15 augustus 202318:24
Door Danny Micola von Fürstenrecht
Shenzhen is about to usher in a cool ice hockey feast
August 20 (Sunday)
2023 International Ice Union Women's hockey World Championships (Class A)
Will be unveiled at Shenzhen Longgang Universiade Center Gymnasium
This is the Chinese women's hockey team in the history of the World Championships.
Fourth time as host
The 2023 Women's Ice World Championship is hosted by the International Ice Federation and co-sponsored by the Winter Sports Management Center of the State Administration of Sports, the China Ice Ball Association, the Guangdong Provincial Sports Bureau and the Shenzhen Municipal people's Government, with the cooperation of the Shenzhen Municipal Bureau of Culture, Radio, Television, Tourism and Sports, and the people's Government of Longgang District of Shenzhen. At that time, there will be about 350 participants from China, Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, Austria and the Netherlands. The top two teams will be promoted to the top group in accordance with the rules of the International Ice Federation, while the last team will be reduced to Group A B. If the Chinese team can take advantage of the benefits of home to perform a wonderful performance at home, it will be expected to qualify for the top group games, laying a solid foundation for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan.
The teams arrived in Shenzhen one after another on 13 August. From August 14 to 18, they conducted pre-match training at the Film Pavilion of Hongxing hockey club in Kunlun, Shenzhen. On August 19, they conducted official training at the Shenzhen Universiade Center Gymnasium. On August 20, the first match began at 12:40 after the opening ceremony.
With the Shenzhen Kunlun Hongxing women's ice hockey team as the main team, the Chinese women's ice hockey team will play Slovakia in their first match on the evening of August 20, Norway on August 21, Denmark on August 23, Austria on August 24 and the Netherlands in their final match on August 26.
The Chinese women's ice hockey team, which has been among the best in the world, has experienced a decline since 2009, falling from the world's top group to Class B group. In the last Winter Olympics cycle, China's women's ice hockey strength improved rapidly. After finishing ninth at the Beijing Winter Olympics, they won the 2022 Women's Ice World Championship Division B title, returning to the ranks of Division A after 12 years. This home battle, as long as the Chinese female ice can enter the top two, it can be promoted to the top group.
In the history of the women's ice hockey world championships, the Chinese team has participated as the host three times. Harbin has hosted the top group of women's ice world championships in 2008; In 2015 and 2019, Beijing hosted Group B twice.
It is worth mentioning that the 2023 Women's hockey World Championships (Group A) is the first time in the history of sports in China to host an international hockey tournament in southern cities. Located at 22 degrees north latitude, Longgang Grand Games Center Gymnasium has become the lowest latitude main stadium in the 34-year history of the Women's hockey World Championships (Group An and above).
The Women's Ice Hockey World Championship will be held in Shenzhen for the first time, which will open a new chapter in Shenzhen's hosting of international high-level ice and snow events after the Beijing Winter Olympics. Holding an international ice and snow event is also a powerful measure for Shenzhen to further promote the implementation of the national strategy of "south exhibition and west expansion of ice and snow sports." Shenzhen is building an internationally renowned sports city, and will continue to introduce high-end sports events in the future to host more major world sports events.
What are the highlights of this world ice hockey feast?
Come and see ~
In the 1980s,
women's ice hockey was in the ascendant around the world. China, Japan, the
United States, Canada and some countries in Eastern Europe and Northern Europe
have successively established female ice national teams. In 1990, the first
Women's Ice Hockey World Championship was held under the auspices of the IIHF,
with eight teams from these regions appearing in Ottawa, Canada, and the host
team winning the first women's ice hockey world championship in history.
In the following ten years, the International Ice Federation held three competitions. The 1998 Nagano Winter Olympic Games were officially included in the women's ice event, which has formed a great impetus to the development of women's hockey around the world. In 1999, the International Ice Federation reformed the Women's Ice World Championships, confirmed that the events were held once a year, and adopted the same division and upgrade system as the Men's Ice World Championships.
At present, the women's hockey world championships of the International Ice Union are divided into seven different groups, including the top group, group A, group B, group B, group A, group B, group C and group B. Women's hockey teams from more than 40 countries and regions take part in the event every year.
