Marathon silver, cycling bronzes complete record Dutch medal haul

Abdi Nageeye celebrates his silver. Photo: Shuji Kajiyama AP via ANP
Abdi Nageeye celebrates his silver. Photo: Shuji Kajiyama AP via ANP

An overnight silver in the marathon and bronze in the men’s cycling keirin and women’s onmium clinched seventh place in the Tokyo medals table for the Netherlands – the highest placing of all 27 EU countries.

Abdi Nageeye was a surprise silver medalist in the marathon, coming second to defending champion Eliud Kipchoge. The last time the Netherlands won a marathon medal was in Moscow in 1980.

Nageeye’s end sprint drew plaudits for the way he encouraged his Belgian friend and training partner Bashir Abdi to keep going and win bronze.

Harrie Lavreysen, who won gold in the team and individual sprints, finished third in the keirin on the last day of the games to take the bronze medal. Kirsten Wild took bronze in the women’s omnium, a multi-discipline cycling event.

In all, the Dutch squad picked up 10 gold, 12 silver and 14 bronze medals, outstripping the Sydney total in 2000 by 11. At the Rio Olympics, the Dutch won 19 medals.

The most notable shift in the Dutch performance has been in athletics, where the Dutch picked up eight medals. In Rio, Dafne Schippers won the only athletics medal, when she took silver in the 200 metres – and that was the first athletics medal for the Netherlands since Ellen van Langen in 1992.

In particular, Sifan Hassan’s performance in becoming the only athlete to win medals in the 10,000, 5,000 and 1,500 has drawn plaudits from around the world. The Guardian describes her as one of the greatest athletes of all time.

Dutch cyclists were responsible for 12 medals, including four gold, while the rowing team picked up five.

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