Top 5 Things We Learned from The Hockey Women's World Cup 2018
The Vitality Hockey Women's World Cup London 2018 was the biggest women's sporting team event to take place on British soil this year when it kicked off on 21st July. With the reigning champions The Netherlands, re-writing the record books, The FIH reflects on 15 glorious days of hockey with the 5 things that the 2018 World Cup taught us.
The Dominant Dutch
This record breaking Dutch dominated this event. Scoring 35 goals, conceded only three - they were outstanding in every department. Whilst England and Australia proved their toughest opponents, they blew the rest of their opposition away, including the biggest win in World Cup history - 12-1 against Italy. Netherlands showed once again why they have been the number one ranked nation in the world since 2012 as they owned this event from start to finish. No one can deny that the best team won.
The History Makers
They captured the hearts and minds of sports fans across the world. Ireland women were the first team sport to reach a World Cup final in their nation's history. Their battling performances and never-say-die attitude inspired fans across the world. Cocktails were named after their athletes and pubs were packed out across the nation as the Green Army shocked the sport by taking the silver medals. Spain's pedigree has also been growing in recent years and their historic first women's World Cup victory against Australia to win the bronze medals signalled just how far they have come - achieving their best ever finish in this event.
The Rising Stars
The 2018 World Cup saw a number of new stars unleash their potential on the world stage, none more so than Argentina's Lucina von der Heyde, winner of the Best Junior Player Award. The 21 year-old Argentina hot-shot has been improving year on year and despite not reaching this year's latter stages, Las Leonas have a shining star within their ranks who will no doubt lead her team to glory in the future. Irish goalkeeper Ayeisha McFerran is another one to keep your eye on. The 22 year-old epitmosied the spirit of this famous Irish team, her battling attitude providing confidence and direction which kept her team focused and motivated throughout the competition.
England Hockey, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London, England - you were simply outstanding! The stadium became a hot cauldron every day as fans poured in to cheer on the greatest teams in the world, providing an unforgetable atmosphere for the players to shine. And it wasn't just the action on the pitch that dazzled. Fan Central proved incredibly popular whilst treats like the Red Arrows flyover, fireworks and the Hockey Makers Choir all made for a truly unforgettable event which will go down in history as one of the sport's best. And of course - we can't forget the wonderful Hockey Makers who were crucial to this event.
Despite scorching temperatures throughout the event, and a tiny drop of rain, over 120,000 fans turned out to cheer on their heroes. And what an atmosphere you created! Everyone involved in the event, from athletes to coaches, media and fans, they all left the stadium with huge smiles on their faces thanks in part to the electric atmopshere created by each and every fan who came through the gates. We can't wait to feel this passion once again as the greatest men's teams on the planet go head to head later this year at the Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubnaneswar 2018.