Singapore to host Women's Asian Champions Trophy hockey meet
Kuala Lumpur, July 6 (IANS) The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) on Wednesday announced that Singapore will host the Women's Asian Champions Trophy, featuring the continent's five best teams, from October 29 to November 6.
"Hosting the Women's Asian Champions Trophy this year is the latest coup for the small but mighty Singapore Hockey Federation that has amassed an impressive record of successful initiatives recently, including efforts in all areas from events to development and commercial to marketing and communications," a statement from AHF read.
The world class facilities at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium have accommodated a number of high-profile events previously, including matches of the 2009 FIH Junior World Cup and the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, as well as more recently the 2015 SEA Games and the Men's and Women's Hockey World League Round 1 event two months ago.
Part of the Sengkang Sports Centre complex, which also houses four swimming pools, various indoor facilities and a community club, the Sengkang Hockey Stadium features two green pitches with a seating capacity of 1,500 at the main pitch.
With the Women's Asian Champions Trophy scheduled less than three months after the Olympic hockey tournament in Rio, which includes a record four Asian women's teams (Korea, China, Japan and India), the four powerhouses will clash again for the continental crown in Singapore.
Rounding off the field of five participants is the team from Malaysia which won a bronze medal in their first Women's Asian Champions Trophy appearance three years ago.
First introduced in 2010 to create an opportunity for teams to gather more high-level competition experience, the Women's Asian Champions Trophy has taken place three times so far, the last time in 2013.
In previous Asian Champions Trophy editions, Korea have been the most successful team with two Asian Champions Trophy golds, while Japan have medalled in each edition, claiming silver in 2010, bronze in 2011 and finally, gold in 2013.
The Asian Champions Trophy will follow a round robin format, with each team playing each other once, followed by gold and bronze medal matches.
The AHF also confirmed that through a recent decision by the International Hockey Federation, Asian Champions Trophy events are included in the continental ranking element of the FIH World Ranking system from the next update.
From that point onwards, the continental rankings for Asia will be calculated across a four-year cycle, taking into account the results of Asian Games, Asia Cup and Asian Champions Trophies held during that time.
AHF president Prince Abdullah Ahmad Shah said: "The Asian Hockey Federation is delighted to partner with the Singapore Hockey Federation to host the 4th Women's Asian Champions Trophy at the fantastic Sengkang Stadium facilities in Singapore.
"The recent successes of the current SHF leadership have raised the expectations and make me look forward to an undoubtedly innovative and exciting event."