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Ireland to take on Great Britain in Malaysia amid Tokyo build-up


Lizzie Colvin is part of the Irish panel in Malaysia

Lizzie Colvin is part of the Irish panel in Malaysia

�INPHO/Bryan Keane

Lizzie Colvin is part of the Irish panel in Malaysia

The Ireland women's hockey squad have arranged a hot-weather training camp in Malaysia to aid their Olympic preparations and will be heading to Kuala Lumpur today.

The 18-day trip will include at least four internationals against Great Britain, who won the gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Ireland will also play an unspecified number of matches against their Malaysian hosts during the training camp.

Four of the seven Ulster players in contention for places in the Olympic squad were on the plane for Kuala Lumpur today.

Team captain Katie Mullan, Lizzie Colvin, Shirley McCay and Zara Malseed have been included in the 20-strong travelling panel.

Belfast Harlequins players Megan Frazer and Bethany Barr miss out due to injury, while Ayeisha McFerran has club commitments in the Netherlands.

The trip is a terrific boost for the Irish women who, only a few days ago, learned that they would be unable to travel to Tokyo for a proposed 'dry run' due to Covid-19 issues.

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The climatic conditions in Malaysia, however, will closely replicate those the squad will experience in the summer in Japan with steamy-hot temperatures and high humidity.

Hockey Ireland High Performance Director Adam Grainger said: "This is a great opportunity for this squad ahead of the Olympics.

"We had hoped to be able to organise a warm-weather training camp or arrange for matches to take place in a climate similar to what the team will experience in Tokyo.

"It's been a challenging process with so many moving parts; the changing restrictions and ensuring we are minimising the risk of Covid to our athletes and their families, while also providing them with the best opportunity to perform this summer."

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