German eves will look to break the 'fourth-placed' jinx

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Current World Ranking # 3 (1765 points)

Clubbed with Australia, South Africa, USA, Argentina and New Zealand in Pool B at the London Games.

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Best result: Won gold in the 2004 Athens Games after defeating the Netherlands 2-1. They had won silver in the 1984 Los Angeles and 1992 Barcelona Games.

Last Olympics: Finished fourth.

The German women's hockey team has seen a slight slump in the form in the last few years and has struggled to finish among the top three at major tournaments. They finished fourth at the Beijing Games in 2008, the 2010 World Cup in Rosario and also at the 2009, 2010 and 2012 Champions Trophies. Their last international trophy had come in 2007 in the form of the European Championship title.

The Road to London:
The German women earned their ticket to London after defeating Spain in the 2011 European Championship semi-finals to reach the finals. They lost to the Netherlands 0-3 in the final. Germany finished third after the Netherlands and Australia in the recent Investec London Cup and won two test matches against Australia in the run-up to the London Games.

Players to watch out for:
Veteran Natascha Keller is a key player in the side. The 34-year-old striker has over 400 caps and 203 goals to her credit. Another significance of Natascha, popularly known as 'Taschi' is that she is the fourth and first female member from her family to have won an Olympic hockey medal. Her grandfather, father and two brothers have won hockey medals in the past. This will be Natascha's fifth and final Olympics. Fanny Rinne is another veteran player in the squad who will retire after this year's Olympics. Mandy Haase, Christina Schütze, Julia Müller, Janne Müller-Wieland, Maike Stöckel, Nina Hasselmann and young players like Celine Wilde and Lisa Hahn will be also watched closely.

Plus:
1. Superb team game.
2. Three members of the 2004 gold-winning team are still there in the current squad.
3. Play variation game.
4. High fitness level.

Minus:
1. Absence of players like Eileen Hoffmann and Janine Beermann and Julia Karwatzky.
2. Lack of a good flicker at penalty corners.
3. First shot on goal not the strongest point of the team.
4. Tendency to concede early goals.

Chances of progress at the London Games: 8/10
The Germans have been training hard for this year's Olympics and will look to improve their ranking above being fourth. They will also fight for some of the seniors who are set to retire from international hockey after serving the team for a long period. A semi-final berth looks certain for the side. Germany will kick off their campaign against the USA on Jul 29.

Squad:
Yvonne Frank (gk), Anke Brockmann, Lisa Hahn, Kristina Hillmann, Mandy Haase, Nina Hasselmann, Maike Stöckel, Natascha Keller, Marie Mävers, Jennifer Plass, Fanny Julia Müller, Janne Müller-Wieland, Katharina Otte, Rinne, Christina Schütze and Celine Wilde. P-accredited athletes: Kristina Reynolds (gk) and Jana Teschke.

Coach:
Michael Behrmann, 45, is the head coach of the team since 2006 after Markus Weise shifted to the men's section. Behrmann also coached the U-21 women's team. A hockey player himself in the past, his only title with the senior women's team came in the 2007 European Championship.

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