To mark one month until the start of the women’s Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy in Canberra, Australia, the FIH Tournament Website for the event has been launched.
The website address is http://samsungchampionstrophy.worldhockey.org.
During the tournament, the website will feature exclusive live text commentary of all matches, photos from each day’s play, match summaries, team information and the latest news.
New content will be regularly added to the website in the lead-up to the tournament, so check back regularly to view team lists, previews and statistical information.
The Samsung Hockey Champions Trophy will start on Saturday, 26 November, and will feature the world’s top six women’s teams – Netherlands, Argentina, Germany, Australia, China and Korea - competing in a round robin format before the playoff matches on the final day.
This year will be the 13th staging of the event and Australia has been the dominant nation in tournament history with six titles, including five in a row from 1991 to 1999 (prior to 2000, the women’s Champions Trophy was held every two years after the inaugural tournament in 1987 in Amstelveen).
The Hockeyroos have also won the women’s Champions Trophy on both occasions the event has been held in Australia (1999 and 2003), but will face their most challenging campaign in Canberra to preserve their perfect home record.
The Netherlands have built an impressive record since the Athens Olympic Games, including the 2004 BDO Hockey Champions Trophy title and the 2005 European Nations Cup crown. They will enter the tournament as favourites, with coach Marc Lammers having unleashed a group of ‘young guns’ onto the world stage in the past 12 months.
Germany, have continued to post strong international results since their Olympic success and have managed to keep the majority of their gold medal-winning outfit intact, giving them the experience and team cohesion needed for success in the high-pressure atmosphere of a Champions Trophy.
Argentina, an ever present danger, will again be a major drawcard. Their team will comprise a squad boasting talented players from defence to attack, but it remains to be seen what changes, if any, a new coach has implemented since the start of the year.
China always presents a well-drilled and committed team. With their focus now squarely on success at the 2008 Olympic Games, every tournament until then is viewed as a chance to develop and prepare for their Beijing mission.
Korea’s victories at the past two Junior World Cups illustrate their deep pool of talent. With a largely inexperienced squad expected to arrive in Canberra, their performances, along with that of China, are the largest unknown factors heading into the tournament.
With world rankings points up for grabs, the Champions Trophy will decide the end of year number one women’s ranking. Netherlands currently lead the race just 48 points ahead of Argentina, with Germany and Australia trailing in third and fourth respectively.
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