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Dutch test awaits India in Olympics

A team that included hockey wizard Dhyan Chand defeated the Netherlands 3-0 in the men's hockey final when India made its Olympic debut at Amsterdam in 1928. That was the first of India's six successive gold medals in the quadrennial extravaganza. HT reports. India’s schedule

india Updated: Jun 27, 2012 13:10 IST
HT Correspondent

A team that included hockey wizard Dhyan Chand defeated the Netherlands 3-0 in the men's hockey final when India made its Olympic debut at Amsterdam in 1928. That was the first of India's six successive gold medals in the quadrennial extravaganza.

Eight-time champions India are back in the Olympics after a eight-year hiatus and Michael Nobbs' boys will start their 2012 London Olympics campaign against World No 3 Holland at the Riverbank Arena on July 30.

The Netherlands, who won successive Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2000, are rebuilding their team and at times have looked rather vulnerable to pressure in recent times. India and Holland have figured in some close encounters in recent years but it would still be an uphill task for the Indians when they appear for their Dutch test.

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India next take on New Zealand on August 1 and meet defending champions Germany on August 3. India will round-off their Group B engagements against Korea (Aug 5) and Belgium (Aug 7) in the six-team pool, according to the schedule released on Tuesday.

World Champions Australia, hosts Great Britain World No 5 Spain, Asian Games champion Pakistan, South American powerhouse Argentina and African qualifier South Africa comprise Group A in the 12-team competition. Pakistan start their campaign against Spain on July 30.

Long wait
The top two teams in from each pool will figure in the semi-finals that would be played on August 9 while the bronze medal match and final are scheduled for August 11. The women's teams will start the hockey competition at London on July 29. In all 76 matches will be played during the 14-day competition.

Locked in a strong group, India, ranked 10th in FIH world rankings, will be taking part in the quadrennial event after a eight-year hiatus and would be hoping to finish in the top six.