LAUSANNE (TIP): Eight-time champions India have been clubbed alongside title holders Germany and world no. 2 Netherlands in Pool B at the men’s hockey competitions of 2016 Rio Olympics.
Besides, Germany and Netherlands, the team Sardar Singh and his men defeated en route to the bronze medal in the Hockey World League Final earlier this month, other teams in the seventh ranked India’s pool are Argentina (ranked 6th), Ireland (12th) and Canada (14th).
The teams in Pool A are reigning world and Hockey World League champions Australia, currently ranked number one in the world, Great Britain (4th), 2015 Hockey World League runners up Belgium (5th); New Zealand (8th); Spain (11th) and hosts Brazil
The hockey event in Rio Olympics will be played according to the new format i.e knock-out quarterfinal round and India just need to beat lower-ranked Ireland and Canada to qualify for the last eight stage.
Meanwhile, the Indian eves, the lowest ranked team in Rio, have been placed along side Argentina (2nd), Australia (3rd), Great Britain (6th), USA (7th) and Japan (10th) in Pool B.
While Pool A in the women’s section consists of defending Olympic and reigning world champions Netherlands, 2015 Hockey World League runners-up New Zealand (4th), China (5th), Germany (8th), Korea (9th) and Spain (14th).
The International Hockey Federation (FIH) confirmed the line-up on Monday after Spain women and New Zealand men teams have officially accepted invitations to participate in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games hockey events.
Spain women and New Zealand men were invited to participate following the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee’s (SASCOC) decision to reject invitations for South Africa’s men’s and women’s hockey teams, a statement from the FIH read.