Friday, September 14, 2012

FIH World League heads to Malaysia

The Malaysian city of Kuantan is preparing to host the latest leg of the women’s Hockey World League this weekend, with four teams going head to head in a bid to secure a place in the second round of the competition.    Host nation and tournament favourites Malaysia (FIH World Ranking 22) are joined in the round-robin event by Kazakstan (33), Singapore (49) and Sri Lanka (53), with the two highest finishers guaranteeing a spot in the next phase. The competition begins on Friday 14th September, and finishes on Sunday 16th.
   The tournament is the third Women’s World League Round 1 event to take place in recent weeks, following competitions in Czech Republic (Prague) and Ghana (Accra). So far, Belarus, Italy, Scotland, Czech Republic and Ghana have already booked their places in the second round of the competition, with two more places up for grabs at the tournament in Malaysia this weekend. Further qualifiers will come from events in Austria (Vienna, 18-23 September), Trinidad & Tobago (Port of Spain, 11-17 November) and Fiji (Suva, 8-15 December). 
   Despite their home advantage and high position in the FIH World Rankings, Malaysia are taking nothing for granted in their quest to reach the second round of the FIH World League.  “I will field my best team for every match and this is no place for exposure as a place in the second round is at stake”, said Malaysia coach Mohd Nasihin Nubli Ibrahim in a recent interview. “The format, a one round league, does not allow us the luxury of a second bite of the cake.”
   For those not in the know, the Hockey World League has been developed by the FIH to present hockey at its best whilst also providing rapidly improving hockey nations with a stage to show what they are capable of. The tournament has four rounds which take place between August 2012 and February 2013, with each round acting as a qualifier for the next. This process gives every team the potential reach the tournament final.  The Hockey World League also acts as the qualification competition for the FIH World Cups which take place in 2014, with 12 qualification places up for grabs.  To read more information about the aims and structure of the tournament, please click here.
   Official match reports from the competition will be posted to the Kuantan 2012 World League webpage at the end of each tournament day. For real-time results, please follow the FIH World League Twitter page: @World_League1.

FIH site