Next Friday (January 13) at FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup starts in Bhubaneswar and Rourkel with 16 teams competing against each other for one of hockey’s most coveted prizes.
World Champions 2018 Belgium return with the intention of defending their title, also winning the Olympic gold medal in Tokyo 2020. They were paired in Group B, where they will face Germany, Republic of Korea and Japan.
Australia, defeated finalists in 2018, will be looking to claim their fourth world title, which would put them on par with Pakistan for most tournament victories in history. After recently winning their seventh Commonwealth Games gold medal with a victory in Birmingham in 2022, they are in Group A along with Argentina, France and South Africa.
Another team with three World Cup victories under their belt, the last of which was in 1998, are The the Netherlandswho are sitting next to you in group C New Zealand, Malaysia and Chile.
Group D sees India drawn against England, Spain and Walesand the tournament hosts are hoping for a better result than their quarter-final defeat to the Netherlands in the 2018 edition and England heading for their first final since 1986 where they lost 2-1 to Australia.
Where will the World Ice Hockey Championships be held?
This is the second time in a row that the Ice Hockey World Championships will be held in India, with cities Bhubaneswar and Rourkel hosted all matches from the group stage to the final.
Games will be shared between Kalinga Stadium with 16,000 seats in Bhubaneswar i Birsa Munda International Ice Hockey Stadium with 21,000 seats in Rourkela, while the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals will be held at Kalinga Stadium.
Stars worth watching at the world hockey championships
Defending champions Belgium aim to become only the fourth team to win the World Cup in a row. To do this, they will rely on the skills and experience of veterans, such as John-John Dohmen. With 436 caps for the national team, Dohmen is the most experienced player in the tournament and his record shows exactly why he is still on the team roster. One World Cup gold (2018), one Olympic gold (Tokyo 2020) and Olympic silver (Rio 2016) make him one of the most decorated players in the sport and he will once again be seen in the latest edition of the Mundial in India.
Another man who has made over 400 appearances for his team is the Australian captain Eddie Ockenden with the Tasmanian defender who hopes this will be the year he grabs his third World Cup trophy after victories in 2010 and 2014. Ockenden has 72 international goals to his name and at the age of 35, he is still eyeing Paris 2024. In 2022, he won his fourth Commonwealth Games title, a tournament in which he has never lost a game.
Hosts India can count on a lot of talent from the current FIH Player of the Year Harmanpreet Singh as they try to win the World Cup on home soil. Captaining the team, Singh will be steadfast in a strong defensive line while also creating a dangerous goal threat with over 100 goals for his country. He will aim to match or better India’s performance from Tokyo 2020, where they finished the tournament with a bronze medal.
2018 finalists the Netherlands will be looking to bounce back from heartache after the recent World Cup final, where they lost on penalties to Belgium. EuroHockey 2021 champions will rely on the striker’s talents Thierry Brinkman in their quest to win this year’s tournament.
England have never lifted a World Cup in their history, but if they are to do so this year, much of the burden will rest on their shoulders Ward herself. In November 2019, the striker suffered a terrible eye injury in a match against Malaysia that left him partially blind. Since then, his return has been unremarkable. With 62 goals in just 84 appearances for England, Ward is a prolific goalscorer who can cause problems for any defense in the tournament.
2023 ice hockey world championship schedule
All time Indian Standard Time (CET +4.5)
Argentina – South Africa, Bhubaneswar, 13:00
Australia v France, Bhubaneswar, 3pm
England – Wales, Rourkela, 17:00
India – Spain, Rourkela, 19:00
New Zealand – Chile, Rourkela, 1:00 p.m
Netherlands – Malaysia, Rourkela, 15:00
Belgium vs. Korea, Bhubaneswar, 5pm
Germany – Japan, Bhubaneswar, 19:00
Spain – Wales, Rourkela, 17:00
England vs India, Rourkela at 7pm
Malaysia – Chile, Rourkela, 13:00
New Zealand – Netherlands, Rourkela, 15:00
France – South Africa, Bhubaneswar, 17:00
Argentina – Australia, Bhubaneswar, 19:00
Korea v Japan, Bhubaneswar, 5 p.m
Germany v Belgium, Bhubaneswar, 7pm
Malaysia – New Zealand, Bhubaneswar, 13:00
Netherlands v Chile, Bhubaneswar, 3 p.m
Spain vs England, Bhubaneswar, 5pm
India v Wales, Bhubaneswar, 7pm
Australia – South Africa, Rourkela, 13:00
France – Argentina, Rourkela, 15:00
Belgium vs. Japan, Rourkela, 5pm
Korea v Germany, Rourkela, 7pm
Quarter Final 1, Bhubaneswar, 4.30pm
Quarter Final 2, Bhubaneswar, 19:00
Quarter Final 2, Bhubaneswar, 4.30pm
Quarter Final 4, Bhubaneswar, 19:00
- Classification of places from 9 to 16
Semi Final 1, Bhubaneswar, 4.30pm
Semi-final 2, Bhubaneswar, 19:00