Russia wins bid to host 2016 worlds

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia -- Russia will host the 2016 ice hockey world championships in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Russia ended up winning the bid by default after its only rivals, Denmark and Ukraine, withdrew their bids at a congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation in the Slovak capital on Friday.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who attended the congress to support his country's bid, thanked the IIHF for its decision.

"Russia is eager to host this great tournament," Putin said.

Russia most recently hosted the worlds in 2000 and 2007, and with 25 titles, is the most successful team in tournament history.

Russia faced Finland in the semifinals in Bratislava on Friday.