GB women get World #1 Netherlands in Champions Trophy

The FIH announced today the match schedule for the Argentina FIH 2012 Champions Trophy to be played in Rosario, Argentina from January 28 – February 5, 2012.

Great Britain's women have been drawn in Pool A alongside new world #1 the Netherlands, Beijing Olympic silver medalists China and Japan.

It will be the 20th edition of the women’s event and one that will carry several important story lines for the eight participating teams. First and foremost, the event will be the last major international tournament before the London Olympic Games in August 2012. Seven of the eight teams in Rosario have already secured their spot in the 2012 Games with only Japan having to go through the Qualification Tournament process.

The spotlight in Rosario is sure to be on host Argentina, which will look to take back its World Number One Ranking after faltering in the final game at its last two appearances in major events.

Argentina - Third time in a row winners of Women's Champions Trophy July 2010

Argentina, who won the 2010 Champions Trophy in Nottingham (pictured above), lost the 2011 Champions Trophy crown to Netherlands in June, and then dropped from the #1 position in the FIH World Ranking after losing against the United States in finals at the Pan American Games. The hosts will look to get back on track with the home-field advantage.

Argentina and the Dutch are in different preliminary round groups. The Netherlands is in Group A along with Great Britain, China and Japan. Meanwhile, Argentina is the top-seeded team in Group B which also features Germany, New Zealand and Korea.

Following the round robin preliminary round games, the teams will play in a cross-over quarterfinal, with the winner of Group A facing lowest-finishing team from Group B, and so on. From there, teams will move onto the semi-finals and finals in a simple knock-out format.

The preliminary round group play will take place from January 28-31 over three competition days. The Netherlands and China kick off the action with a 12:30 game on the 28th. The quarterfinals will take place on February 2 leading to the medal day on February 5.

Click here to download the official FIH Champions Trophy 2012 match schedule.

Source: Adapted from FIH Press Release