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Pakistan appoint new hockey coach

February 27, 2007 17:04 IST

Pakistan have appointed former Olympian Islahuddin Siddique as the national team's new hockey coach till the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.

"Islahuddin has loads of experience and has managed the team before quite successfully. He was the best choice for this position in what is trying times for Pakistan hockey," Pakistan Hockey Federation president Zafarullah Khan Jamali said.

Islahuddin, who replaces another former Olympian, Shahnaz Sheikh, said his first target would be preparing the team for the Beijing Olympics.

"It is a big honour for me that the hockey authorities have again entrusted me with this position but it is also a big responsibility. Our target will obviously be to prepare a winning team for the Olympics," Islahuddin said.

Pakistan, once a powerhouse in world hockey with four World Cup titles and three Olympic gold medals, has not won a major title since 1994 when it won the World Cup in Sydney.

Despite the appointment of Dutch coach Roelant Oltmans Pakistan haven't been consistent in recent years and suffered some major setbacks, including a shock defeat to China at the Asian Games in Doha.

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