least a fifth spot in the ongoing Hockey World League (HWL) Semifinals to remain with a realistic chance of qualifying for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Brazil.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said there was still a ray of hope for Malaysia to qualify for the Olympics despite losing 2-3 to India in the quarterfinal at the KHC Dragons Stadium in Antwerp, Belgium, yesterday.

“There are no other options but to clinch fifth spot,” he told reporters after launching the Reebok Spartan Race, here today.

Khairy said the National Sports Institute (ISN) should give additional focus on the fitness and endurance level of the players since the players seem to lack pace in the fourth quarter.

“I noticed that Malaysia lost the matches against Belgium, Great Britain and India in the fourth quarter. Against India, we should have wrapped up the match with a win since India did not send some of their main players,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking of Badminton Association of Malaysia’s (BAM) technical director Morten Frost Hansen’s performance after the Dane reached his 100th day milestone today, Khairy said the former All-England champion has been doing a good job.

“I know that initially there were some obstacles he had to face but if we look at the SEA Games achievement, one standout observation in terms of his plan was his believe in fielding young shuttlers.

“You can say that Frost is thinking about badminton beyond our dependence on Datuk Lee Chong Wei,” said Khairy.

Frost, winner of the All-England title four times during his heydays and affectionately called ‘Mr Badminton’ by his peers, joined the BAM as technical director on Feb 23 and his contract with the NSC runs till Dec 31, 2020.  – BERNAMA

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