75 Days To Paris 2024: Men's Hockey Skipper Harmanpreet Says Team Is In 'Last Stages Of An Intense Training Block'

(MENAFN- IANS) Bengaluru, May 12 (IANS) As 75 days are left for the commencement of the Paris 2024 Olympics where the Indian men's Hockey team will take the field at the Yves-du-Manior Stadium in quest to end 44-year gold medal drought, skipper Harmanpreet Singh has said the team entered "last stages of an intense training block" in their preparation for the marque event.

India have to overcome the reigning Olympic Champions Belgium (World No. 2), Australia (World No. 3), Argentina (World No. 7), New Zealand (World No. 10), and Ireland (World No. 11) in Pool B to secure a top-four finish in the pool to progress to the quarterfinals.

Meanwhile, Pool A comprises the world's top-ranked team, the Netherlands, alongside Germany, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa, and hosts France, setting the stage for an intense battle in the 12-team men's hockey tournament at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

India will begin their campaign on July 27 against New Zealand, followed by a match against Argentina on July 29 before facing Ireland and Belgium on July 30 and August 1. They will play their last group stage game against Australia on August 2.

"We are in the last stages of an intense training block right now. The team has worked on the areas we felt needed attention after the Tour of Australia. Soon, we will head to Europe to play some essential matches in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2023/24 to test ourselves against some tough opponents like Argentina, Belgium, Germa

"The chemistry in the squad continues to grow and with only 75 days left for the Paris 2024 Olympics we are working to be in the best shape possible," said Harmanpreet.

Meanwhile, vice-captain Hardik Singh expressed his excitement for the Paris 2024 Olympics saying, "The team is leaving no stone unturned in our endeavour to change the colour of our previous medal and clinch Gold at the Olympics this time. We have players like PR Sreejesh and Manpreet Singh who could be playing their fourth Olympics along with quite a few players who could be playing their third Olympics, including our Captain.

"Their experience has been instrumental in moulding some of the younger players we have in the squad right now. Only 75 days remain for the Paris 2024 Olympics and we cannot wait to begin our Olympic journey."

India has a rich history in hockey at the Olympics. They won their first Gold Medal after beating the Netherlands 3-0 in the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam and went on to dominate, winning Gold Medals in the 1932, 1936, 1948, 1952, 1956, 1964, and 1980 Olympics.

In addition to their 8 Gold Medals, India claimed a silver medal in 1960 and 3 bronze medals in 1968, 1972, and the previous Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, making them the most successful men's hockey team in the Olympics with 12 Medals.



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