India faces tough challenge in Pool B at Paris 2024 Olympic hockey games

India in Pool B of the Paris 2024 Olympic Hockey Games, where they vie for a quarterfinal spot against formidable opponents like Belgium and Australia.

India, the bronze medallists at the Tokyo Olympic Games, are set to embark on a challenging journey in Pool B of the 33rd Olympic Games hockey competition in Paris. The draw, conducted in Lausanne, Switzerland, placed India alongside defending champions Belgium, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, and Ireland in a formidable six-team pool.

The International Hockey Federation (FIH) revealed the pools after the completion of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers, with the participating teams based on the FIH World Rankings as of January 21. India, ranked third in the latest FIH World Rankings, shares Pool B with other strong contenders.

To secure a spot in the quarterfinals, eight-time Olympic gold medallists India must finish among the top four in the pool stage. The quarterfinals are scheduled for August 4, followed by the semifinals on August 6 and the finals on August 8.

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In the men’s competition, Pool A consists of the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, France, and South Africa. The groupings are determined by the rankings, with Pool A comprising teams ranked first, fourth, fifth, eighth, ninth, and 12th, while Pool B includes teams ranked second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, 10th, and 11th.

For the women’s competition, Pool A features world and Olympic champions the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan, China, and France. In Pool B, Australia, Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, the United States, and South Africa form a competitive lineup.

Both the men’s and women’s teams have qualified for the Olympic Games through various criteria, including hosting, winning Continental Qualifiers, or finishing in the top three of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers.

-IANS

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