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The City of London will take centre stage with the glittering showpiece of the Men’s Champions Trophy at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in England from 10-17 June 2016, followed by the Women’s Champions Trophy from 18-26 June at the same venue.
Following the successful organisation of the 2012 Olympic Games hockey tournament and the Unibet EuroHockey Championships held at the same venue, the Men’s Champions Trophy will witness Olympic gold medallist and defending champions Germany, World Champions Australia, Belgium, Great Britain, India and Korea go into a tough battle to claim the coveted crown.
The Champions Trophy was founded in 1978 by Pakistan’s Air Marshal Nur Khan and the Pakistan Hockey Federation. It features the top-ranked teams who play a round-robin league to decide the champion. However, the tournament which was introduced annually transformed into a biennial event since 2014 with the introduction of Hockey World League.
The Champions Trophy will be last major international hockey events before the Rio 2016 Olympics and fans can experience world-class action with the women’s Champions Trophy also held at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre from 18-26 June.
Australia, ranked World No 1, has won the Champions Trophy 13 times since the inception of the marquee event 38 years ago, Germany 10 and Netherlands 8 times. Pakistan is the only Asian champion with three titles to its name, including the first two in 1978 and 1980.
Great Britain’s best moments was a silver medal in the 1985 final against Australia but settled for bronze twice (1978, Lahore, 1984 Karachi).
India, the 2014 Asian Games champions and 2016 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup silver medallist, have ensured a mix of youth and senior players in the team to provide a reliably strong backbone. The Indians, however, will be determined to ‘break the jinx’ in the Champions Trophy as they have never qualified for the final. Here is the Indian squad chosen for the tournament.
India and Australia recently clashed in the SAS Cup final
The closest the Indians have come was a bronze-medal showing in 1982 by defeating traditional rivals Pakistan and subsequently finishing fourth in 1983 (Karachi), 1996 (Madras), 2002 (Cologne), 2003 (Amsterdam), 2004 (Lahore), 2012 (Melbourne) and 2014 in Bhubaneswar.
Korea, the 2014 Pahang Champions Challenge 1 winners, have much to prove ever since losing 8-7 on penalty strokes against Australia in 1998 following a 1-1 draw in regulation time to end in fourth position. Nine years on the Koreans went down 3-2 against the Dutch in Kuala Lumpur for a second fourth place finish in the tournament.
The opening day of the Men’s Champions Trophy on June 10 sees hosts Great Britain, currently ranked fourth in the FIH World Rankings, start their campaign against reigning World Cup and World League champions Australia. Looking for the complete fixtures and schedule? We got youcovered!
The round-robin games will conclude June 16 June before the classification matches take place the following day and final on Friday, 17 June.
In the women’s Champions Trophy, Netherlands, Australia, Argentina, Great Britain, New Zealand and United States will add glitter to the 23rdedition of the women’s tournament.
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