By David Gold

Goyang SPART_Complex_and_Park_16-05-12May 16 - Goyang in South Korea is to host next year's International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Ice Sledge Hockey A Pool World Championships, it has been confirmed.

It is the first time an Asian country will stage the event, which was this year held in Hamar, Norway.

South Korea enjoyed a highly successful World Championships this year, coming second after reaching the final for the first time in their history.

They eventually lost to reigning Paralympic champions the United States, while Canada claimed the bronze.

Korea's silver was the first medal of any colour for the country's ice sledge hockey team on the international stage.

The 2013 competition features the world's top eight teams, who will gather between April 12 and 20 at the Goyang SPART Complex and Park, in the country that last year won the right to host the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in the city of Pyeongchang.

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Sung-ho Hwang, secretary general of the South Korean Ice Hockey Association for the Disabled, said: "The Championships will help raise awareness of the Paralympic Movement in Korea and strengthen the performances of Korean players prior to the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games.

"Korean ice sledge hockey achieved remarkable success at the last World Championships in Hamar, Norway.

"Now, hosting the event will also help a great deal in the long-term development of Korea's ice sledge Hockey programme heading into the Pyeongchang 2018 Paralympic Winter Games."

The competition will also provide a crucial role for the participating teams as they build up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Paralympics, which will be staged less than a year after the tournament in Goyang.

IPC chief executive Xavier Gonzalez said: "We are delighted to announce South Korea as the host nation for the 2013 Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships.

"We anticipate a high level of competition at what will be the final major championships before the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Winter Games the following year.

"It will also give the public a taster of what is to come in 2018 when Pyeongchang stages the Paralympic Winter Games."

Keith Blase, chairman of the IPC ice sledge hockey sport technical committee, added: "We are pleased and excited to be working with the Korean Paralympic Committee and the Korea Ice Hockey Association for the Disabled to bring the World Championships to Korea in 2013.

"This event will help us expand our sport within the Asian region of the world and also help in our preparation for the 2018 Paralympic Winter Games."

The World Championships took place for the first time in 1996, in Nynashamn, Sweden.

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