Set up in 2001 and organised every two years, the Pahang Hockey Champions Challenge 1 will set the stage for one qualification spot at the illustrious Champions Trophy in 2016. Since 2009, the men’s competition has included eight teams from around the globe. Participants in the first-ever Champions Challenge 1 included India, South Africa, Argentina, Malaysia, Japan and Belgium.
Argentina are the most decorated in Champions Challenge 1 history, taking three titles in four appearances (2005, 2007 and 2012), while Korea, yet to win gold, have been the runners-up in each of their three appearances (2003, 2005 and 2012). Others who have won the tournament include India, Spain, New Zealand and Belgium.
The event will feature two top-10 ranked teams in New Zealand and Korea, while the more closely ranked Malaysia, Japan, Ireland, Canada, France and Poland will round out the rest of the list. New Zealand were successful in only one of their three Champions Challenge 1 appearances, defeating Pakistan for gold in 2009. This year will also be the first appearance for France.
Two pools of four teams will square off with quarter-final crossovers and semi-finals to fill the six-day tournament. New Zealand will be the heavy favourite in Pool A with Japan, Ireland and Poland looking to produce an upset, while Pool B features Korea, Malaysia, Canada and France. Due to the introduction of the Hockey World League, the event in Kuantan will be the eighth and last men’s Champions Challenge 1 competition.
The tournament begins on the 26th April and the final match will take place on the 4th May. The event will be key in Hockey World Cup Preparation as Korea, New Zealand and Malaysia also have their tickets punched to compete at this year’s event in The Hague, Netherlands, from 31 May to 15 June.
Click here to download the Tournament Result History.Back