The Belgian and Federal Olympic Committee (BOIC) added 50 names to the team on Saturday during its fifth and final selection moment. With a total of 122 athletes, this is the largest Belgian delegation since 1952.
The Belgian team consists of 67 men and 55 women (plus eight reservists). They will compete in 25 different sports, including three team sports: women’s basketball, men’s 3×3 basketball, men’s hockey, and five composite teams: the jump team, three 4x400m teams, and the triathlon mixed relay team.
It is the largest delegation since the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, when 135 nationals started. The last previous record was 115 Belgian athletes in London in 2012. The Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8.
At the previous Rio Games in 2016, Team Belgium had 104 athletes and six reserves in 19 sports. They took six medals, two of each colour, and nineteen places for eighth. Olaf Spall, chef, hopes to increase that number in Japan to 21 Olympic diplomas (top eight).
Anne Waters in Belgian Cats
Ann Wauters can prepare for one last piece of art in her rich basketball career. The 40-year-old Belgian star, who was not present at the recent European Championships where Belgium won the bronze medal, was included in the Belgian Cats’ Selection for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Belgian and Federal Olympic Committee (BOIC) announced the names of the twelve players on Saturday.
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The selection consists of Ann Wauters, Antonia Delaere, Billie Massey, Emma Meesseman, Hanne Mestdagh, Heleen Nauwelaers, Jana Raman, Julie Allemand, Julie Vanloo, Kim Mestdagh, Kyara Linskens and Marjorie Carpréaux.
Compared to the European Championship selection in France and Spain, Serena Lynn Geldof is out of the group. Gana Raman has recovered from a broken hand. Replaced at the European Championships, Becky Massey is not among them. And Philip Moustadagh, coach of the national team, will announce the names of the two reserves.
Belgium’s Kats will face Australia (27 July), Puerto Rico (30 July) and China (2 August) in the group stage in Tokyo.
Nina Derwell with Gotta Vercast, Lisa Vaillin and Myles Brassart
For the second time in a row since 1948, BELGYM players have qualified for the Olympic Games. During the 2019 World Cup in Stuttgart, they ranked 12th, which is good for team selection.
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The gymnasts who represent the Belgian tricolor in Tokyo are Jota Verst, Lisa Vaillin, Miles Brassart and Nina Derwill. They were joined by reserves Noémie Louon and Fien Enghels. They will compete on July 25 for the qualifiers.