Match schedules for Champions Trophy tournaments
19 Apr 2006 15:42
The match schedules for this year’s men’s and women’s Champions Trophy tournaments are now available.
Both tournaments will be contested in a busy three-week period, with the women’s Rabo Hockey Champions Trophy (Amsterdam, Netherlands) to be held from 8-16 July and the men’s Sahara Hockey Champions Trophy (Terrassa, Spain) from 22-30 July.
In the women’s competition, the Netherlands will be searching for a hat trick of titles following their successes in 2004 and 2005.
Australia is the only other team to have won the Champions Trophy on consecutive occasions, with the Hockeyroos claiming the gold medal five straight times between 1991 and 1999 (the tournament was played on a biennial basis until 1999, when it became an annual fixture on the international calendar).
Argentina, Germany, China and New Zealand will join the tournament hosts and Australia in the elite six-team field, with the Black Sticks the only competitor among that group to have never claimed the Champions Trophy title.
Australia is the defending champion in the men’s Champions Trophy after defeating the Dutch in the final last year in Chennai.
The Olympic champion has made no secret of its desire to sweep all major titles in 2006 but the competition will be fierce, with home team Spain, Germany, Pakistan, Argentina and the Netherlands also competing.
Both Champions Trophy tournaments are being held just two months before the two World Cups, giving each team a chance to assess what are expected to be their main rivals in Mönchengladbach (men) and Madrid (women).