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Opinions & Interviews

21 Jan 2016

Ivanov: 2016 EuroHockey Indoor Championship to boost popularity of indoor hockey in Belarus

MINSK, 21 January (BelTA) – The 2016 EuroHockey Indoor Championship in Belarus will help the development of this sport in the country, Chairman of the Belarusian Indoor Hockey Federation Valery Ivanov said at a press conference on 21 January to mark the opening of the tournament, BelTA informs.

According to the Chairman of the Belarusian Indoor Hockey Federation, in the forthcoming days of the championships, on 22-24 January, the Palace of Sports will welcome a lot of people to get familiar with this dynamic indoor variant of traditional outdoor field hockey. This will surely help increase the number of its fans as well as the number of people going in for this sport. “We need development, young promising players. Only then we will have a chance for the participation in the Olympics,” said Valery Ivanov.

The Chairman of the Belarusian Indoor Hockey Federation also hopes that the Belarusian women’s national team will show their best to complete for medals at the forthcoming European sport forum in Minsk. “The roster of the national team that is to hit the ground at the Palace of Sports is optimal. We also place big hopes on one of the team’s best strikers Yulia Mikheichik. The national team underwent a serious training camp under Dutch specialist Herman Kruis,” Valery Ivanov explained.

The decision on the EuroHockey Indoor Championship (women) in Belarus was adopted at the meeting of the executive committee of the European Hockey Federation in February 2014. All the games will be held at the Palace of Sports. The entry is free.

The Belarus Five TV channel will offer five broadcast of the games of the Belarusian team and medal games.

In group B Belarus will face Germany and Ukraine on 22 January and take on Austria on 23 January.

The tournament will kick off with the Netherlands meeting Poland and the Czech Republic going against Belgium on 22 January.

Two best teams from each group will advance into the semifinal which is to be played late on 23 January. Medal games will be held on 24 January. Following the continental forum six teams will earn the right for the 2018 Women’s Hockey World Cup in Rosario, Argentina.

At the previous European championship in Prague in 2014 Belarus finished sixth. In 2012 and 2008 the Belarusian team was second both times losing to Germany: 2-3 in Leipzig and 1-5 in Spain’s Almeria.

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