Dubai: Changzhou, China to host the Women’s Hockey Champions Trophy in 2018, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed via a press release sent today. The second highest profile single sports event in Hockey is scheduled to take place between November 17-25, 2018, at the Wujin Hockey Stadium in Changzhou, near Shanghai in China as it is for the first time that the Hockey Champions Trophy has been hosted by the Chinese Hockey Association
China which has already hosted Summer Olympic Games in 2008, will see this event as the latest Hockey event there. China has a reputation of its sporting infrastructure as it has also hosted the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou & 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing. The venue in Changzhou hosted the 2015 Women’s Junior Hockey Asia Cup recently.
As per FIH, this prestigious six-team invitational event demonstrates the true glamour of hockey. This tournament has, over the years, seen Hockey World Cup winners, World League champions and Olympic gold medallists winning the prestigious title. 2016 saw the last editions of this event which was held in London, which saw Argentine Women and Australian Men’s team coming out as winners before the teams went for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games. It must be noted that several participants for the 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy are already known. Out of the six teams, Hosts China, 2016 Olympic gold medallists England, 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy winners Argentina have already made to the tournament and will be joined by the 2017 Hockey World League champions, 2018 Hockey World Cup winners and an invitational place to be decided by the FIH Executive Board.
The event will see the world’s best hockey teams competing for this historic Trophy, the 2018 edition is the last ever women’s Hockey Champions Trophy as the FIH is bringing new portfolio of events from 2019 onward. The announcement of the venue was made during the Hockey Revolution Part 2 Conference currently taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Speaking about the hosts, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: “We are delighted to take our sport back to China, a nation that has so much potential in terms of sporting development and commercial opportunities. China put together an incredibly exciting bid which aligned with many of the initiatives outlined in our 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy. We look forward to working with them over the next two years to deliver what will be a truly memorable Hockey Champions Trophy in 2018.”
The Outgoing FIH President, Leandro Negre, while speaking about the announcement, said, “China will always have a special place in hockey’s heart, with the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games providing an incredible platform for our sport. China is a nation renowned for staging world class sports events and with millions of passionate sports fans across the nation I’m sure the 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy in Changzhou will be a fitting farewell for this prestigious event.”
Speaking after winning the host city rights, Chinese Hockey Association President, Lei Jun, who was excited about this new challenge, said: “We are honoured to host this flagship international hockey event in China. Since the Beijing Olympics the sport has been developing fast across our nation. With more people tuning in to watch hockey on TV and increasing participation figures, we wanted to bring live world-class hockey back to China to inspire the next generation. We will be working hard to insure we put on a fantastic event in Changzhou and encourage the world to join us and experience the rich culture and fascinating heritage of our city.”