Bangladesh youth hockey team was handed a rare opportunity to compete in the upcoming Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina despite originally failing to qualify for the event.
The youth multi-discipline meet will be held from October 6 to 18.
Bangladesh narrowly missed the qualification for the event when they became third in the 12-team Qualification round, held from April 25 to 29 in Thailand.
Top two teams from the event—India and Malaysia– qualified for the event. Bangladesh could finish only third in the event after beating South Korea in the play-off by 5-4 goals.
However, Bangladesh got the opportunity after International Hockey Federation decided to hold the meet with 12 teams instead of 10.
Bangladesh Olympic Association director general Fakhruddin Haider explained how Bangladesh got the quota place.
‘Best two teams from five continents had qualified for the final round and they were joined by hosts Argentina. IFH then decided to include best third side, opening an opportunity for Bangladesh,’ he said.
‘In the draw ceremony, Oceania was the first choice but two teams among four Oceania teams – Australia and Solomon Islands – withdrew themselves from the event. Then it came Asia’s turn and Bangladesh were third here,’ he said.
Bangladesh national team Malaysian head coach Gobinathan Krishnamurthy, who was with the youth team in Thailand, expressed his excitement at the unexpected news.
‘It sounds great because our boys played really well in the qualification round,’ Gobinathan told New Age.
‘In Bangkok, I knew there would be a place for one more team. But didn’t know which team it would be. This was one reason we played really hard in the 3rd place play-off against Korea and won the game.
‘I would like to congrats to the players and its good news for Bangladesh hockey.’
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