Pakistani Olympic team to leave for China Thursday

2008-07-27 08:26:55 GMT       2008-07-27 16:26:55 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

ISLAMABAD, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The 35-member Pakistani delegation for the Beijing Olympic Games will leave for China on Thursday, with field hockey as hopes for a Olympic medal.

The Pakistani Olympic squad comprises 21 players and 14 officials.

Pakistan is only qualified to compete in the men's field hockey and some of its players are also going to participate in the Beijing Olympics with wild cards.

Pakistan, the three-time Olympic and four-time world champions, expects the country could retain its past glory in the 12-nation hockey event.

"Our endeavor was to form a combination having experience and youth in the ranks and the team announced for the grand event is capable of fetching glory", said President of Pakistan Hockey Federation Zafarullah Jamali earlier.

The Pakistan hockey team gained laurels for the country in the 1960, 1968 and 1984 Olympics separately, but has seen a slump in the past years.

Pakistan is placed in group B together with Australia, the Netherlands, Canada, Britain and South Africa. China, Germany, Spain, South Korea, New Zealand and Belgium are in group A.

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