The Hockey Champions Challenge 1 has been held every two years since 2001. While an exciting competition in its own right, the tournament has always held an extra frisson as the winner qualifies for a place at the Champions Trophy.
This year will be the last Champions Challenge 1 as the Hockey World League is replacing it in the hockey calendar, but the this year's events – the men's tournament in Kuantan in Malaysia and the women's event in Glasgow, Scotland – will be as exciting and highly-competitive as ever.
The women's event in Glasgow will feature two top-10 ranked teams in Korea and the USA, while close on their heels will be South Africa, Belgium, India, Spain, Ireland and host nation Scotland. Every team participating will be looking for their first Champions Challenge gold medal, with eyes firmly fixed on a spot at the 2016 Champions Trophy event as well as the chance to claim valuable ranking points. New Zealand is the only country to have won the title twice, first in 2005 and again in 2009, while the USA, South Africa and Korea have each acquired two silver medals. Other countries who have won the tournament include England, Germany, China, Japan and Australia.
The men's CC1 in Kuantan will feature two top-10 ranked teams in New Zealand and Korea, while the more closely ranked Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, Canada, France and Poland will round out the rest of the list. New Zealand were successful in only one of their three Champions Challenge 1 appearances, defeating Pakistan for gold in 2009. This year will also be the first appearance for France. Participants in the first-ever Champions Challenge 1 included India, South Africa, Argentina, Malaysia, Japan and Belgium.
Argentina are the most decorated in Champions Challenge 1 history, taking three titles in four appearances (2005, 2007 and 2012), while Korea, yet to win gold, have been the runners-up in each of their three appearances (2003, 2005 and 2012). Others who have won the tournament include India, Spain, New Zealand and Belgium.
Both events will follow the same format: two pools of four teams will square off with quarter-final crossovers and semi-finals to fill the six-day tournament.
The Kuantan event begins on the 26th April, with action in Glasgow getting under way a day later. Both finals will take place on the 4th May. For more information about both Champions Challenge 1 events visit our official tournament event sites by clicking here for Kuantan and here for Glasgow. The event pages will bring you all of the news coming from the events including written match reports, action photos, official match documents, goal scoring statistics, match highlights and much more. These sites will also publish any late squad changes, with updated rosters being available ahead of the start of competition.
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