The Dutch polosters have been assigned to the Spanish European champions in the draw for the Tokyo Olympic tournament next summer on Sunday. The reigning Olympic and world champion, the United States, is in the other group.
The Netherlands, ninth in the world rankings, will compete in the group stage in addition to Spain (third in the world) also against Canada (sixth in the world), Australia (seventh in the world) and debutant South Africa (twentieth in the world)).
The other group consists of the United States, Russia, China, Hungary and Japan. The top four countries from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.
The United States will be the favorites in Tokyo. The Americans are the 2012 and 2016 Olympic champions and the 2015, 2017 and 2019 world champions. Spain are the best team in the Orange group on paper. The southern European country won silver at the World Cup in 2019 and gold at the European Championship a year later.
Last month, the Dutch polosters qualified for the first time since the historic 2008 Olympic title for the Games. The 2018 European champion needed a place in the final of the Olympic qualifying tournament in Trieste. The Dutch grabbed a ticket to Tokyo this week.
The postponed Summer Games will take place from July 23 to August 8.