There was one ground-breaking Dutch medal win on Thursday night. Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen took bronze in the beach volleyball by holding off Russian pair Viatsjeslav Kasilnikov and Konstantin Semenov in two sets.
It is the first time the Netherlands has won a beach volleyball medal since the sport was introduced at the Olympics in 1996.
Neither the women’s volley ball or handball teams managed to clinch a final place and will battle it out for bronze medals as well. The men’s hockey team failed in their efforts to win bronze and will now go home empty handed.
Dutch sprinter Churandy Martina, competing in his third 200m Olympic final came in fifth on Thursday night, just a fraction off the bronze medal.
He and race winner Usain Bolt are the only two men in history to make three consecutive 200m finals. Asked afterwards if he was disappointed Martina said: ‘Disapointed? Why should I be. No-one is more proud than I am.’
King Willem-Alexander was called into action on Thursday night to present Dafne Schippers with her silver medal in the 200m. Schippers, who had hoped for the gold and said after the race she was not happy with silver, placed a message on Facebook thanking her fans.
‘Very grateful for all the support, from the Netherlands & the rest of the world,’ Schippers wrote. ‘My drive and ambition made me disappointed at first: gold was my goal. Of course I am very proud of my Olympic Silver medal! Not long ago I made the decision for the sprint and now I am standing here.’ Schippers only switched from the heptathlon to sprinting last year.
Still to come
With just a few events to go before the end of the games, there are still some Dutch medal hopefuls waiting in the wings.
All three Dutch BMX riders Niek Kimmann, Jelle van Gorkom and Twan van Gendt have qualified for the semi-finals. The one to watch is Kimmann, who was world champion in 2015. In the women’s event Merle van Benthem and Laura Smulders are in Friday evening’s semi-final.
Show jumper Jeroen Dubbeldam is in action on Friday and middleweight boxer Nouchka Fontijn competes against China’s Li Qian for a place in the final on Friday evening. She is the Netherlands’ first female boxer at the games.
The Dutch women’s hockey team will play Britain in the final at 22.00 local time on Friday evening.
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