“Both of these Championships will showcase the world’s best teams as they try to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games."
With just three months to go until the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey A Pool World Championships and two months until the B Pool World Championships, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) launched the official event websites for both Championships on Wednesday (16 January).
In addition to information about the events and the host cities, the websites feature the latest ice sledge hockey news, athlete biographies and a look back at previous World Championships.
The A Pool World Championships will draw the top eight teams in Goyang, Korea from 12-20 April, with the top five finishers qualifying directly for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games. It will be the first time an Asian country hosts the World Championships, which will be organised by the Korea Ice Hockey Association for the Disabled.
USA enter the competition as the two-time defending world champions, while Russia will take part in their first A Pool World Championships. Host nation Korea will look to build off their surprise silver-medal finish at last year’s event in Hamar, Norway.
Meanwhile, six teams will contend the B Pool world title from 10-16 March in Nagano, Japan at the Wakasato Tamokuteki Sport Arena, commonly known as “Big Hat,” which is the same venue that hosted the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games competition.
It will be the fourth edition of the B Pool Championships, and the top three finishers from the event will move on to the Paralympic Winter Games Qualification Tournament, which will take place in late 2013 and will be the final chance for teams to qualify for Sochi 2014.
Keith Blase, Chairman of the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Sport Technical Committee, said:
“Both of these Championships will showcase the world’s best teams as they try to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
“In addition, they will create great exposure for the top ice sledge hockey athletes, raising their profiles in their home countries and in the media in the lead-up to the Sochi 2014 Games.”
For the A Pool competition, the IPC has identified six of the top athletes for spectators and media to look out for during the 2012-13 season based on performance, and with input from National Paralympic Committees and national ice sledge hockey federations.
Canada’s Brad Bowden and Greg Westlake, the Czech Republic’s Pavel Kubes, Korea’s Seung-Hwan Jung and USA’s Alexi Salamone and Taylor Chace make up the Ones to Watch list for the 2012-13 season.
For all biographies of the Ones to Watch athletes and further details about IPC Ice Sledge Hockey please click here.