|Hosts Australia take two titles
at 1999 joint Champions Trophies
As hosts of the 7th Women's and 21st Men's Champions Trophies, the Australians got just what they were looking for. A double championship. On the penultimate day of the event, in a replay of the 1998 Women's World Cup final, the Australian women defeated the Netherlands by a score of 3-2 to take their fifth consecutive Champions Trophy title.
On the following day, the Australian men shook the monkey of their back by earning a first place finish in a major FIH event after a long lapse. The Kookaburras comfortably defeated a spunky Korean team, 3-1. This marks the seventh time Australia's men have captured the Champions Trophy title, with the last time coming in 1993. A consolation for the Korean's was Seong Tae Song being voted Player of the Tournament by journalists covering the event. He was also the leading scorer with seven goals, six of them coming from field goals.
Both finals matches were played in front of capacity crowds of nearly 6,000 spectators.
In the women's Bronze medal match, it took Germany until the 67th minute before Natascha Keller scored the game's only goal to give them the 1-0 victory over Argentina. Keller was later voted Player of the Tournament by journalists covering the event. In the 5th-6th playoff, New Zealand and Korea battled to avoid finishing last and being dropped from the next edition of the Women's Champions Trophy, set for Amstelveen in the Netherlands. In the end, it was the Kiwis who emerged victorious by a 3-1 margin.
According to Champions Trophy regulations, having finished last, the Korean women are dropped from the 2000 Women's Champions Trophy and will be replaced by South Africa, the next highest ranked World Cup team. The 2000 Champions Trophy is again a joint event and is scheduled from 26th May to 4th June 2000.
Defending Champions Trophy holders, the Netherlands, got off to a slow start in the men's tournament, and found themselves facing Spain in the men's Bronze medal match on the finals day. While not a position they expected to be in coming into the event, particularly as World and Olympic Champions, the Dutch made the most of the situation by defeating Spain, 5-2, to take third place.
And it was England and Pakistan looking to avoid the wooden spoon in the men's 5th-6th final. While it was not the first time the Pakistanis were faced with the possibility of finishing last, it was the first time they were faced with the prospect of non-participation in the event since they are not hosts in 2000. Hosting the event that is the only way a sixth placed team can be guaranteed participation the following year. (Champions Trophy regulations allow for Pakistan, as the originators of the event, to host the tournament every third year.) In one of the tournament's more exciting matches, England dealt Pakistan a crushing blow with a 4-3 defeat in sudden death extra time. It was James Wallis who started the English celebrations with a penalty corner goal in the 79th minute.
For the first time in its 22-year history, Pakistan will not be competing in the Men's Champions Trophy. Germany will move back into the field of six, having dropped out themselves after a sixth place finish in the 1998 Champions Trophy.
7th Women's Champions Trophy Final results
21st Men's Champions Trophy Final results