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Last Updated: Saturday July 05 2008 09:59 GMT

Olympic Diaries: Men's hockey team

Jonty, Rich and Simon from the Team GB hockey team

The Olympic Games get going in August in Beijing, China.

Team GB is sending a strong team, hoping to win more medals than four years ago when the Games were held in Athens, Greece.

As the opening ceremony gets closer, Sportsround is finding out about the Games from five people taking part in the event including Jonty, Rich and Simon from the Team GB hockey team.


HOCKEY - MEN'S TEAM

ENTRY THREE

RICH: We can't wait to play against top athletes from all over the world - it's a fantastic opportunity! Successful hockey teams score from their corners so we've been working hard in training to make sure they're absolutely right.

Not long to go now until our first game against Pakistan. They're ranked just above us in the pool but we beat them in the World Cup two years ago. We also face Australia, Canada, Holland and South Africa in what will be a difficult group.

It's important we start with a win and then hopefully do enough to finish in the top two, which is where we need to be in order to qualify for the semi-finals. If we get there anything can happen!


ENTRY TWO

JONTY: This is my first Olympic Games so this summer will be very special personally. It's brilliant because we are competing against the world's best on the world's greatest sporting stage.

We are really focused on our first match against Pakistan on 11th August. None of us are thinking about medals at this stage.

We are ranked seventh in the tournament so we will be taking one game at a time, but we still hope to perform pretty well.

There are 10 members of my family going over to Beijing to cheer on the team which is great! My dad (England's highest-capped indoor player) has always told me just to go out and enjoy myself so that's what I'll be doing.


ENTRY ONE

JONTY: The whole team can't wait to get to Beijing and play. It's been a long build-up. We've been together three days a week every week since October last year. For us, now, it's almost within touching distance.

Rich during goal practice
SIMON: I love playing in a team sport. It's one of the reasons I got into hockey. I've got my brother Rich on the team. We play at different ends of the pitch, luckily. So, we're not fighting for the same place. He plays at the back and I play up front.

RICH: It's good having a brother on the team. The only downside for me is that wherever we go in the world, he's always around saying 'can I borrow a fiver for a sandwich?'.


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