March 7, 2018 / 3:08 PM / a year ago

Hockey: Former India coach Oltmans takes charge of arch-rivals Pakistan

(Reuters) - Former India hockey coach Roelant Oltmans will take charge of their arch-rivals Pakistan on a two-and-a-half year deal, the 63-year-old Dutchman announced on Wednesday.

Oltmans’ return to Pakistan as chief coach of the men’s team will be his second spell in the country, having coached them in 2003-04 up to the Athens Olympics where they finished fifth.

The experienced Oltmans was at the helm of Indian hockey for four years from 2013, initially as a high performance director before he took over as chief coach from compatriot Paul van Ass in 2015. Oltmans was sacked from his role last September.

“Today I can confirm an Agreement with PHF for a role as Chief Coach for the next 2 1/2 Years,” Oltmans tweeted.

Oltmans’ major assignments with Pakistan this year will be the Commonwealth Games in April and the World Cup in December.

Pakistan, three-times Olympic champions and four-times World Cup gold medallists, failed to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

They are currently ranked 13th in the world.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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