Poor form will be a worry for China women's hockey team

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Current World ranking # 5 (1675 points)

Clubbed with the Netherlands, Great Britain, Japan, Korea and Belgium in Pool A at the London Games

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Best result: Won silver at the 2008 Beijing Games (lost to the Netherlands 0-2 in the final).

Last Olympics: Won silver.

The Chinese eves have gradually improved their performance at the Olympics ever since their maiden participation at the 2000 Sydney Games. That year, they finished fifth and at the 2004 Athens Games, fourth.

Four years ago, the Chinese women earned great applause for their magnificent show against teams like Australia and Germany, the defending champions whom they defeated in the semi-final. China have also played in all World Cups since 1990 and their best result was winning the bronze in the 2002 edition. They finished tenth and eighth at the 2006 and 2010 WCs.

The Road to London:
China qualified for the London Games automatically once they reached the 2010 Asian Games final in Guangzhou. They beat Korea in penalty shoot-outs to win the Asian Games title. But the Chinese have not been able to produce good performance since their qualification for the London Games. Recently, they lost three matches against the Netherlands.

Players to watch out for:
Forward Baorong Fu who was a prolific scorer for the Chinese at the Beijing Games will be keenly watched. She also found place in FIH All-Star teams four times between 2006 and 2010. Defender Yibo Ma, another All-Star team member is another key player. Known to be a potent penalty-corner striker, Yibo had a horrible outing at the Beijing Games and will look to make up for that. Qingling Song and Yudiao Zhao will lead the young lot while goal-keeper Yimeng Zhang will need to repeat her 2008 performance if the team is to attain similar heights.

1. High speed and fitness level. They keep coming at the opposition and the swift forwards can make a key difference.
2. Doing good at the Olympics is always a priority for the Chinese.

1. Can struggle against experienced teams.
2. Midfield is a weak link.
3. Recent form is a concern.

Chances to progress at the London Olympics: 3/10
Repeating the 2008 feat will not be easy this time for four years ago, the home support had played a big role in boosting the team. All other teams in China's groups are in good form, including the lowly-placed Belgium, and given the current form of the Chinese women, reaching the semifinals will be a tough ask. Nevertheless, the Asian triangular battle between China, Japan and Korea will undoubtedly be an intense affair. China will play their first match against Korea on Jul 29.

Ye Ren (c), Yimeng Zhang (gk), Qiuxia Cui, Baorong Fu, Jiaojiao De, Lihua Gao, Wei Ma, Meiyu Liang, Hongxia Li, Yibo Ma, Yang Peng, Sinan Sun, Xiaoxu Xu, Yudiao Zhao, Qingling Song and Mengyu Wang. Reserves: Dongxiao (gk) and Chunling Tang.

South Korean Kim Sang Ryl took over as the coach of the Chinese women's hockey team from another South Korean Kim Chang-back after the Beijing Games. He was in charge of the Chinese men's team in Beijing. He also coached the Korean women's team upto the 2004 Games. He said the coach's knowledge, the team's hard work and the government's support are key for any side's success or failure.

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