Following the completion of the men’s Sahara Hockey Champions Challenge in Alexandria, slight changes occurred to the Sahara WorldHockey Team Rankings as nations in the lower half of the top 10 jostled for positions.
The Champions Challenge was contested by teams that finished between sixth and 12th at last year’s Olympic Games and provided automatic qualification to the 2006 Champions Trophy for the gold medallist.
Argentina’s win in the event, achieved on the stick of Jorge Lombi’s lethal penalty corner drag flick, not only qualified them for the Champions Trophy, but it improved their ranking by one place to eighth.
The Argentines moved ahead of an absent New Zealand, who did not participate despite being eligible after their sixth place position in Athens.
Tournament runners-up Korea closed the gap on sixth-placed Spain, but their points gained were not enough to overtake the 2004 Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy winners.
Of the other changes, England dropped one place to 10th after their fourth place finish, while South Africa gained one spot at the expense of Malaysia to move into the number 11 position.
Belgium, who won a bronze medal after having a limited preparation due to a late call-up after New Zealand’s did not accept their invitation to participate, and host Egypt, solidified their existing positions.
Click here to view the men's and women's rankings.
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