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Russia to host 2016 Ice Hockey Worlds

© RIA Novosti . Alexey Druzhinin / Go to the photo bankRussian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin - Sputnik International
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Russia added a new date to its jam packed sporting calendar on Friday after it won a bid to host the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championships.

Russia added a new date to its jam packed sporting calendar on Friday after it won a bid to host the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championships.

The announcement came as Russian hockey fans celebrated a 2:1 victory over Canada in the quarter finals of this year's championships in Slovakia.

Speaking in Bratislava, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin thanked the International Hockey Federation in English for granting Russia the right to host the event.

Russia won the bid by default after rivals Denmark and Ukraine both withdrew, claiming they were not ready to host the competition. Denmark said it plans to bid to host the 2017 event, while Ukraine may be ready in 2018-19, President Dmitry Medvedev said.

Russia has the necessary facilities to host the event, but "a lot is still to be done," Medvedev said. The event has already been held in Russia twice since the beginning of the millennium.

The event will join the 2014 Winter Olympics and the 2018 Football World Cup in Russia's list of prestigious sporting events for the next decade.

BRATISLAVA, May 13 (RIA Novosti)

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