The 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup will be the 14th edition of the Women’s Hockey World Cup.
The tournament will be held at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, England. This venue is part of the legacy from the 2012 Summer Olympics as the Riverbank Arena, where the field hockey events took place, which was scaled down and moved to its current location at Lee Valley Park.
Teams and Pools:
Pool A: The Netherlands, China, Korea and Italy
The team that strikes fear into all its rivals is the reigning World Cup holder, the Netherlands (FIH Hero World Ranking: 1). Leading the charge to dethrone Oranje are the two Asia giants, China (WR:8) and Korea (WR:9). The fourth contender in Pool A is Italy (WR:17).
Pool B: England, USA, India and Ireland
This pool has the potential for some world ranking upsets. While England’s position as host nation offers an unquestionable weight, USA (WR:7) will also have high hopes of bettering their 2014 World Cup performance, where they performed brilliantly to finish in fourth place. India (WR:10) and Ireland (WR:16) are both teams who can throw surprises.
Pool C: Argentina, Germany, Spain and South Africa
Rebuilt and bristling with ambition, Argentina (WR:3) arrive in London with high hopes of a medal. Standing in their way in this pool are Adrian Lock’s Spain (WR:11), South Africa (WR:14) and Germany (WR:6).
Pool D: New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Belgium
Last edition’s silver medallists Australia (WR:5) are looking for a return to former glories and this would be a perfect stage for that ambition. They will meet Commonwealth Games gold medalist New Zealand (WR:4), Japan (WR:12) and Belgium (WR:13) are squads that are building.
Australia’s two previous World Cup triumphs both came during a rich era for the side, winning in 1994 and 1998, while they also claimed Olympic gold in 1996 and 2000.
Olympic triumphs appear to be indicative towards World Cup success, with the Dutch winning gold in Beijing in 2008 and London in 2012, along with the 2006 and 2014 World Cup titles, so Rio winners England loom large, particularly as hosts.
Remarkably the Dutch have appeared in the past five World Cup finals, although they have only won two. Interestingly, only three different nations have participated in the past seven World Cup finals; the Netherlands, Australia and Argentina, indicating a three-way dominance.
Four years ago, the Netherlands defeated the Hockeyroos 2-0 in the decider in The Hague, while 2010 World Cup winners Argentina came third.
Beyond those nations, only Germany (formerly West Germany) have ever lifted the World Cup; in 1976 and 1981, and they last competed in the final in 1986.
The Germans head into this World Cup ranked sixth, while 2017 World League Semi-Final winners USA (ranked seventh) and 2017 World League Final third-place getters South Korea (ranked eighth) shouldn’t be under-estimated.