ESB Champions Challenge launched

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Updated: June 2, 2011

The Irish Hockey Association today officially launched the ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I and UCD 4 Nations Men’s Hockey Cup this evening at the International Lounge in UCD.

The ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I will take place from the 18th to 26th June. This event is for teams ranked 7 to 15 in the world. Ireland’s women, currently ranked 15th, will face Spain, India and Azerbaijan ranked 10, 11 and 14th respectively in the FIH world rankings in pool B.

Pool A will see Japan, USA, South Africa and Scotland fighting it out for the best seeded position in the classification stages.

The UCD 4 Nations Hockey Men’s Cup will take place from the 20th to 25th June. This will see Ireland currently ranked 18th in the world take on Pakistan, China and France ranked 8th, 14th and 17th respectively.

Speaking at the launch Mr. Herbie Sharman, President of the IHA, said “It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all here this evening to the official launch of our extended week of great hockey here at UCD this June. We are all very excited at the prospect of the world-class hockey in both the men and women’s game which we will witness in these two tournaments. Naturally our eye will be focused on our Irish teams, both competitions providing valuable preparation for our participation in the European Championships in Germany in August where a berth in the London Olympics is offered.”

Liam Molloy, General Manager ESB Electric Ireland welcomed respresentatives for competing nations and said “The ESB Electric Ireland FIH Champions Challenge I and the UCD Four Nations Hockey Cup is a fantastic opportunity for the Irish teams to test themselves in front of a home crowd, against other nations who will also be fighting to qualify for the Olympics over the next 12 months.”.

Brian Mullins Director of Sport at UCD said “UCD is delighted to welcome all the international athletes to the Hockey tournaments. All teams will be fighting for places in the Olympics over the next twelve months and these two events provide a great opportunity for UCD top showcase its wonderful facilities as a potential pre-Olympic training venue.”

Irish Hockey were delighted to welcome members of the Federation Internationale de Hockey (FIH), Ambassadors and representatives of the embassies of India, Pakistan, France, China, South Africa and Japan, representatives of UCD, and players and coaches of the Irish Hockey national senior teams.

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