A fall put paid to Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland’s hopes of retaining his Olympic title on the high bar on Tuesday evening.
The 30-year-old lay splayed on the mat for several seconds but then got up and continued his performance, finishing seventh overall and drawing the warmest applause of the night.
‘It was such a shame,’ Zonderland said afterwards. ‘I was very happy with my earlier performances in the qualification rounds.’
Koninklijke familie leeft mee met Epke Zonderland:https://t.co/nX3omcuEXr
— NOS (@NOS) August 16, 2016
There was disappointment too for 1,500m medal hopeful Sifan Hassan who finished fifth in her race. Hassan, who holds the world indoor 1,500m title, said afterwards that she had done all she could do. ‘I missed speed and strength,’ she told reporters. Hassan has been suffering from injuries for the past three months.
Cyclist Matthijs Büchli managed to restore Dutch smiles by winning the silver medal in the keirin event – an indoor race with a sprint finish. The gold went to Jason Kenny of Britain and the bronze to Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia. The race was a tricky one and had to be restarted twice because of infringements.
Sprinter Dafne Schippers qualified for the final of the 200m, setting a new European record of 21.63 in the process. The reigning world champion finished a disappointing fifth in the 100m on Saturday evening.
‘It feels good,’ said Schippers, who had complained of a slight groin injury, after the 100m. ‘I needed this. I was happy to be running next to [Elaine] Thompson, which pepped me up.’ Thompson won the 100m and was second to Schippers in last year’s world championship. The final takes place on Wednesday night.
In other events, the women’s volleyball team beat South Korean in the quarter-finals and will now meet Brazil or China in the semi-finals on Thursday evening.
The Dutch men’s hockey team lost in the semi-finals to Belgium 3-1 and will now meet Germany in an effort to win the bronze medal. Belgium meet Argentina in Thursday’s final.
The men’s beach volleyball team lost in their semi final to the world champions from Brazil, and they too will now hope to salvage a bronze.
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