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Hockey: Malaysia to host Champions Challenge 1 event in Kuantan

The men’s Champions Challenge 1 will be held in April 2014 at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium, which hosted the 2009 Asia Cup. Photo: FIH.

The men’s Champions Challenge 1 will be held in April 2014 at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium, which hosted the 2009 Asia Cup. Photo: FIH.

August 30, 2013: Malaysia will host next year’s Hockey Champions Challenge 1 men’s event starting in late April and Scotland will simultaneously host the women’s competition, the FIH has announced.

 

The men’s event will be held at the Kuantan Hockey Stadium in Kuantan from April 26-May 4, while the women’s event in Glasgow will start a day later and run from April 27-May 4.

 

The venue in Kuantan, the state capital of Pahang on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, has a 7,500-capacity main pitch and a 3,500-capacity second pitch, with both blue-colour turfs laid in April 2012. The venue has previously hosted the Asia Cup in 2009 and a World League Round 1 event last year.

 

The Champions Challenge 1 will include New Zealand, currently fifth in the FIH World Ranking, and Korea and Spain, who are joint sixth. All three have already qualified for next year’s World Cup in the Netherlands, which will start at the end of May.

 

As well as hosts Malaysia (13th), the other men’s teams set for Kuantan include South Africa (12th), Canada (14th), Ireland (15th) and Japan (16th).

 

The women’s competition will be the first international event at the Glasgow National Hockey Centre, a newly constructed two-pitch venue designed to host next year’s Commonwealth Games (July 23-August 3).

 

Women’s teams for the Champions Challenge 1 will include Asian contenders Korea (ranked eighth) and India (12th), as well as USA (10th), South Africa (11th), Belgium (13th), Spain (14th), Ireland (15th) and hosts Scotland (19th).

 

The Champions Challenge 1 is an international hockey event played every two years. Part of the Champions series of events, the Champions Challenge 1 is a key qualification route to the Champions Trophy for the world’s top national teams.

 

Introduced in 2001, the event was set up by the FIH to broaden hockey’s competitive base at world level. The winners of the 2014 Champions Challenge 1 qualify for the 2016 Champions Trophy.

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