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2024 Olympics: India Placed in Pool B of Men’s Hockey, To Begin Campaign vs NZ

#Olympics | 12-time medallists India are placed in a tough group, alongside Belgium and Australia.

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The pools for the men’s hockey competition at the 2024 Paris Olympics were revealed on Wednesday (6 March), with the Indian team placed in Group B, where they will be up against Belgium, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Ireland.

India, the 12-time medallists in men’s hockey at the Olympics, qualified for the 2024 edition after winning the gold medal at the 2023 Asian Games. The third-ranked team in the world will begin their campaign on 27 July, with a fixture against the 11th-ranked New Zealand, who won the gold medal at the 1976 edition in Canada.

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Following the match against New Zealand, India will take on Argentina in their second encounter. Currently occupying the seventh place in FIH’s world rankings, Los Loenes had won the gold medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

India’s third match will be played on 30 July, against the comparatively weakest team on paper in Pool B – Ireland. Albeit, Craig Fulton’s team will have a challenging end to their pool-stage campaign, as they will be up against two heavyweights in Belgium and Australia in their last couple of fixtures.

Against Belgium, the defending champions and currently second-ranked international team, India will be competing on 1 August, whilst on the very next day, Harmanpreet Singh and his boys will be up against the sixth-ranked Australia, who have ten Olympics medals in their cabinet.

Indian men’s hockey team’s schedule for 2024 Paris Olympics:

  • 27 July – India vs New Zealand (9pm)

  • 29 July – India vs Argentina (4:15pm)

  • 30 July – India vs Ireland (4:45pm)

  • 1 August – India vs Belgium (1:30pm)

  • 2 August – India vs Australia (4:45pm)

(All timings are in IST).

India’s Recent Form Is Not Particularly Inspiring Confidence

After winning the Asian Games gold medal in October 2023, India’s performance has not been particularly inspiring. Currently competing at the 2023-24 Men’s FIH Pro League, India are placed third in the standings, with three wins, two draws and as many defeats in eight matches.

They won two, drew one and lost one of their four matches in the Bhubaneshwar leg of the competition. In the recently-concluded Rourkela leg, they did not suffer a defeat, but could only win one of their four matches as India were held to draws in the other three fixtures.

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