Millennium Post

India to face stern Dutch test in Olympics hockey opener

Eight-time champions India will start their campaign against The Netherlands on 30th July in the men's hockey competition of London Olympics.

The London Olympic Organising Committee, alongwith the International Hockey Federation (FIH), on Tuesday unveiled the hockey competition schedule.

India, who have been clubbed with Germany, Korea, New Zealand, Belgium and Netherlands in Pool B, will play their next match on 1st  August against the Black Caps.

India, which won its first Olympic gold medal in 1928, will next take on the current Olympic champions Germany on 3rd August, before locking horns with Korea a day after. India will play Belgium in their last preliminary match on 7th August.

The matches will be played at the Riverbank Arena of the Olympic Park.

In the women's competition, Australia take on neighbours New Zealand, while host Great Britain's first match will be against Japan. The current Olympic champions the Netherlands will open campaign against Belgium, who are making their first appearance at an Olympic Games.

Indian women have failed to qualify for the Olympics.

'As the London Games approach, the excitement in the hockey world continues to build. Now that we know the official schedule of the men's and women's tournaments, the dream of one of the most highly anticipated Olympic Games is quickly becoming a reality,' Leandro Negre, FIH President, said.

'We look forward to working with LOCOG in the next few months to make sure that everything is ready to welcome the world's top hockey players to an unforgettable Games,' he said in a release.

Based on world rankings, the 12 teams in both men's and women's sections are divided into two pools of six and each team plays every other in their pool.

The top two teams in each pool qualify for semifinals, with the winners then going head-to-head for the gold medal.

The other teams in the two groups play each other to determine final placement.

Schedule of men's hockey competition:

Pool A: Australia, Great Britain, Spain, Pakistan, Argentina, South Africa.

Pool B: Germany, Netherlands, Korea, New Zealand, India, Belgium.

July 30: Korea vs New Zealand; Australia vs South Africa; Spain vs Pakistan; Netherlands vs India; Great Britain vs Argentina; Germany vs Belgium.

August 1: Spain vs Australia; Belgium vs Netherlands; New Zealand vs India; South Africa vs Great Britain; Pakistan vs Argentina; Korea vs Germany.

August 3: Australia vs Argentina; Netherlands vs New Zealand; Germany vs India; Great Britain vs Pakistan; South Africa vs Spain; Belgium vs Korea.

August 5: New Zealand vs Belgium; Pakistan vs South Africa; India vs Korea; Netherlands vs Germany; Great Britain vs Australia; Argentina vs Spain.

August 7: Australia vs Pakistan; Korea vs Netherlands; Argentina vs South Africa; India vs Belgium; Spain vs Great Britain; Germany vs New Zealand.

August 9 : 9th-10th Place: 5th Pool A vs 5th Pool B

: 7th-8th Place: 4th Pool A vs 4th Pool B

: Semifinal 1

: Semifinal 2

August 11: 11th-12th Place: 6th Pool A vs 6th Pool B

: 5th-6th Place: 3rd Pool A vs 3rd Pool B

: Bronze Medal Match

: Gold Medal Match.
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