Canada, USA, Mexico and Argentina headline teams for Indoor Pan American Cup

first_img… Guyana to host tournament on October 14GUYANA will embark on hosting its first ever Pan American level hockey championships on October 14 when the ‘Indoor Pan American Cup’ is played at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.The tournament will feature two simultaneous competitions for men and women and serves as the Pan American Continental Qualifier for FIH Indoor Hockey World Cups, scheduled for February 2018 in Berlin, Germany.This year’s ‘Indoor Pan American Cup’ will be one of the biggest ever in its history which dates back to 2002.There will be eight nations contesting the women’s competition and seven contesting the men’s with each tournament being represented by participation from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Only the 2010 competition, held in Venezuela, was larger and by just one team.Latacia Chung (right) may be one of the emerging stars on show for Guyana in the upcoming competition.The tournament will see the return of all four semi-finalists for both genders from 2014 in competition and promises to be one of the most highly contested.In the men’s competition, the Canadian side which boasts the most first-place finishes (four), will comprise some players not entirely unfamiliar with Guyana and the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall, due to their participation in the Diamond Mineral Water International Indoor Hockey Festival.Trinidad and Tobago similarly are likely to have several players in their ranks that competed in Guyana, as the island which has supported the local hockey festival with the greatest attendance of foreign players throughout the years.The mighty Argentina and USA have both been finalists in the past with the USA winning the championships against then hosts Argentina back in 2008.Barbados round out the participation from the Caribbean, and although not known particularly for their indoor game, always produce players with tremendous skill, while Mexico return to the competition for their third time as the lone Central American entrant.Guyana have competed on three occasions in this competition, resulting in a 4th place finish in 2005, fifth place in 2010 and their best showing, 3rd place in the last competition held in 2014 in Montevideo, Uruguay.The seven teams of the men’s competition, Guyana, Argentina, Barbados, Canada, Mexico, Trinidad & Tobago and the USA are all strong contenders for the gold although Canada remain the favourites having won the competition a record four times out of six.The same seven nations will compete in the women’s competition with the addition of Uruguay who have been the surprise of Pan American hockey over the past few years.Argentina and Canada both have enjoyed the winners’ podium twice while Trinidad won the inaugural women’s Indoor Pan American Cup back in 2002.The Guyanese women, who have competed creditably over the past 10 years in the outdoor version of the game, will taste their first international indoor hockey competition this year as the competition’s least experienced side.Most of the Guyanese players, however, would have had the experience of competing in the Diamond Mineral Water Indoor Festival over the past several years and will be familiar with the conditions and the vociferous home support.Apart from the usual strong spectator support for the competition and those accompanying the visiting teams, the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB) has plans to have all matches streamed live.Viewership throughout the Americas is expected to be in the tens of thousands and the GHB intends to use the opportunity to also showcase Guyana as a sports and recreational destination, especially to the many viewers who may not have heard much about the beautiful country.last_img

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