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Record participation for Dutch Olympic judo team
31 May 2016 10:35
The Dutch team will send a record of eleven athletes to the Olympic Games. In 2012 the Dutch sent 10 athletes to London. Henk Grol is the only athlete with medals in his pocket. The double European champion in this Olympic cycle won bronze in 2008 and 2012. Marhinde Verkerk was previously nominated instead of Guusje Steenhuis. Verkerk finished fifth in 2012.
Dex Elmont qualfied for his third Olympics, in London he was fifth as well and fought two matches in 2008. Lightweight Jeroen Mooren qualified U60kg and will participate for the second time. The other eight are going to debut.
The biggest ace of the Dutch is Kim Polling, world Ranking number one for a long time and last week’s winner of the Masters and triple European champion. Anicka van Emden is a stable medal winner U63kg and may be able to take a medal in Rio.
Sanne Verhagen qualified U57kg despite her hamstring injury she suffered for a year and Heavyweight Tessie Savelkouls may surprise a few women +78kg.
In the men’s division Frank de Wit is the youngest ever male participant at the Olympic Games ever for the Netherlands. Ages 20 he made a tremendous impression by winning the World title as Junior, capturing World Tour medals and defeating world class athletes U81kg.
Noël van ‘t End is the world number six U90kg, seeded in Rio and certainly talented enough to win a medal at the Olympic Games. The Dutch won two medals in London, Grol and Edith Bosch.
Also heavyweight Roy Meyer developed well in this Olympic cycle where he won 13 World Tour medals and was continuously moving forward and is now world number four.
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Ivan Dubina (BLR)
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