The Asian Champions Trophy is among the premier men’s Hockey events held on an annual basis. It is organized by the Asian Hockey Federation, the governing body for the sport of field hockey in Asia. The tournament was founded in 2011. To date, a total of six editions have been conducted since its establishment. The event features six Asian nations namely – India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and China.
Despite not being a leading performer currently in the world’s field hockey, Pakistan is the most successful team in the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy. Although both Pakistan and India have the same number of Asian Champions Trophy titles, Pakistan has two-runners up titles in comparison to India’s one. India has also clinched a bronze medal in this tournament in the year 2021. South Korea is the third most successful nation in the tournament with a dramatic win over Japan in the final of the 2021 edition. This was Korea’s only medal in the tournament.
History of the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy
The inaugural edition of the Asian Champions Trophy took place in Ordos, China, in 2011. The first iteration witnessed India emerging as the champion of the championship by defeating arch-rival Pakistan by 4-2 in the penalty shoot-out. In the next edition, Pakistan took perfect revenge against India as they beat their rival by 5-4 in a high goal-scoring match.
In the 2013 edition, Pakistan claimed its second title by beating Japan in the final. This was the first and only edition when India didn’t win a medal, finishing fifth. The tournament then made a return after three years (2016) and the three-time bronze medalist, Malaysia, was the host with Kuantan City organizing the event.
India and Pakistan were declared the joint winners in the Men’s Asian Champions Trophy 2018 as the rain called off the play in Muscat, Oman. In this edition, Malaysia became the bronze medalist of the tournament for the fifth consecutive time. To date, Malaysia has never reached the final of the men’s Asian Champions Trophy.
2021 – The year of a surprising winner
The year 2021 was a bit different as neither India nor Pakistan made it to the final. South Korea and Japan were scheduled to meet in the final at the Maulana Bhasani Hockey Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In the finals, Jeong Jun-woo of South Korea scored the game’s first goal in the eighth minute, but Japan took over the lead before halftime, owing to goals from Ken Nagayoshi and Ryoma Ooka. When Yoshika Kirishita scored in the 38th minute, Japan had a third goal and appeared to be winning.
However, an incredible double from Jang Jong-hyun forced the game into penalties. Jang scored in the 55th minute, then tied the game at 3-3 in the final seconds. The fourth goal scored by Lee Hye-Seung in the shootout gave South Korea their first-ever gold medal. Having finished fourth in the competition in 2016, this was also their first medal ever. In the bronze-medal match, India defeated Pakistan to win their first-ever bronze at the event.
Which country has won the maximum Asian Champions Trophy (Men) title?
The 2023 edition of the Asian Champions Trophy is all set to take place in Chennai, India, from August 3 to August 12, 2023. This is intended towards Hockey India planning to expand hockey in different regions of the nation. This will be the seventh edition of the tournament and will feature the top six Asian teams. With about a few months to go before the prestigious event, let’s take a look at the countries that have won the maximum Men’s Asian Champions Trophy titles.
|Ordos, China (2011)
|0–0 (4–2 Penalty Shoot out)
|Doha, Qatar (2012)
|Kakamigahara, Japan (2013)
|Kuantan, Malaysia (2016)
|Muscat, Oman (2018)
|India and Pakistan(Joint Winners)
|Dhaka, Bangladesh (2021)
|3–3 (4–2 Penalty Shoot out)
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