Team sport failures shrink Dutch Olympic squad

The Netherlands’ team for this summer’s Olympics in London is set to be smaller than in recent years, because of the failure to qualify for most team sports, the Parool reported on Tuesday.

At the weekend, the Dutch women’s handball team became the latest to fail to qualify. The women’s water polo and volleyball teams had been excluded earlier.
This means the only teams representing the Netherlands will be the men and women’s hockey teams, the Parool says. Dutch athletes will also be taking part in track and field events, gymnastics, swimming, cycling and equestrianism.
Olympic chief Maurits Hendriks tells the paper he expects the final squad to be around 175 athletes strong. In Beijing (2008), the Netherlands took a team of 239 athletes, in Athens (2004) 210 and in Sydney (2000), 231.
Part of the reason for the decline is that softball and baseball are no longer considered to be Olympic sports. Nor is the Netherlands taking part in the football event this time, the paper says.

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