KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been given the honour to host the first edition of the World Underwater Hockey Congress scheduled for Oct 16-21.

National head coach, Roshan Babu Balakrishan said the congress to be held in the federal capital will see the World Cup tournament contested in three categories for the 4v4 event, namely elite men, elite women and youth (mixed).

“So far a total of 39 countries are interested in participating in this tournament including Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and Singapore,“ he told Bernama after an iftar ceremony here last night.

The breaking of fast event organised by the Malaysian Underwater Hockey Association was also attended by Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh.

Asked about the target, Roshan said the youth team (mixed) has a good chance to at least win a medal in the tournament.

However, he said they are now facing the challenge of finding a suitable training place ahead of the tournament.

“Since 2019 we have been facing the problem of training facilities where we train in public swimming pools or those that have been leased to public operators.

“There a need to close the pool for us and this is only allowed after 9 pm when the lights around the facility are turned off and you have to rely on the lights in the pool,“ he said.

Meanwhile, Yeoh hopes that her ministry would find a way to get a suitable training ground so that the national team can prepare as well as for the tournament. -Bernama