China and South Korea, two of Asia’s leading women teams, will compete in the from June 9-12 in preparations for the Rio Olympic Games.
Organised by the German Hockey Association (DHB), the Four Nations event will also see participation by Argentina, ranked World No 2, and hosts Germany. The Chinese are ranked World No 5, Germans at No 8 and Koreans ranked World No 9.
While the Chinese women’s team, also known as ‘Snow Lotus’, and Koreans are gearing up for the Summer Games in the Brazilian city of Rio in August, the Four-Nation Women’s tournament in Hamburg will serve as a platform to gauge Argentina’s Las Leonas (The Lionesses) and Germany’s preparation for the upcoming Champions Trophy from June 18-26 at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.
For the record, China won silver at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, as well as bronze at the 2002 World Cup in Perth, Australia and followed up by winning the Champions Trophy the same year.
The Koreans won silver medals at the 1988 Seoul Olympics and at the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics. They won the gold medal at the 1989 Hockey Champions Trophy and bronze medal at the 1990 Women’s World Cup.
Germany’s National women’s team head coach, Jamilon Mulders, said: “It is very important for us to be able to test ourselves in the Four-Nation Invitational before the Champions Trophy and Olympic Games against world-class teams, just not the European way of playing preference.”
The Netherlands, ranked World No 1, lead the challenge in the Champions Trophy apart from Australia (3), New Zealand (4), United States (7), Argentina and Germany. The Black Sticks open their campaign in the Champions Trophy against Netherlands on 19 June and face Australia the following day.
The team is very experienced with only four players with less than 100 international caps while Gemma Flynn (231), Kayla Whitelock (235), Stacey Michelsen (201), Emily Gaddum (274), Anita McLaren (232) and Charlotte Harrison (207) have combined international caps of over 1000 games.
In the Rio Olympic Games, China and Korea are drawn in Pool A alongside Netherlands,
New Zealand, Germany and Spain while Pool B consist of Argentina, Australia, Great Britain (6), United States, Japan (ranked 10) and India (13).
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