Olympics: mission chief ‘more than happy’

The head of the Dutch Olympic mission Charles van Commenée is ‘more than happy’ at the performance of the Dutch team, he is quoted as saying in Monday’s AD.

The athletes return home on Monday afternoon and will be taken straight to the Olympic stadium in Amsterdam, where thousands of supporters are expected to greet them.
The Netherlands ended in 12th place on the medals table, with seven gold, five silver and four bronze. The Dutch position was six places higher than at the Athens Olympics even though fewer medals were won.
‘This shows our ambition to reach the top 10 is realistic,’ Commenée said. ‘You need to have high ambitions. You only jump higher if you raise the bar.’
He said coaches and athletes would now analyse their performance and look at what needs to be done to reach the top 10. It was gratifying to see what a broad range of events the Dutch had won medals in – nine in total.
There were also disappointments, he said, referring to a number of swimmers and cyclists who had been expected to take medals and who were not on top form. ‘That was bad planning,’ he said.
And he warned that the Netherlands would find it increasingly difficult to win. Success is not only a question of putting more money into the team. Talent also has to be nourished.

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