Lausanne (Switzerland) | Asian Games champions and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallists India are place in a tough Pool B in the men's hockey competition at this year's Paris Games.
Eight-time champions India, who clinched a historic bronze medal in Tokyo after a hiatus of 41 years, have been clubbed with reigning Olympic champions and world no.2 Belgium, mighty Australia, Rio Games gold medallist Argentina, New Zealand and Ireland.
The Indians are currently ranked third in the world, behind Belgium and the Netherlands, and they had found it tough to beat Tokyo silver medallist Australia and Argentina in the past.
Pool A, meanwhile, consists of Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, France and South Africa.
The International Hockey Federation announced the pools of both men's and women's hockey competition after the completion of the FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifiers on Sunday.
In the women's competition in Paris, there will be no representation from India, who finished a creditable fourth in Tokyo, as they failed to qualify, having finished fourth after losing to Japan 0-1 in the Olympic Qualifiers in Ranchi on Friday.
Germany, USA and Japan sealed their berths from the Ranchi event.
Reigning Olympic champions Netherlands are placed in Pool A with Belgium Germany, Japan, China and hosts France, while Pool B comprises Australia, current silver medallist Argentina, Great Britain, Spain, USA and South Africa.
The participating teams have been allocated their respective pools on the basis of the FIH World Rankings as on Sunday.
The 12 teams per gender have qualified for the Olympic Games either as hosts, winner of their continental qualifier or top three finisher of their FIH Hockey Olympic Qualifier.
The top four teams from each pool in both men's and women's competitions will qualify for the quarterfinals.
The Paris Olympics will be held from July 26 till August 11 and hockey competitions will start from July 27 and end on August 9.