A string of gold medals and world titles has made 2014 the most successful year in Dutch sports history, the Volkskrant says on Wednesday.
The Dutch share of this year’s world titles and Olympic medals is 6.46%, the paper says. Dutch teams and individuals won one in 15 titles, including the hockey World Cup, eight speeding skating titles, plus golds in cycling, racing and show jumping.
Over the first nine months of this year, 325 golds (excluding Olympic medals) have been handed out, according to research by sports data group Infostrada. Russia heads the Infostrada ranking with 31 golds, followed by Germany, Britain and the US. The Netherlands is in fifth place with 21.
There are a number of titles still up for grabs this year. Cyclists Ellen van Dijk and Marianne Vos are potential winners as is gymnast Epke Zonderland, the paper points out.
‘The Netherlands was always relatively stable with a 2% share of the golds,’ says Infostrada’s analyst Simon Gleave. ‘But this is the fourth year in a row with a score above 2%. At the same time, the number of golds has almost doubled. It remains to be seen if this is a long-term trend or not.’
Two years ago the national sports umbrella group NOC*NSF revamped its budget allocations with the aim of putting the Netherlands into the top 10 in terms of Olympic medals. In 2012, the Dutch were 13th on the medal table.
The focus has turned increasingly to more minority sports where the opportunities are better, the Volkskrant says.
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