By harnessing our full potential, we can beat anyone: Harmanpreet

New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) The anticipation for the 2024 Paris Olympics has reached a crescendo as the International Hockey Federation (FIH) unveiled the much-anticipated schedule for the tournament on Wednesday.

The Indian Men’s Hockey Team, under the steadfast leadership of Captain Harmanpreet Singh, is poised to commence their campaign on July 27 against New Zealand.

India will next take on Argentina on July 29 before facing Ireland and Belgium on July 30 and August 1. They will play their last group-stage game against the mighty Australians on August 2.

Ranked world no 4, India are placed in Pool B alongside formidable opponents: reigning Olympic Champions Belgium (world No. 2), Australia (world No. 5), Argentina (world No. 7), New Zealand (world No. 10), and Ireland (world No. 12).

Notably, Argentina and Australia also have etched their names as former Olympic Champions.

Expressing his thoughts on the fixtures, Captain Harmanpreet Singh conveyed his enthusiasm and determination, saying, “Competing in Pool B is going to be challenging, given the undeniable potential of every team to emerge victorious on any given day. But we stand steadfast, mentally and physically prepared for every challenge that paves our journey at the Paris Olympics. As a collective force, our mindset is unwaveringly centered on our strengths, as we believe that by harnessing our full potential, we can beat anyone.”

Also, reflecting on India’s historic achievement at Tokyo 2020, where they secured a Bronze medal after a 41-year gap, Harmanpreet remarked, “Tokyo was a monumental moment, and we’re determined to carry that momentum into Paris.”

“Our goal is straightforward – to upgrade the colour of the medal by aiming for Gold. Taking it one step at a time, our initial focus is on advancing through the group stage and securing a spot in the Quarter-Finals. With our experience and skill set, we believe we’re strong contenders for a podium finish,” he added.

Meanwhile, world No. 1 the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, South Africa and hosts France make up Pool A of the 12-team men’s hockey tournament at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

In line with the tournament structure, teams will engage in one match each during the group stage, with the top four from each pool advancing to the Quarter-Finals.

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