Six women's team to battle for four spots in the next round
The next World League Round 1 tournament is underway as six European women’s teams are facing off in Vienna with a goal to earn a berth to the second round.
The Vienna tournament has one of the biggest fields of the first round and also has the distinction of being the only Round One tournament to feature a team that was at the London 2012 Olympics. The Belgium women are ranked 14th in the FIH World Ranking and finished the recent Olympic Games in 11th place. Naturally, the recent experience makes Belgium the favorites to claim the title in Vienna, but the rest of the group is also competitive.
Just six places behind the Belgians in the FIH World Ranking, and the team with the best chance to play the role of spoiler is Russia. Nipping at the Russian’s heels and holding down the 24th spot in the FIH World Ranking is neighbor Ukraine.
Wales is using the World League event as a tune-up for the upcoming Champions Challenge 1 in Dublin, Ireland, which begins the week after the Vienna tournament concludes. The Welsh are the fourth-seeded team in Vienna, weighing in at #27 in the FIH World Ranking. It puts them in a precarious position as only the top-four from the tournament will be qualified for Round Two, meaning, they will have a small margin of error to move on. Rounding out the group is Lithuania and host Austria.
Fans can follow the World League Round One Tournament in Vienna on the FIH event page here
Or check out the World League Twitter page with live updates from the games at #World_League1Back