India to take on Holland in opener

India to take on Holland in opener

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

The London Olympic Organising Committee, along with 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 August 1 against the Black Sticks.

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

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 their campaign against Belgium.

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,” FIH president Leandro Negre said.

The 12 teams in both men’s and women’s sections are divided into two pools of six and play each other in their pool once in round-robin format. The top two teams in each pool qualify for semifinals.

The schedule:

Men: 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.

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

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

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

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

Aug 9 : 9th-10th place play-off: Pool A 5th vs Pool B 5th; 7th-8th place play-off: Pool A 4th vs Pool B 4th; Semifinal :  (Pool A 1st vs Pool B 2nd); Semifinal 2: (Pool B 1st vs Pool A 2nd).

Aug 11: 11th-12th place play-off: Pool A 6th vs Pool B 6th; 5th-6th place play-off: Pool A 3rd vs Pool B 3rd; Bronze medal play-off; Gold medal match.

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