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Hockey spreads its wings in 2011

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed that the 2011 men’s Champions Trophy will be an eight-team event. Pakistan and Korea have been added to the six qualifiers – Australia, England, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain and host nation India. The tournament will be held in November/December with the details yet to be confirmed.
It has already been announced that the Women’s FIH Champions Trophy would also include eight teams, with China and New Zealand joining Argentina, Germany, England, Australia, Korea and The Netherlands, who will host the tournament in Amsterdam from June 25 to July 3.
In what is a busy calendar year for international hockey, 2011 will also feature the men’s and women’s FIH Champions Challenge I and II events. The men’s FIH Champions Challenge I will be in Johannesburg, South Africa, with the event taking place around one week before the men’s Champions Trophy. These dates will be confirmed in due course. The other qualified teams for the tournament are Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand and Poland.
The men’s FIH Champions Challenge II will be in Lille, July 3-9, 2011, with Austria, China, Czech Republic, Ireland, Russia, Scotland, USA and host nation France doing battle for the tournament.
The women’s FIH Champions Challenge I will be played in Dublin between June 18-26 with the teams involved being Azerbaijan, India, Japan, Scotland, South Africa, Spain and the United States joining hosts Ireland.

The Women’s FIH Champions Challenge II will break new ground, with Austria hosting its first world-level outdoor hockey tournament, although the Austrian Hockey Association are no strangers to running top level events, having successfully hosted the 2007 FIH indoor World Cup and many continental tournaments. Joining them between May 7-15 will be Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Italy, Malaysia and Russia.
2011 will also feature the men’s and women’s FIH indoor World Cups, which take place in the Polish city of Poznan on February 8-13. More information about this event can be found at http://www.fih.ch/
Picture: England and Pakistan will clash again at the 2011 men’s Champions Trophy (c) Tom Cooper

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