Mumbai: Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medallist India have been placed in a tough Pool B along with defending champion Belgium, World No.5 Australia and No.7 seed Argentina in the hockey competition of the 33rd Olympic Games in Paris to be held from July 27 to August 8.
New Zealand and Ireland are the other teams in the six-team Pool B. World No.1 the Netherlands, World Champion Germany, the 1988 Seoul Olympics gold medallist Great Britain, three-time silver medallist Spain, hosts France and South Africa have been placed in Pool A in the 12-team competition.
"Following the completion of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers yesterday, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) can reveal the Pools of the Paris 2024 Olympic hockey tournaments," the FIH announced after the draw was conducted in Lausanne, Switzerland, on Monday.
Eight-time Olympic gold medallists India will have to finish among the top four to qualify for the quarterfinal stage, which will be played on August 4. The semifinals will be played on August 6 while the finals will be played on August 8.
The participating teams have been allocated to their respective pools based on the FIH World Rankings on January 21.
Teams ranked first, fourth, fifth, eighth, ninth and 12th comprise Pool A while teams ranked second, third, fourth, sixth, seventh, 10th and 11th have been included in Pool B.
India are ranked third in the latest FIH World Rankings updated at the end of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers and therefore find themselves in the second group.
In the women's competition, World and Olympic champions the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan, China and France find themselves in Pool A.
Women's World No.2 Australia, third-ranked Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, United States and South Africa are in Pool B.
The 12 teams per gender have qualified for the Olympic Games either as hosts, winners of their Continental Qualifier or Top three finishers of their FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier. (IANS)
: The Pools :
Pool A: Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, France and South Africa
Pool B: Belgium, India, Australia, Argentina, New Zealand and Ireland
Pool A: Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan, China and France
Pool B: Australia, Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, United States and South Africa