FIH HCT 2016 – A Korean delight

South Korea goes into the 36th edition of the Men’s Champions Trophy!

30 May 2016
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South Korea goes into the 36th edition of the Men’s Champions Trophy putting on a brave front as they take on the best teams in the world at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 10-17 June 2016.

Down at @LeeValleyHTC, site is taking shape for #HCT2016, not long to go!

Event info: https://t.co/bAm2jPJRbS pic.twitter.com/jThZG4AyCZ

— Great Britain Hockey (@_GBHockey) May 26, 2016

Riding on the ticket as Champions Challenge 1 winners in the eastern coastal city of Kuantan, Malaysia in 2014, the Koreans face a gigantic task in this six-nation tournament that boast of World No 1 Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Belgium and 2014 Asian Games gold medallist India in the absence of top notched nations Pakistan, New Zealand and Netherlands.

Just as the unpredictable weather in this East Asian nation, the Koreans have not had great luck either at the Champions Trophy ever since their 1997 debut in Adelaide, Australia.

Despite making a grand entrance, South Korea finished in sixth position in Adelaide, emerged fourth in 1998 (Lahore) and made great strides two years later in Brisbane by reaching the final only to eventually succumb to a 3-1 defeat against the host nation.

In the next seven Champions Trophy appearances, the Koreans finished in third position twice (2000, 2009), fourth (2007), a sixth placing in 2001, 2002 and 2008, before closing at the basement in 2011 in Auckland, New Zealand. They make a return after a five-year hiatus.

While Belgium is one of the strongest competitors having performed outstandingly in previous Champions Trophy, the Australians, Germans, Great Britain and India have a winning track record over Korea.

South Korea open its campaign against Belgium on June 10 followed by matches against Australia (June 11), Great Britain (June 13), India (June 14) and Germany (June 16). The classification matches and final is on June 17.

In the race to the Champions Trophy, the Koreans went on a four-match test series tour of New Zealand in March, securing a 3-3 draw against the Black Sticks in the opening tie but suffered a 6-1 defeat in the third test. They also played matches against the visiting Malaysians.

However, a four-match series against Olympic-bound Ireland has been scheduled in Dublin. The World No 9 Koreans open their series on May 31 against the Green Machines at the Merrion Fleet Arena, Rathdown School. At the conclusion of the tour the Koreans head straight to London for the Champions Trophy.

Although South Korea is ranked underdog, it would be fatal for the opposition to underestimate their ability in transforming after every game into match winners. They certainly have the pedigree to cement their place among the front runners.

For a full schedule and ticket options, please see here: https://t.co/YgoIb07esv #HCT2016 pic.twitter.com/7uM39r1DkD

— England Hockey (@EnglandHockey) May 28, 2016

For more news and updates follow the Asian Mens teams’ @TheHockeyIndia and @hockey_korea participating in the #HCT2016.

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