KANGAR – While Perak celebrated winning the men’s hockey gold medal after 22 long years – there was a tinge of sadness not only in the Perak camp – but also among the hockey fraternity.
The passing of Sultan Azlan Shah last Wednesday certainly left a big vacuum in the field of hockey. His passion for hockey was second to none.
Perak Hockey Association secretary M. Selvakumaran, who witnessed Perak demolish first time finalists Negeri Sembilan 6-0 in the 17th Sukma hockey final at the Perlis Sports Complex Hockey Stadium on Tuesday, said: “We dedicate this gold medal to our Tuanku (Sultan Azlan Shah). It is a “fitting tribute” to Sultan Azlan Shah for his contributions to hockey.
“His Royal Highness did so much for Perak hockey. Perak hockey will never forget what has done for the game, both in Perak as well as the country.
“He would have been one of the happiest person to see Perak regain the gold after 22 years. It was an added motivation for the team to regain the gold,” said Selvakumaran.
Perak last won the men’s hockey gold at the 1992 Sukma held in Johor Baru. Thanks to Sultan Azlan Shah, the world’s oldest privately run international hockey tournament – the annual Sultan Azlan Shah Cup – is held in Ipoh. It started in 1983.