(Reuters) Focus on hockey at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics:
THE ABSOLUTE BASIS
* For both men’s and women’s hockey, 12 countries will compete in two groups of six. The top four teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals.
* Each team plays with 11 players with rolling substitutions allowed.
* Matches last 60 minutes, played over four 15 minute periods.
HOW MANY MEDALS?
One gold in each tournament.
WHAT HAPPENED IN RIO?
Argentina became the first South American team to win Olympic gold in the men’s tournament after beating Belgium in the final.
In the women’s tournament, Great Britain dethroned tournament favorites the Netherlands in a shootout to take home their first Olympic gold medal in women’s hockey.
WHAT CAN WE EXPECT IN TOKYO?
Defending champion Argentina will once again be in the mix, but Belgium, Australia, Germany, the Netherlands and India are the most likely medal contenders.
In the women’s tournament, Great Britain is favorites after taking gold and bronze at the previous two Games with the Netherlands, champions in 2008 and 2012, which they expected to push to their limits.
Japanese men, who made their last Olympic appearance at the Mexico City Games in 1968, have qualified as hosts this time.
WHEN DOES IT HAPPEN?
From July 24 to Aug 6.
WHERE DOES IT HAPPEN?
At the Oi Hockey Stadium, which was newly built in a park near Tokyo Bay.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
Hockey became an Olympic sport at the 1908 Games in London. It has been at every Olympic Games since, except for the 1912 and 1924 Games. The women’s tournament was added at the 1980 Moscow Games.
The games will usually be played in the morning and evening, reportedly due to concerns about the impact of Tokyo’s sweltering summer heat on players, as well as permission for planes to use a flight path over Tokyo to Haneda airport, which about 5 km away. from the hockey venue.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; editing by Peter Rutherford)
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