Mixed fortunes for J'cans on opening day
GANGNEUNG, Republic of Korea — Jamaica had mixed results in yesterday's preliminary floor hockey matches at the Winter Games, but head of delegation Glendon West remained optimistic of the team's chances to go all the way.
After totally outclassing Venezuela 10-0 at the Kwandong University Indoor Centre, the Jamaicans lost 0-2 to an aggressive Hungary outfit as teams jostled for division places ahead of today's start of the competition proper.
Based on the spanking of Venezuela, Jamaica have been grouped with the United States, Trinidad & Tobago and nemesis Hungary.
They are scheduled to face United States this morning (Korea time).
West explained that the loss provides a useful future guide for Jamaica in their quest to repeat their gold medal heroics from 2009 in Idaho.
"I think it (the performance) was generally good. We have some work to do but I'm really not worried. Yes, we lost to Hungary but we think that with better strategies we could have won the game. We think that that is the team to beat so having played them early gives us a better idea as to how to prepare for them if and when we meet them again," he said.
The preliminary round in Special Olympic floor hockey is a unique method of placing teams in different divisions based on their level of abilities. This ensures that the gap between teams in a division is not too wide and gives each country a good chance of beating the other.
The Yolanda Reid-coached team hardly broke a sweat during the opening match and appeared to be slightly caught out by the energetic showing from the Hungarians but West ruled out overconfidence and instead pointed to the lethargy shown by the second string changes.
"I think we changed the line shift during the match and that second line that went on gave a very weak showing. They weren't playing well together and it was on that line that we conceded both times. We see where the weaknesses were and we'll be correcting that," he said.