A roadmap to follow for the field hockey competition during the Paris Olympics:

Athletes to Watch

—Yibbi Jansen, Netherlands: With three-time gold medal-winning Lidewij Welten gone, the favored Dutch are relying on the next generation of talent for their pursuit of back-to-back Olympic titles. Jansen leads that group, having already scored 60 goals for the national team at age 24.

—Harmanpreet Singh, India: The 28-year-old captain of the world’s sixth-ranked team is tasked with helping his country medal in field hockey again after taking home bronze in Tokyo.

—Amanda Golini, United States: A key performer on an American team that lacks Olympic experience, the 29-year-old midfielder from Randolph, New Jersey, has played internationally at other competitions, and she should be one of the leaders as a co-captain.

—Florent van Aubel, Belgium: The 32-year-old forward was the leading scorer for Belgium in Olympic qualifying. He is expected to be a crucial part of the offensive attack for the defending champions.

Storylines to Follow

—Ranked No. 1 in the world on either side, the Netherlands is looking to become the first country to sweep the men’s and women’s competitions since 1980, when women’s field hockey entered the Olympics. Nearby Belgium presents the biggest threat on the men’s side after winning gold at the pandemic-delayed 2021 Tokyo Games in a penalty shootout against Australia. Traditionally strong Argentina and Germany are two of the top contenders for the women’s tournament.

—The U.S. women — back after missing Tokyo, while the men did not qualify — are aiming for a long-shot bid at the country’s third Olympic medal and first since bronze in 1984.

—Field hockey will take place at Stade Yves-du-Manoir in Colombes on the outskirts of the city, the only 2024 venue that was used when Paris hosted the Games in 1924.

Key Dates

Group play begins July 27, including the U.S. women playing the first of their five Pool B games against Argentina. The quarterfinals are Aug. 4 for the men and Aug. 5 for the women, followed by the men’s semifinals on Aug. 6 and the women on Aug. 7. The men’s medal matches are Aug. 8, and the women close out their tourney on Aug. 9.

Reigning Olympic Champions

Women: Netherlands.

Men: Belgium.

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AP Olympics https://apnews.com/hub/2024-paris-olympic-games