It has already been a steep climb for the 24 teams that qualified for this year’s Rabobank Hockey World Cup. There will be no easy matches as the world’s best will be immediately thrown into vigorous rounds of pool-play matches. The qualification that follows will be nothing short of brilliant for hockey fans around the world but only two gold teams, one men’s and one women’s, will be able to boast a gold medal around their necks.
HOCKEY GOLD – MEN
The team that has won the men’s World Cup more than any other is Pakistan, a nation that fell short of qualifying for the 2014 event. The team from Asia have won the title four times, with the Netherlands winning three times and Germany and Australia capturing the title twice each. Australia are the reigning champions, after an exciting win in 2010 in New Delhi, and the Kookaburras also occupy the number one ranking spot in the world, which certainly makes them the team to beat.
HOCKEY GOLD – WOMEN
In the women’s competition there is a distinct orange hue to the Hockey World Cup trophy. The impressive Netherlands have won the title six times. In 2010, though, it was Las Leonas, of Argentina who upset the Dutch to enter this year’s event as the reigning champions. Both Germany and Australia earned the title twice. To date, only The Netherlands and Australia have successfully defended the title, but Argentina will hope to become the third on that list as they hope to silence the home crowd and take the cup back to South America.