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National hockey team needs indoor ice rink, says coach

By B.BAATAR

The Mongolian National Ice Hockey Team secured a bronze medal from the 2016 Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from March 12 to 18. The team returned home on Tuesday. National hockey team coach A.Mergen gave an interview after his arrival.

Congratulations on winning you fourth bronze medal from the Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia. Please tell us about the tournament?

Thank you. The Mongolian national ice hockey team successfully competed in the tournament. The Taiwanese team won first place and second place went to the United Arab Emirates. We played against Thailand in the semi-final and won 7:3. However we lost to the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan, we beat Singapore and Thailand.

Did you have a chance to win a silver medal? What conclusions have you made from this tournament?

We started training in October 2015. Before the 2016 Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia, we participated in the World Bandy Championship 2016 and came in fourth place. We wanted to win a gold medal at the 2016 Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia because we didn’t win a medal from the World Bandy Championship. We also headed to the United Arab Emirates to win a silver or gold medal from the 2016 Ice Hockey Challenge Cup of Asia because we had won three bronze medals from previous Challenge Cups. The athletes participated in the tournament through their own money. It is very difficult for them to take part in the tournament and cover their own expenses.
We like ice hockey, that’s why we are still participating in international tournaments. We had a chance to win a silver medal. But we played against teams that trained in indoor ice rinks.
Teams of the United Arab Emirates and Taiwan were very formidable.

During and after the tournament, the organizers announced the best players. Who won that best player prize from Mongolia?

We finished the tournament with two wins and two loses. We defeated Singapore in the first match 11:0. After that match, Mongolian player B.Erdenesukh was named Most Valuable Player. The tournament’s best goal prize went to I.Altangerel, G.Tamir, J.Bayarsaikhan and N.Mishigsuren.

Ice hockey is developing rapidly in Asia and players are becoming more proficient. Which tournament will the Taiwanese team compete in?

Taiwan will compete in the World Ice Hockey Championship, which will be held in April. The Taiwanese team was very good. Ice hockey is developing very intensively in Asia. There are so many good teams such as South Korea and Japan. The Philippines and Vietnam are also paying attention to this sport and established ice sports facilities.
There are 17 countries in the Asian Ice Hockey Federation. The Philippines, Vietnam and Tajikistan joined the federation recently.

We can see from ice hockey and skating that Mongolia has a chance to develop winter sports. You said that the Mongolian team had a chance to improve on their achievements if Mongolia had an indoor ice rink.

The Mongolian national ice hockey team defeated China, Somali, the Czech Republic, Ukraine and the Netherlands at the World Bandy Championships. In the Asian Challenge Cup, we defeated Singapore and Thailand. We are still pursuing this sport even if the state doesn’t support us. There were times when we wanted to give up but since we have already chosen this sport, we will pursue it until the end. We want only one thing from the state. That is an indoor ice rink that operates all year round. We can do our training there and reach success at international tournaments.
If the state builds an ice sports facility, other winter sports will be developed in Mongolia. There is a study that around 700 million MNT is needed for building an ice sports facility.

Short URL: http://ubpost.mongolnews.mn/?p=18956

Posted by on Mar 23 2016. Filed under Sport & Leisure. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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