This weekend will not only see the culmination of the men’s Champions Trophy in Melbourne, but also the start of the final World League competitions of 2012. Four women’s and three men’s teams will take to the field in the Fijian capital of Suva in a bid to secure a place in the second phase of the tournament. The two competitions also double for the Oceania Pacific Cup.
In the women’s event, host nation Fiji (FIH World Ranking: 59) are joined in the round-robin event by Samoa (60), Papua New Guinea (61) and Vanuatu (currently unranked). The tournament begins on Saturday 8th December, and draws to a close on Wednesday 13th, with the event champion securing a place in Round 2 of the Hockey World League.
The event in Suva will mark the first ever international appearance for the women of Vanuatu. The Pacific islanders gratefully accepted an invitation to compete in the event earlier this year, and put into practice a fundraising drive to generate nearly $9000 (Australian dollars) to pay not just for their trip but also essential on-field equipment such as playing strip and shin-pads. Thanks to overwhelmingly generous donations from the public, the Vanuatu women reached their target and will be greatly looking forward to their international debut when they face host nation Fiji on Sunday. To learn more about the Vanuatu women’s thoroughly charming sponsorship drive, please click visit the following link: http://www.indiegogo.com/vanuatuhockey
This competition will be the sixth Women’s World League Round 1 event to take place this year following competitions in Czech Republic (Prague), Accra (Ghana), Kuantan (Malaysia), Vienna (Austria) and Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago). So far, Belarus, Italy, Scotland, Czech Republic, Ghana, Belgium, Russia, Ukraine, Austria, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Canada, Uruguay and Trinidad & Tobago have already booked their places in the second round of the competition.
The men’s competition in Suva will be contested between three teams – Fiji (FIH World Ranking: 71), Papua New Guinea (73) and Vanuatu (currently unranked). The tournament will take place from Sunday 9th to Wednesday 13th December; with the highest finisher securing a berth in Round 2. It is the ninth and final HWL Men’s Round 1 event to take place in 2012, following tournaments in Prague (Czech Republic), Singapore, Cardiff (Wales), Accra (Ghana), Lousada (Portugal), Port of Spain (Trinidad & Tobago), San Diego (USA) and Dohar (Qatar). Those events generated 12 qualifying teams for the second phase of the competition, with Poland, Ukraine, Bangladesh, Ireland, Austria, Egypt, Scotland, Portugal, Trinidad & Tobago, Chile, USA and Azerbaijan all sealing their place in Round 2.
The Hockey World League has been developed by the FIH to present hockey at its best whilst also providing rapidly improving hockey nations with a stage to show what they are capable of. The tournament has four rounds which take place between August 2012 and February 2014, with each round acting as a qualifier for the next. This process gives every team the potential reach the tournament final. The Hockey World League also acts as the qualification competition for the FIH World Cups which take place in 2014, with 12 qualification places up for grabs. To read more information about the aims and structure of the tournament, please click here.
Official match reports from the competition will be posted to the Suva 2012 World League webpages at the end of each tournament day. To view these sites, please click the links below.
For real-time results, please follow the FIH World League Twitter page:@World_League1.
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