This years Hockey Champions Trophy saw the Olympic Park once again alive with sporting action. From the 10th to the 26th June, the worlds best competed against each other in both ladies and men’s competitions for the Champions Trophy.
The men’s competition saw teams from Great Britain, Australia, India, Germany, Belgium and Korea face off for the first half of the tournament. With Australia and India playing hard and strong right from the start the competition was fierce and tough. Great Britain only managed to win one of their five games, in their match against Korea, but due to them holding off Australia, Germany and Belgium it a tied score, secured themselves a place in the battle for 3rd and 4th place on the final day facing Germany.
In a fairly even battle the men of Great Britain fought hard and played well but a goal from the German side secured them the bronze medal, leaving Great Britain the 4th position.
The women’s competition kicked off in an equally fierce fashion, bringing together teams from Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Argentina and the USA. After some amazing play in recent competitions, the hopes were high for the GB team, however this just didn’t seem to be their tournament with the other teams pulling together and battling twice as hard for the win. They drew their first game against Argentina 2-2, but from their they seemed to head down hill losing their next four consecutive games and placing themselves on the final day for the match for 5th and 6th place.
Myself and some friends were lucky enough to travel down to the Olympic Park in London for the final day of the women’s competition, to witness all the action first hand.
First up Great Britain took on New Zealand. This game appeared to be the turning point for Team GB with the team pulling back to their true form and executing some outstanding hockey. The ladies worked together, communicated well and battled hard, and with a goal form Lily Owsley and a hat trick from Alex Danson the side achieved a very much deserved 4-3 win to secure 5th place in the completion.
Next up Team USA took on Australia in the match for 3rd and 4th place. An even match throughout saw the teams matching each other point for point as the game went on, never letting either side step ahead and the final whistle saw a 2-2 draw, meaning a penalty shoot out for the sides. The shoot out played the same as the game, with both goal keepers defending well and holding off their oppositions, but with a ball from USA finding the back board, the team secured themselves 3rd position in what was a highly electric and exciting game to watch.
The last match of the day and the closing game of the 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy was between Argentina and The Netherlands. Both teams had played extremely well throughout the competition, having each won all but one of their games to bring themselves to the final. I had been looking forward to this game all day, anticipating the outstanding levels of hockey we were to witness, which unfortunately turned out to be very anticlimactic, after the excitement and the drive from the last two games. Both teams seemed to lack the drive and the want for a win which we had seen earlier in the day, but nevertheless the game was played hard and strong. Two goals from Argentina took them into a promising lead with The Netherlands only managing to secure one goal back, meaning this years 2016 Hockey Champions Trophy winners are Argentina.
The whole competition, to me, has displayed what an amazing sport hockey is and the dedication and drive these athletes have, and I now wait with eager anticipation for the Rio Summer Olympics in the hope that Team GB can bring the determination and team spirit as they bought to their game on Sunday to the whole of the Olympic competition and bring home