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Tit bits here and there: "Are you still working?" (11/5/2017)
--K. Arumugam
Are you still working? This is what Kim Sam Ryul, 62, asked when I just crossed over him today at the Kawasaki stadium. The famous Korean coach once famously said that he won’t ever coach a women’s team. ”Am here as Korea’s observer”, said Kim who did his coaching Diploma from NIS, Patiala in the 80s.
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He was an unforgettable player. Seung Jinn Yoo is triple Olympian from South Korea. Was part of Koreans of 90s and early 2000s which demolished India and Pakistan hegemony in Asia. Interestingly he coached Japanese girls for gold in the last Asia Cup, Kuala Lumpur. He is here as Secretary, AHF High Performance Committee. He predicts boldly that India will win the Asia Cup here. He even says the score will be 3-1 in favour of India. He coaches Hiroshima hockey teams nowadays. He was part of Asian Xi that participated in the Continental Classics. And therefore remembers well the great Shabhaz Senior. "He is trying to improve Pakistan hockey", Seung said.
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Two veterans in the team, Rani Rampal and Vandana Kataria were called for dope test here in Kakagihamara
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On day 2, Pakistan umpire Mrs Rasool, who is wife of former Olympian Akhtar Rasool, stopped the game. According to her the Singapore team had 12 players on the ground. But on counting it was not.

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Indian team is staying in Miyako hotel located in Central Gifu. It takes 30 minutes drive for the stadium in Kakagimahara. As usual, the stadium is called Kawasaki, from distant appearance resemble Cellular building of Andama & Nicobar, known for India’s freedom struggle.
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Only India and China, besides Asian Hockey Federation officials and tournament officials are staying in Miyako, which seems one of the costliest hotels in this part of Japan. Malaysia are staying in Hotel Gifu Grand where Indian team with Harendra Singh and Rajinder Singh Sr as coaches stayed in the early 2000s
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Media facility with wi-fi is provided in a cabin located on the right side the goal cage. and outside playground. One cannot watch matches from media cabin because of two sections of grills plus maze behind goal cage. Of late one or two videogaphers, especially for Japan matches, start coming. As usual with women hockey, this writer is the lone journalist here most of times. However, there is no restriction as to go there, don’t go there kind of interruptions which normally so with any FIH official present.
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Siefred Aikman is an old hand in Japan. He was their national team coach six years ago. The Dutch man is busy nowadays to put together a strong team for the next Asian Games. "My target is home Olympics. There are not many players, they are from schools, colleges and some are with jobs. Getting them together is a task. For example I had only ten days to prepare for the Dhaka Asia Cup", says the well known coach. He is a regular in the stand to watch all the matches in the early parts.
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Indian team’s physio, a South African, had a difficulty in the beginning of the tournament. He was struck with Chikengunia, had to take rest for 2,3 days. He was fit again for the India’s second game onwards.
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London Olympics captain Bharat Chetri is manager of the team and also goalkeeper coach. He has built a good rapport with both goalies Savita Punia and Rajani. Once Savita said to him, "that is a good point Sir". For which Bharat replied smilingly: "I have many points, but you all should take it".
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The weather here is unpredictable and quite opposite to each day. One day heavy rains, the other day chilling cold winds despite bright sunshine. I brought this heavy jacket, did not bring yesterday and suffered, its almost blinding cold here, said Dharmaraj, Malaysian coach. Indian coach Harendra too said: “I just chose thinnest jacket, could not stand in the stand during match, he said. Now, the temperature as per street signboard is 12-15 degree centigrade without chilling wind and incessant rains.
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Miyako is located on the banks of imposing Nagarawa river. Initially, the river had a lean water course. Its brimming with waters nowadays, almost full presenting two different scenic views.
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