January 16 - The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has today unveiled two new websites for the 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey A Pool World Championships and B Pool World Championships, with just three and two months to go until the tournaments respectively.
www.icesledgehockeyworlds.org and www.icesledgehockyworldspoolb.org contain information about the events and host cities, as well as featuring the latest ice sledge hockey news, up to date athlete biographies and a look back at previous championships.
The A Pool World Championships, which take place on April 12-20, will see the top eight teams battling it out for the top five places, which offer direct qualification for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games.
Taking place in Goyang, South Korea, the tournament represents the first time an Asian country hosts the World Championships, which will be organised by the Korea Ice Hockey Association for the Disabled.
The United States enter the competition as the two-time defending world champions and the hosts will be looking to build on their surprise silver-medal finish at last year's event in Hamar, Norway, while Russia will take part in their first A Pool World Championships.
The competition also offers spectators the chance to see six of the IPC's Ones to Watch list for the season, with Canada's Brad Bowden and Greg Westlake, the Czech Republic's Pavel Kubes, Korea's Seung-Hwan Jung and USA's Alexi Salamone and Taylor Chace playing.
Meanwhile, six teams will contend the B Pool world title in Nagano, Japan, on March 10-16 at the Wakasato Tamokuteki Sports Arena – or "Big Hat" as it is also known, which is the same venue that hosted the 1998 Paralympic Winter Games competition.
It will be the fourth edition of the B Pool Championships, and the top three finishers from the event will move on to the Winter Paralympics qualification tournament, which will take place later this year and be the final chance for teams to qualify for Sochi 2014.
"Both of these Championships will showcase the world's best teams as they try to qualify for the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games," Keith Blase, chairman of the IPC Ice Sledge Hockey Sport Technical Committee, said.
"In addition, they will create great exposure for the top ice sledge hockey athletes, raising their profiles in their home countries and in the media in the lead-up to the Sochi 2014 Games."
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November 2012: Japan to host 2013 IPC ice sledge hockey B Pool World Championships
May 2012: Goyang to host 2013 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships