Olympics hockey: India to take on Holland in 1st match

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London Olympics
New Delhi, May 23: Eight-time champions India will start their campaign against The Netherlands on July 30 in the men's hockey competition of 2012 London Olympics.

The London Olympic Organising Committee, along with the International Hockey Federation (FIH), has unveiled the hockey competition schedule.

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

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.

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.

"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.


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