PYEONGCHANG, Korea, Republic Of – Women’s hockey has long past from having an unsure long run on the Winter Olympics to enlargement.
International Ice Hockey Federation president Rene Fasel mentioned Monday in Pyeongchang, South Korea, that the women’s hockey box in 2022 will building up via two international locations to 10.
Beijing’s organizing committee requested for the growth, Fasel mentioned, which is helping host China get a staff in the tournament.
“We are sure that is the next step we have to do for our women’s game,” mentioned Zsuzsanna Kolbenheyer, chair of the IIHF’s women’s committee, at a information convention with Fasel.
When Canada and the U.S. outscored their opposition via a mixed 88-Four on the 2010 Vancouver Games, then-president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge mentioned “we cannot continue without improvement.”
While it was once not going women’s hockey would get the boot given the IOC’s need for gender parity on the Games, it lit a fireplace beneath the ones in energy in hockey to make the global women’s recreation extra aggressive.
An important alternate in the structure of the Olympic Games and global championships after 2010 ensured the highest-two seeded international locations would by no means face the ground two seeds, which eradicated probably the most lopsided ratings.
The 2022 enlargement is helping Asian teams. Japan was once a number of the remaining two teams to seize a place in the 2018 tournament and a united Koreas squad earned a berth as hosts.
The 2019 women’s global championship might be 10 teams for the primary time.
“I play with a bunch of players that were just on the cusp of last year’s world championship and I think it’s great to get Austria more involved, Norway, Denmark,” mentioned Canadian ahead Brianne Jenner, who performs membership hockey in Sweden.
“They have some really great players. For us to branch out into 10 teams, it’s really going to push the federations to put more money into women’s hockey.”
The 8-nation box in Pyeongchang additionally contains Canada, the U.S., Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and Olympic Athletes from Russia.
China completed fourth when women’s hockey made its Olympic debut in 1998, however the nation didn’t high quality for both the 2014 or 2018 Winter Games.
China’s hockey federation is now placing important cash in the back of its women’s hockey program in preparation for 2022.
Two membership teams – the Kunlun Red Star and the Vanke Rays – joined the Canadian Women’s Hockey League this season.
–With information from The Associated Press