Pakistan and Malaysia were crowned champions in the Men’s and Women’s categories of the 2016 Nations Cup Hockey event respectively. In the Men’s category, Pakistan finished ahead of strong rivals and first runner-up India, while Sri Lanka had to settle for the bronze medal. The Women’s category also saw Pakistan and Sri Lanka adding on to their country’s medal count as they secured the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Men’s Hockey Finals
Despite unpredictable weather, the attitudes of the players at the Sports Complex’s hockey field were nothing short of professional. Pakistan stole the limelight and grabbed the gold during the evening match, while Sri Lanka and India gave it their all and were awarded with silver and bronze respectively.
Last week’s finals played out with the participating teams filling the air with incredible tension; especially team Pakistan and team India, as both countries’ national sport is hockey. Their competitiveness reached its peak as they faced off against each other for the gold. The men from both teams put all their energy into their hockey sticks, blades hitting passes left and right, as the matter of national pride was at stake.
In spite of the grit and grind from all three teams, the evening ended with Pakistan’s crowning as the ultimate champion. The Pakistani lads remained undefeated throughout the entire tournament, as India and Sri Lanka conceded, unable to get through Pakistan’s unrelenting defense.
In the end, Pakistan celebrated a perfect win, with no goals scored against them in any of the matches. In the first match with India, they won 2-0, while the second match was triumphed with 3-0. Their face off with Sri Lanka concluded with the same results.
Muhammad Nauman, team captain for Pakistan, said that he and his hockey mates had an overall great experience. Despite their show of expertise during the finals, Nauman says that except for two or three players, most of the Pakistan team were playing hockey for the first time.
“We had to train almost everyday for a month to bring everyone up to speed,” reveals Nauman. He adds that in the beginning, coordinating strategies and carrying out attacks were difficult due to lack of know-how. But as the men trained together, they started to move and improve as a single unit.
Thus, in the end, their celebrated their victory as one. Pakistan’s glorious win will now go down in campus history as an inspiration to those trying out a sport for the first time. As many have chanted throughout the Nations Cup: “you can’t spell victory without t-r-y.”
Women’s Hockey Finals
The Female Hockey finals was an intense showcase of unrelenting fighting spirits, clashing hockey sticks and girl power. Last Wednesday’s match began at at around 6pm, and carried on till 8.30pm despite random intervals of slight rain. Eventually, the Sports Complex’s hockey field was ultimately conquered by the gold-winning Malaysia team, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka earned Silver and Bronze respectively.
During the qualifying matches, Malaysia and Sri Lanka faced off for a chance at first place. Despite the dampness of the hockey field, the Malaysian women demonstrated incredible agility and speed, and spectators were left on the edge of their seats as the Sri Lanka players attempted to even the score. The first game ended with Malaysia leading by a landslide, but in the second game Sri Lanka managed to catch up and graciously finished the match with just a 3 point difference. In the end, Malaysia earned gold with their total of 12 points.
In the fight for silver, Pakistan versus Sri Lanka turned out to be a nail biter as the teams were evenly matched. The players put up an incredible fight, and the first match rounds ended with a draw. However, Pakistan ended up grabbing the silver, as they had scored the one extra determining point against Malaysia, while Sri Lanka had not.
Nethmie Dehingama, a player for the Sri Lankan team, said that she was happy with the outcome regardless. She explains that despite their lack of training, the Sri Lankan players performed better than expected, and that the strength of their team’s defense was admirable.
Thus, the finals concluded with Malaysia with twelve points, Pakistan with four points and Sri Lanka with three. At the end of the match, the women showed great sportmanship as they posed candidly for group photos. Proving that despite the competitiveness on the field, the game did exactly what it should – bringing hockey lovers together as one.
By Amirah Qistina
Photographs by Kitty Chen