Black Sticks women will look to improve their Olympic show

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Current World Ranking # 6 (1615 points)

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

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Best result: Finished sixth in 1984 Los Angeles, 2000 Sydney and 2004 Athens Games.

Last Olympics: Finished twelfth

The New Zealand women's hockey team has never won an Olympic medal but the team of late has been doing better. The New Zealand eves had won silver in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2011 Champions Trophy. They also won gold at the 2005 and 2009 editions of Champions Challenge and defeated Australia to bag the Oceania Cup in 2011. New Zealand will look to improve their performance at London Games, their sixth Olympic.

The Road to London:
The Black Sticks women's team qualified for London as 2011 Oceania Cup champions. It was the first time ever that they had won a three-match series against Australia (2-1).

Players to watch out for:
Skipper Kayla Sharland, Emile Naylor, Krystal Forgesson, Gemma Flynn are some of the players with Olympic experience under their belt. They also have Stacey Michelsen, the FIH Young Player of the Year 2011, in their ranks. The experienced goalkeeper Bianca Russell and fierce striker Anita Punt are other assets of the team.

1. All-round skill with high work-ethic.
2. High fitness-level, versatility, speed and passionate approach.

1. Twelve players in the squad will make their debut this Olympic which makes it a little inexperienced.
2. Inconsistent at the highest level at times.

Chances of progress at London Games: 3/10
New Zealand's chances of making the semifinals won't be easy and they have to be very consistent to overcome some of the tough oppositions. However, one can say that after finishing last at the Beijing Games four years ago, the Kiwis can only fare better. New Zealand will play their first match against Australia on Jul 29.

Kayla Sharland, Emily Naylor, Krystal Forgesson, Alana Millington, Ella Gunson, Sam Charlton, Cathryn Finlayson, Clarissa Eshuis, Katie Glynn, Sam Harrison, Gemma Flynn, Charlotte Harrison, Melody Cooper, Bianca Russell (gk), Stacey Michelsen and Anita Punt. Reserves: Sally Rutherford (gk), Julia King.

Former Australian hockey player Mark Hager, a veteran of 230 caps and 179 goals. He is in charge of the Black Sticks since 2009. He guided the team to some of its recent achievements. Part of the Australian team which had won bronze in the 1996 Games, Hager served as the assistant coach for the Australian men's and women's teams, the Australian Institute of Sport and also Australia's junior men and women.

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