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Aug. 3, 2016 — Olympic field hockey preview: Pool B

This morning, we continue our Olympic preview by looking at the Americans’ opposition within Pool B:

ARGENTINA
How they got here:  Made FIH World League Semifinals
Key players: Noel Barrionuevo, Delfina Marino, Carla Rebecchi
Outlook: Argentina is on a good run of form, as it won its ninth Champions’ Trophy last month. But for all of the Albicelestes’ successes on the international level, they have never won an Olympics

AUSTRALIA
How they got here: Won Oceania Cup
Key players: Madonna Blyth, Casey (Eastman) Sablowski, Georgie Parker
Outlook: The Hockeyroos have undergone some upheaval since their second-place finish at the 2014 FIH World Cup. One notable absence is Anna Flanagan, who was convicted of drunk driving and failed to report it to governing authorities. Some 3/4 of the team will be making their debut at Rio

GREAT BRITAIN
How they got here: Won Eurohockey Championship
Key players: Kate Walsh-Richardson, Helen Walsh-Richardson, Alex Danson, Georgie Twigg
Outlook: Much was expected from this side at the Champions Trophy in London, but crashed out of pool play with a draw and four defeats. Though this team competes as Team GB, there’s nobody from Scotland or Wales in the side

INDIA
How they got here: Made FIH World League Semifinals
Key players: Sushalia Chanu, Savita Punia, Vandana Kataria
Outlook: India were the gods of the game in the middle of the 20th Century on the men’s side before the imposition of artificial turf. The Eves, possibly inspired by the Bollywood film Chak De! India, are now in their first Olympics.

JAPAN
How they got here: Made FIH World League Semifinals
Key players: Miyuki Nakagawa, Sakiyo Asano, Hazuki Yuda
Outlook: The Red Samurai are the current holders of the Asia Champions Trophy and the Asia Cup, but have never finished higher than eighth at any Olympics. At the very least, the team knows that it will be in the next Olympics, as the host nation

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