The Netherlands sets sights high for Rio Olympics

rio olympics logoThe Netherlands is aiming to beat its medal haul at the London Olympics in 2012 during the Rio event next year, the head of the Dutch Olympic mission Maurits Hendriks said in Amsterdam on Wednesday.

‘Our athletes want to improve their performance every day, even though that will be a tall order,’ Hendriks is quoted as saying by broadcaster Nos. As well as more medals, the Dutch also hope to expand the number of disciplines they win medals in.

In London, the Dutch picked up 20 medals – six gold, six silver and eight bronze. Four of those were for swimming and in the equestrian events, three for sailing and cycling, two for hockey and judo and one each for rowing and gymnastics.

Hendricks has already visited the Olympic facilities in Rio and says it will be a ‘fascinating’ event. ‘The infrastructure is great and it will also benefit the locals,’ he said. ‘The test events did not all go smoothly but that is what tests are for.’

In addition, finances at home are proving an issue, Hendriks said. ‘Our budget has been cut by €6m a year and we have big ambitions,’ he said. ‘It is a pretty painful time and I hope [sports minister Edith] Schippers will help us. She did so this year and it would be a good boost in the Olympic year as well.’

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