THE Kazakh men’s and women’s teams had impressive campaigns at the Indoor Asia Cup as both qualified for World Cup.
While the Kazakh women prevailed over Malaysia 2-0 in the final to retain the title, their men had to be content with a silver after a humiliating 1-10 defeat to Iran in the final.
“We’re happy with the team’s performance. We look forward to doing well at the World Cup next year,” said men’s team coach Olga Urmanova.
Interestingly, Olga was the only female coach for a men’s team at the Asian competition in Doha.
In fact her son Daulet Urmanova captained the side and she is like a mother to the players.
“They’re like my sons and I’ve been training them at the Besarys club in Taldykorgan for the last 10 years,” added Olga who, however, has not played the game at the international level.
Kazakhstan defeated Qatar 5-4 in a nail-biting semifinal to seal their World Cup berth.
“It was a wonderful tournament for us as both our teams gained World Cup qualification,” said Kazakhstan Hockey Federation Vice-President Seksanayaev Berrikazzy.
Meanwhile, Malaysia beat Oman 7-5 in the fifth-place play-off and Thailand defeated Chinese Taipei 7-5 to secure the seventh spot among men.
In the women’s category, Thailand overcame South Korea 3-1 in tie-breaker to finish third after the match ended 5-5 in the 40-minute regulation period while Uzbekistan thrashed China 14-0 to secure fifth position.