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Oltmans is Pakistan hockey coach

October 08, 2003 16:33 IST

Dutchman Roelant Oltmans has been appointed as the Pakistan national team's chief hockey coach until December 2004.

The appointment comes in the wake of Pakistan's failure to win any major hockey title since 1994, when they won the World Cup in Sydney.

"Oltmans's first assignment will be the Afro-Asian Games [later this month] in Hyderabad, India, for a week, but he will properly take over from December 1 this year," Pakistan Hockey Federation secretary Brigadier Musaratullah told Reuters on Wednesday.

Oltmans said he was delighted at the prospect of working with the Pakistan team, who will be looking to win their first Olympic title for 20 years in Athens next year.

"Pakistan has always been a force in hockey. The skills and talents of their players are top quality," Oltmans, who guided Netherlands to the 1996 Olympic title in Atlanta, told reporters in Lahore.

"It will be a challenge for me to ensure such talent translates into results."

Olympian Tahir Zaman will continue coaching the team under Oltmans.

Having once dominated world hockey with their array of gifted players, Pakistan last claimed an Olympic gold in the sport at the Los Angeles Games in 1984.

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