BUKIT JALIL, Aug 9 — Tigress prospects for a podium finish at the Asian Games will be severely affected without the presence of head coach K. Dharmaraj says Tigress captain Siti Amarina Ruhani.
Dharmaraj was admitted yesterday evening having discomfort in hes stomach which began when he and the team returned from a successful training stint in Brisbane, Australia on July 30.
When Dharma ate his stomach bloated and he had a high fever which made him break out in cold sweats. Feeling something amiss, Dharma checked himself into hospital and he/s now set to stay there till next week for further tests and observations.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) set Tigress a target of getting on the podium at the Asian games in Jakarta and Palembang from August 18 till September 2 but that will be difficult without Dharmaraj.
“Personally it’s a big loss,” Siti told Malay Mail.
“He’s a big presence in the team and we rely on him a lot. He’s a great coach and a great guy so it won’t be easy not having him there.
“Were all hoping it’s nothing serious and that he will be able to recover in time. The seniors and I will still guide the juniors in the squad and we have coach Lailin Abu Hassan and Roslan Jamaluddin with us so we will continue working hard and pray it’s not something serious,” added the 31-year-old.
MHC president Datuk Sri Subahan Kamal has met Dharma at the hospital and has requested National Sports Institute (NSI) medical director Dr. Arshad Puji to look into his condition.
“Dharma’s having indigestion and we’ve requested Dr. Arshad to look into it,” said Subahan.
“I saw him yesterday (Wednesday) and the hospitals doing their tests. I don’t think it’s anything serious and hopefully he should be back after his checkup.
“I think when you get very busy sometimes your body breaks down a bit. Nothing has changed as far as the teams preparations go. Let’s wait and what the results of these tests reveal.
“Hopefully by tomorrow we will know more,” said Subahan at a press conference at Bukit Jalil Hockey Stadium to announce a sponsorship deal with Vik-Enterprises to give each hockey player and coach a pair of brand new Adidas hockey shoes worth around RM600 apiece.
Tigress are in Pool A with China, Japan, Taiwan and Hong Kong. They open their campaign against Hong Kong at 6pm on the 19th of August. Tigress best ever result was a bronze in the inaugural event in 1982 in New Delhi.