|Singapore's quest for the men's hockey gold depends
on two key players on opposite ends of the pitch - striker Gavin van
Rooyen and custodian Mohamed Sani Salim. The 19-year-old centre-forward
is a familiar face on the local hockey scene, turning out regularly
for the Singapore Recreation Club since 1989.
Said Sani, 27, "Gavin is a very fast ball player. He is especially
dangerous in the D. It'll be good if he can receive full support from
"I know how most of the Malaysians play as I've trained with
them regularly. I'm not so worried about them as know what to expect
... I'm more worried about the Indonesians as I've not seen them play
-- Goalkeeper Sani
The goalkeeper himself is expected to play the other vital role. He
won his first cap in 1988 and moved on to the Malaysian National League
three years later. The stint across the Causeway may prove useful
for him this week.
Said Sani: "I know how most of the Malaysians play as I've trained
with them regularly. I'm not so worried about them as know what to
expect. Moreover, I've been training every day for the past two weeks.
I'm more worried about the Indonesians as I've not seen them play
When asked about the Republic's chances against Malaysia, van Rooyen
said: "We want gold but, realistically speaking, the silver is
more likely. Then again, it would be nice to score against Malaysia."
Both Sani and van Rooyen are disappointed that they will only be playing
two matches. This is because the only other teams taking part are
Malaysia and Indonesia.
"We've been training for so long and we only get to play two
games," said van Rooyen.
"Also, there will be three medals at stake if just one more
teams takes part," added new face Daljit Singh.
Under the Games ruling, when three teams take part, only the gold
and silver will be awarded.
In the 1991, Manila Games, hockey was omitted from the list of sports.
At the 1989 Games in Kuala Lumpur, host Malaysia emerged champion,
Singapore was runner-up and Indonesia finished third.
Today: Singapore v Indonesia (Delta, 5pm)