China and Germany have been chosen as the final two teams to make up the eight sides to play for the 2012 women’s Champions Trophy, despite finishing seventh and eighth in this year’s competition.
2011 sixth place getters Australia miss out with the International Hockey Federation (FIH) opting to place greater weight on long-term results.
“When looking at the alternatives we felt that it was best to go with proven performance over a sustained period of time,” said FIH President Leandro Negre. “It was difficult to choose the final two teams, but I believe that we have a field that will be truly competitive and exciting for the fans to watch in Argentina.
Prior to today’s announcement, six of the eight participating teams were known. The top five finishers from the 2011 Rabo FIH Champions Trophy, along with the winner of the 2011 FIH Champions Challenge I are automatically qualified to the event, This group includes, the Netherlands, Argentina, New Zealand, Korea, England and Japan. Japan qualified through its Champions Challenge I victory, while the other five were the top finishers from the 2011 Champions Trophy.
The 2012 FIH Champions Trophy to be held in Rosario, Argentina from January 28 to February 5.
At the previous FIH Executive Board meeting held in early July, the promotion and relegation format was finalized for the 2012 Champions Trophy and Champions Challenge events. Since the field for the Champions Trophy was recently expanded to eight teams, it was decided that five teams would automatically be qualified based on their performance at the previous years’ Champions Trophy in addition to the winners of the Champions Challenge 1. The Executive Board would nominate the remaining two teams, which enter the event as the seventh and eighth-seeded squads.