After losing consecutive tilts to Switzerland in the relegation round, Japan has been demoted to Division I Group A in 2017, while Germany, sweeping this year’s Group A in Aalborg, Denmark, will be promoted to the 2017 Women’s World Championship next April in Plymouth, Michigan, USA.
The Träger der Adler actually clinched their spot on March 29, after walloping France in a 5-0 victory, assuring them of a head-to-head tiebreaker win over France, even though they finished with identical 5-1 records, with Germany easing off in a 3-1 meaningless loss to Austria to end the tournament. This will mark Germany’s return to the Top Division of the World Championships, after being relegated by Japan in 2015.
As for Japan, this marks their first demotion to Division I since 2013, after spending the last two tournaments on top, despite narrowly avoiding relegation in 2015 (ironically enough to Germany). A surprising upstart Czechia squad leapfrogged both Japan and Switzerland in Group B to place them both in the relegation round. Japan will now play in Division I Group A next year against Norway, Denmark, France, Austria, and the winner of Division I Group B, for the chance to earn promotion for a shot at the 2019 World Championships, as the Top Division will take a break for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, Korea.
This new positioning will certainly have a big impact not just on the upcoming World Women’s Ranking, but on the final qualification for the 2018 Games – we are excited to see what happens in the lead-up to Korea!