In 1992, the Chinese women's ice hockey team defeated the Japanese team in the qualifiers and participated in the second women's ice hockey world championships as the representative of the Asian region. As the country that promoted women's ice hockey earlier, the Chinese women's ice team achieved an excellent record in the 1990s. In addition to finishing fourth at the Nagano Winter Olympics, the Chinese women's ice team also reached the semi-finals in the third (1994) and fourth (1997) world championships.
On August 20, the Chinese team will compete with Denmark, Norway, Slovakia, Austria and the Netherlands for the championship. The team with the highest points will win the championship, and the team with the top two points will be promoted to become the top team in next year's Women's Ice World Championships.
The Slovak women's ice hockey team is the opponent of the Chinese team in the opening match of this world championship.
The Slovakia Women's Ice team, which joined the International Ice Federation system in 1999, is a rising star in the international arena. Twenty years ago, driven by the rapid rise of the men's national team and winning the world championships, the Slovakia women's ice team also entered the upward channel. From 2007 to 2009, they completed the triple jump in the World Championships, entering the top group from Division B to the top seven in the world.
In September 2008, the Slovak team defeated Bulgaria 82-0 in the first round of the women's ice hockey qualifying tournament at the Vancouver Winter Olympics, scoring an average of one goal every 44 seconds, setting a world record for an adult national team in an international ice hockey tournament.
In the past decade, the Slovak team lacked a bright record, jumping between Group A and Group B for many years. They are currently ranked 15th in the world.
In the last World Championships, Slovak women ice hit a record of 2 wins and 2 losses, ranking third in Class A group, completing the replacement. In addition to captain Kapukova and the main goalkeeper Olorinova, the team is composed of young people around the age of 20. The team maintains a team style of excellent physical fitness and exquisite individual skills. But to return to the top ranks, the team still needs more real practice.
Thomas Zejing, 37, is head coach of the Slovakia women's ice team. After retiring from the Slovakia Professional League, he began teaching women's hockey and made achievements in both the national women's youth team and the women's professional team. In the past two years, Zejing has led the national women's hockey team to complete the tasks of Group An of the Winter Olympic World Cup and the World Championships.
The Slovak women's ice team has a record of eight matches against the Chinese women's ice, with four wins each. In the World Championships, they have won twice against the Chinese team.
On the evening of August 21, China and Norway will face off for the first time in 12 years at the World Championships.
Norway is the first women's ice hockey team on the international stage, with a record of 23 World Championships, making it the oldest female ice hockey team in Shenzhen. In the first world championships in 1990, the Norwegian team finished sixth. Since the restructuring of the women's ice world championships in 1999, the Norwegian team has been out of the top group and has competed in the second group all year round. Counting the current world championship, the Norwegian team has remained in Group A for 12 consecutive years, with stable results but lack of breakthrough growth. At the 2022 World Championships, Norway unexpectedly lost to Austria in extra time and lost to France in the title race, eventually finishing second. Norway have missed the chance to qualify for the top group four times in recent years.
Norway, which currently ranks 13th in the world, has more than 70 percent of young players under the age of 24, five of whom are from the North American College League. The whole team is concise and practical, and the ability of attack and defense is very balanced. The team is headed by 42-year-old local coach Thomas Peterson. He joined the National Women's team coaching staff in 2013 and took over the position of manager in 2017. In recent years, Peterson has spent a lot of energy on the replacement of players, technical and tactical innovation and so on. Peterson, who is experienced and familiar with his opponent, has been crawling in Group An of the Women's Ice World Championship for ten years. He is the most striking coach in the world championships.
Before 2011, the Norwegian women's ice team lost to China six times in a row, including two matches in the world championships, with a total goal of 4 to 36. Since then, Norway has won China's women's ice twice in the 2011 World Championships and 2019 Winter Olympic qualifying, with scores of 7-3 and 4-2.
Denmark, the highest ranked team in the world among the six participating teams, is the opponent of China on the second day of the world championships, and the two sides will face off in a focus on the evening of August 23.
This is the Danish team's second visit to China after a lapse of one year since the Beijing Winter Olympics. Denmark qualified for the Women's Ice World Championships as early as 1992 and promoted to Group A of the World Championships in 2012. Since then, the world ranking has been stable in the top 15. Denmark is currently ranked 11th in the world.
