The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has confirmed that Changzhou, China will host the women’s Hockey Champions Trophy in 2018.
The event, scheduled to take place between Saturday 17 November and Sunday 25 November 2018, will be played in the Wujin Hockey Stadium in Changzhou, near Shanghai.
This will be the latest international hockey event held in the nation following the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The 2010 Asian Games were held in Guangzhou while neighbouring Nanjing hosted the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. More recently, the venue in Changzhou held the 2015 Women's Junior Hockey Asia Cup. This will be the first time however that the Hockey Champions Trophy has been hosted by the Chinese Hockey Association.
As the sport’s entertainment showpiece, this prestigious six-team invitational event demonstrates the true glamour of hockey. Over the years Hockey World Cup winners, World League champions and Olympic gold medallists have gone head to head for the prestigious Hockey Champions Trophy title. The last editions were held in London earlier this year, with Argentina women and Australia men winning what was the last major international events before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Several participants for the 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy are already known. Hosts China will welcome 2016 Olympic gold medallists England (representing Great Britain) and 2016 Hockey Champions winners Argentina. They will be joined by the 2017 Hockey World League champions, 2018 Hockey World Cup winners and an invitational place to be decided by the FIH Executive Board.
With the world’s best hockey teams going head to head to battle for this historic Trophy, the 2018 edition will have a unique incentive. Changzhou will play host to the last ever women’s Hockey Champions Trophy with the FIH’s new portfolio of events due to begin in 2019.
This announcement was made during the Hockey Revolution Part 2 Conference which is currently taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Speaking from there, FIH CEO Kelly Fairweather said: “We are delighted to take our sport back to China, a nation that has so much potential in terms of sporting development and commercial opportunities. China put together an incredibly exciting bid which aligned with many of the initiatives outlined in our 10-year Hockey Revolution strategy. We look forward to working with them over the next two years to deliver what will be a truly memorable Hockey Champions Trophy in 2018.”
Outgoing FIH President, Leandro Negre, added: “China will always have a special place in hockey’s heart, with the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games providing an incredible platform for our sport. China is a nation renowned for staging world class sports events and with millions of passionate sports fans across the nation I’m sure the 2018 Hockey Champions Trophy in Changzhou will be a fitting farewell for this prestigious event.”
Chinese Hockey Association President, Lei Jun, was also pleased to confirm this host agreement. He said: “We are honoured to host this flagship international hockey event in China. Since the Beijing Olympics the sport has been developing fast across our nation. With more people tuning in to watch hockey on TV and increasing participation figures, we wanted to bring live world-class hockey back to China to inspire the next generation. We will be working hard to insure we put on a fantastic event in Changzhou and encourage the world to join us and experience the rich culture and fascinating heritage of our city.”
With the final standings at the 2017 World League Final, 2018 Hockey World Cup and FIH Hero World Rankings all playing a part in the invitation criteria, follow your nation’s progress via FIH.ch, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.