Tomorrow, Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre will open its doors and welcome thousands of sports fans eager to witness the ‘Best of the Best’ at the men’s and women’s Hockey Champions Trophies 2016.

The London 2012 Olympic legacy facility is playing host to the last major international hockey competitions before the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil. Having hosted the Unibet EuroHockey Championships last summer, the England Hockey events team are ready to once again host #TheBestofTheBest.

Of the 12 teams competing in London, 11 will be in action in Rio. With the matches taking place in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, host of the 2012 Games, the Hockey Champions Trophies will officially kick off the sport’s Olympic celebrations.

The men’s Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016, which takes place from 10-17 June, will see world champions Australia (FIH Hero World Ranking: 1) taking on Olympic Champions and 2014 Hockey Champions Trophy winners Germany (WR: 3), host nation Great Britain (WR: 4), European giants Belgium (WR: 5), Asian continental champions India (WR: 7) and the always dangerous Korea (WR: 9).

Friday’s action gets underway at 16:00 (UTC/GMT +1) with a mouthwatering clash between title holders Germany and the ever-improving India.

Although they have not been at their brilliant best in recent months, Die Honamas have a reputation for getting it right in Olympic year and with world class players like midfield star Tobias Hauke, defensive rock Martin Häner and extraordinary striker Florian Fuchs (FIH Young Player of the Year 2012), they certainly have the firepower to make a solid defence of their Champions Trophy title.

The second match of day one, starting at 18:00 will see European giants Belgium take on Korea – a team that booked their ticket to the Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 by winning the 2014 Hockey Champions Challenge.

Belgium’s Red Lions have earned a reputation as one of the world’s most feared attacking sides, with striker Tom Boon and midfield star John-John Dohmen being two of many exceptional players amongst their ranks.

The final match of the day one schedule takes place at 20:00 and will see home favourites Great Britain – a side containing the respective talents of attacking duo Barry Middleton and Ashley Jackson – get their campaign underway against reigning World Cup and World League champions Australia.

“It’s the first Champions Trophy any of us have played on home soil and it is a tournament that we want to win for the first time”, said Great Britain defender Dan Fox, speaking to Planet Hockey Magazine. “Everything we do this year is part of our Rio preparation. That said, the Champions Trophy is a major trophy and we will be trying full out to win it.”

The round-robin games of the men’s Hero Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 will conclude on Thursday 16 June, with the classification matches and showpiece final taking place on Friday 17 June.

The women’s Hockey Champions Trophy 2016 begins on Saturday 18 June and runs through to Sunday 26 June.

It promises to be two weeks of action packed, world class hockey that will be enjoyed not just by the fans in the stadium but also by a global broadcast audience of millions.

The European Hockey Federation is very much looking forward to following the 3 men’s European teams and 2 women’s teams over the coming 2 weeks!

Tickets for both events are still available and can be purchased by clicking here.

Key Facts:
• Number of previous editions: 35
• Number of teams participated: 16 (Netherlands, Australia, Germany, West Germany, Pakistan, Argentina, Spain, India, Korea, Great Britain, England, Belgium, Soviet Union, New Zealand, Malaysia, France.)
• Total number of matches played: 652
• Total number of goals scored: 2,923
• Average number of goals per match: 4.5
• Most matches played: 200 – Australia
• Most matches won: 112 – Australia
• Highest % of games won: 56.77% – Netherlands
• Most goals scored: 532 – Australia

Previous winners: Australia (13 titles), Netherlands (8), Germany (7), Pakistan (3), West Germany (3), Spain (1).
• Top goal-scorer: 46 – Taeke Taekema, Netherlands
• Most matches played: 103 – Teun de Nooijer, Netherlands

Television / Live Streaming
Numerous broadcasters will be showing the action from London. To find out which broadcasters will be showing which games, visit the below links:
Men’s: click here
Women’s: click here

The FIH You Tube channel will be extremely active during the event, with match highlights and much more being posted as soon as they become available. In some territories, live matches may also be shown. To visit our You Tube channel, click the link below.
www.youtube.com/hockey

#HCT2016 #BestOfTheBest

Source: FIH.CH

Picture: German ‘huddle’ at the 2015 Unibet EuroHockey Championships