In 2019, the Danish women's ice entered the top group of the World Championships for the first time, and stood out in the Winter Olympic qualifiers in 2021, getting the first chance to participate in the Winter Olympics. At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the Danish team suffered a Waterloo, only one win, ranking last in the women's ice event. Six months later, Denmark suffered another blow in the top group of the World Championships, dropping to the bottom of Group A.
Most of the core players in Denmark come from the Swedish league Malmer, the Danish league Rodover, and the NCAA University League. The international competition experience is rich, the playing method is spicy, the physical condition is outstanding, this is the Danish women's ice team overall characteristic. However, several of the generals, led by captain Jakobson, are over 30 years old, which has led to ups and downs in the history of the old and new Denmark. In addition, 37-year-old Swedish coach Edlund failed to complete the World Championships team after taking over the team last year, which coach team to lead the competition, is still a pending issue.
The Danish women's ice hockey record against China dates back to the second Women's Ice World Championships 31 years ago. The Chinese team won 5-2. Since then, Denmark has never beaten China in a major international tournament. Denmark lost 3-1 to host China in the second round of the women's ice group at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, the latest meeting between the two sides. On the evening of August 23, the Danish team will meet again with the Chinese women's ice hockey team to launch a fierce battle at the 2023 IIHF Women's Ice Hockey World Championship (Group A).
The Austrian women's ice team, which has been in the army for less than 20 years, is the opponent of the Chinese team on the fourth day of the world championships, and the two sides will fight on the evening of August 24.
Compared to the rest of Europe, the Austrian women's ice hockey program started late, and it was not until 2004 that the Austrian women's ice national team made its international debut. The Austrian team was promoted from Group C to Group A in just four years. For the past ten years, Austria has been stable at the level of Group A, reaching 10th place in the 2017 IIHF Women's Ice Skating Rankings. In the last world championships, the Austrian ice women won all three overtime penalties, showing amazing resilience, but only scored six points they can only finish fourth in the event. The Austrian team is currently ranked 14th in the world.
The Austrian team, which has been unable to win the top group seats for ten consecutive years, is currently dominated by new players after 00, mostly from the local league and the American NCAA University League. Tactical flexibility and good physical fitness are the team's strengths. The 57-year-old Finns Risku is a veteran of the world women's ice hockey scene, having played for the Finnish women's national team for 10 consecutive seasons. Riscu became coach of the Austrian women's ice team three years ago after finishing coaching the Hungarian women's team.
Austria lost 3-4 to China in Group An of the 2011 Women's Ice World Championships, the only match in the history of the two sides. On the evening of August 24, Austria will meet the Chinese women's ice rink again and start a fierce match at the World Championships.
As an old rival of the Chinese team, the Dutch team will face the Chinese team in the final match of the tournament on the 26th. This is the second time in four years that the two sides have met on the world championships stage.
In 1999, the International Ice Federation completed the expansion and restructuring of the Women's Ice Hockey World Championship, and the Dutch women's ice was given the opportunity to enter the international arena. In the past 24 years, the Dutch team has participated in 19 women's world championships, most of the time in the Division B series. In April 2019, they upset the Chinese team at the Shougang Sports Education Center in Beijing, winning the championship of Group B of the year and rising to Group A of the World Championship for the first time in history. At present, the Dutch women's ice is ranked 18th in the world, slightly lower than the other five teams participating in the world championships.
The 2022 Women's Ice World Championship (Group A) was held in Ange, France, with the Netherlands scoring only one point in four games, ranking last. With only five teams playing and the demotion cancelled, the Netherlands was able to stay in Group A. At present, the Netherlands, the core players are all from the local league and the Swedish league, a group of post-00 players led by young goalkeeper Gabriel have grown rapidly in recent years and have occupied half of the team. Compared with other European women's ice teams, the Dutch team is not good at physical confrontation, skillful in playing and pursuing speed.
Marco Cronenberg, 52, who has worked in the men's professional league for many years, took over from the Dutch women's national team at the end of 2021. This month, he is likely to lead Dutch women's ice to the World Championships for the second time. Of the five European women's ice teams participating in the Shenzhen World Championships, the Netherlands and China have the most records. The two sides met at the world championships six times and the Netherlands won the upper hand with a record of 4 wins and 2 losses. The last time they lost to China in the World Championships was in Group A B in 2016.
Ice hockey feast will be staged in Shenzhen!
Join us for the athletes.