2019 is not even finished and Kazakhstan has already taken home two important trophies so far.
First, back in July, a new edition of the Indoor Hockey Asia Cup took place in Chonburi, Thailand, for both Men and Women.
The Kazakhstan Women were defending champions having won the 2017 edition, and once again they showed why they are the best. First, during the preliminary round, they won every single match with outstanding performances and impressive numbers of goals. They had a challenged semi-final against Malaysia but despite losing control over the game during the second half, they managed to win and advance to the big finale against Thailand, the host country. With all the pressure from the local crowd and against all odds, they won 3-1, proving to be a team of exceptional talent and ruthless efficiency, winning, once again, the gold.
The Kazakhstan Men began the tournament at the A-level, winning all their matches in the preliminary round, showing extraordinary teamwork, great gameplay and a potent mix of grit and good fortune. They fought hard against Malaysia during the semi-final, in what was a head-to-head match, finally overcoming them and winning 4-3. However, the Final against Iran (the defending champions) was uneven and the Iranian men smashed them with no chance or space to play. They lost 10-0 finishing in a good 2nd place, with lessons learned and thirst for revenge the next time they met.
Early this month, the very first AHF Men’s Central Asia Cup 2019 took place in the city of Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstan Hockey Federation (itself supported by the AHF) organized it, being the first time the country held a tournament of this kind. The event featured the teams of Oman, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan and used the round-robin system. The Kazakhstan men won every one of their matches, gathering 9 points, finishing 1st place and getting the gold. Every player in the Kazakh men’s team knew his job and performed it flawlessly. All their achievements were based on diligent planning, hard work, relentless discipline and the fresh energy of its young players. The team was confident enough to surrender possession against even lesser teams and strike back on the counter, capable of scoring impressive goals but also willing to accept whatever it was given. Looking into the future with a hunger for more, we can assure that big things await them.