Pakistan_hockey_celebrate_Asian_Games_gold_2010December 29 - The Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has set winning the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2014 World Cup as its next targets after its victory in the Asian Games last month.

The 2-0 victory over Malaysia in the final in Guangzhou has boosted the sport in Pakistan which started the year by slumping to their worst-ever finish in the 12-team World Cup held in New Delhi, India, earlier this year.

Zeeshan Ashraf, the Pakistan captain, has now claimed that they can target their first Olympic medal since their bronze at Barcelona in 1992, perhaps even their first gold since Los Angeles in 1984.

"Pakistan hockey can be at par with the top teams in the world," Ashraf said.

"The Asian Games victory has given us a huge boost.

"Our morale is up and the boys are really hungry for more success which is why I'm confident that we can beat any team."

The PHF secretary Asif Bajwa said that Pakistan's first aim was the Asian Games before the team could target the global event and the Olympics.

"We targeted supremacy in Asia and we've accomplished that," said Bajwa.

"Our next target is the podium of the London Olympics."

Dutchman Michel van den Heuvel will carry on as coach until the Olympics after signing a two-year agreement.

Bajwa said that Pakistan will tour Egypt in February before the country pays a return visit in March.

"We're emphasising on the international exposure and the plan is to arrange a series against Egypt," added Bajwa.

"The dates and number of matches will be finalised in due course."

The visit of Egypt is particularly significant following a long period when international teams refused to travel to Pakistan because of security fears.

"Egypt has agreed to send its team on a reciprocatory tour before Pakistan team will visit them in February.

"We are in process of finalising number of matches to be played during in that series."

Bajwa hopes that increased international competition will help the team prepare for London.

"We have an set outline to achieve hockey titles and we want to make step by step progress and it does not mean that we don't have other targets, but we will be aiming to be on victory stand in 2012 London Olympics," said Bajwa.

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