Ostersund, Sweden, to host 2015 Ice Sledge Hockey B-Pool

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(ISN) – IPC Ice Sledge Hockey has announced that Ostersund, Sweden, will host the 2015 World Championships B-Pool from 15-21 March.

Teams from South Korea, Sweden, Great Britain, Slovakia and Poland are expected for the competition which takes place the month before the World Championships A-Pool in Buffalo, New York, USA.

IPC Chief Executive Officer Xavier Gonzalez said that the announcement is hugely important for ice sledge hockey following its success at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.

“With World Championships now confirmed in both North America and Europe for 2015, we are in a good position to develop the sport after Sochi 2014.

“The bid from Ostersund was incredibly strong. The facilities are excellent and the city itself has a long winter sports history.

“I am confident that the athletes and teams will have everything they need to put on a great show for fans once again.”

Sweden’s National Paralympic Committee Secretary General Johan Strid said “Östersund has arranged sports competitions for a long time, and have done so very well.

“The region has now shown that they want to contribute to the development of the para-sport Movement and that they have a strategic ambition of being a global centre for winter para-sports.

“We are of course delighted that they have been given the opportunity to arrange the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships B-Pool.”

In early 2014, IPC Ice Sledge Hockey announced the competition cycle and qualification criteria for the PyeongChang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games.

Within the new cycle, an A-Pool and B-Pool World Championships will be held in both 2015 and 2017. The top two finishers from the 2015 B-Pool event will be promoted to the A-Pool for 2017 and the bottom finisher will be relegated to the new C-Pool event that will launch in 2016.

A new World Series was also announced for 2014-15, to develop the wider competition calendar. The first event will take place from 24-26 October in Langenhagen, Germany.

The last World Championships B-Pool were held in 2013 in Nagano, Japan, drawing six teams on the road to Sochi 2014, as the host nation lost to Germany in the gold-medal game of the tournament.

The 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships A-Pool will be held in Buffalo, New York, USA from 24 April-2 May.

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