After the final whistle went and the USA celebrated in Glasgow with and Korea the podium winners in Kuantan, the analysis will start and the statisticians and teams will look at the benefit of these World Ranking Tournaments to the teams.
As it is a World Ranking Tournament, where teams can earn vital points which will determine their pathways over the coming Olympic cycle, we had a quick look at the impact of the results.
Looking first at the Men’s event with France, Ireland and Poland competing, all 3 teams performed above their current FIH Ranking positions with Ireland the biggest winner, finishing 4th at the Champions Challenge is playing to a World Ranking of 12 and their current position is 15th. France, played to a 15th ranking, but are currently ranked 17th. Poland doing likewise, playing to 16th, but currently ranked 18th.
With Irish goalkeeper David Harte winning, yet again, the Best Goalkeeper award, Europe had much to celebrate at the Champions Challenge I Men in Malaysia.
At the Women’s event in Glasgow, 4 European teams were on display. The hosts Scotland alongside Belgium, Spain and Ireland.
Scotland are currently ranked 16th in the World, but competed at home the equivalent of a 15th Ranking team, that 15th ranked team is Ireland, who surpassed their expectations, took silver, missing out on a place at the illustrious Champions Trophy later this year! That 2nd place meant the team was punching well above its weight and in terms of ranking.
Spain, currently ranked 14th finished 4th at the Champions Challenge which is a 12th ranked team performance. Only Belgium performed below par finishing 6th in Glasgow, losing to Korea on a shoot out, this was a 14th ranking performance from a team currently ranked 12th. Belgium however was a mixed team of experience and some young guns!
Ireland had more to celebrate with Emma Gray being named Goal keeper of the Tournament and Megan Frazer (captain) being named as Player of the Tournament.
The International Federation will announce the new World Rankings after the World Cup in June and this will give the teams an indication of their pathway to the 2016 Olympics and beyond.
Photograph: Megan Frazer (IRL) is presented with her Player of the Tournament by the TD Paula Parks. (FIH (c)
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