Dutch aiming at golden double in hockey World Cup

PTI| Updated: Jun 11, 2014, 14:40 PM IST

The Hague (The Netherlands): With both their men`s and women`s teams marching into the semifinals, Australia, Argentina and the Netherlands would be eyeing the golden double when the last-four stage of the FIH Hockey World Cup is played out over the next two days here.

The Dutch are trying to improve on their performance in the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where they won the women`s gold medal, but the men lost the final to Germany.

The German men have failed to make the semifinals here in The Hague, missing out for only the second time in World Cup history. The only previous time they did not feature in the semifinals was in the inaugural World Cup at Barcelona in 1971.

Even in 1998, the only previous time that the International Hockey Federation sanctioned the joint hosting of the men and women`s World Cups -- in the Dutch city of Utrecht -- hosts Netherlands came close to achieving the dream double.

The Dutch men won the 1998 World Cup defeating Spain in the final, but the women lost the final to Australia. It is once again a city in The Netherlands playing hosts jointly to the men and women`s World Cups, and the Dutch fans are celebrating the giant strides both their teams have taken into the semifinals.

Also in the hunt for a title double are Australia, both of whose teams have made the semifinals. Australia are the defending champions in the men`s World Cup and their women`s team is showing rapid strides to reclaim the top spot.