• Kyodo


The Japanese men’s team will be placed in Group B with Paraguay, Ghana and Italy in the first round of this summer’s Athens Olympics, it was announced in Wednesday’s draw.

Japan’s women, meanwhile, are scheduled to face Sweden and Nigeria in Group E.

The men’s squad, which will be aiming for a podium finish for the first time since capturing a bronze medal at the Mexico Games in 1968, will play Paraguay on Aug. 12, Italy on Aug. 15 and Ghana on Aug. 18.

It is the team’s third straight Olympics appearance and seventh overall.

The women, who captured an Olympic berth for only the second time, will play Sweden on Aug. 11 and Nigeria on Aug. 14.

In total, 16 men’s teams will compete in four rounds and 10 women’s teams in three in the tournament, which kicks off Aug. 11, two days prior to the opening ceremony.

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