Sixth, with Paul, Claver and Flon winning the women’s 4×100 race

Femke Bol won the 400m for the Netherlands.Reuters photo

Femke Bol was the best. Lekki Clavier was the best. Menno Floon too, just like the Dutch women’s 4x100m relay team. And although it was a European Championship, they did not become European champions. They all contributed the maximum number of points to the points classification and ensured the Netherlands’ sixth-place finish at the European Championships for National Teams in Chorzow, Poland. The Netherlands has never reached this level before.

There would have been a fourth place if the 4 x 400m mixed relay, the 37th and final part of the three-day championship, had turned out better. The Netherlands have a good reputation in this regard, finishing second behind the Dominican Republic at the World Cup last year.

About the author

Eric van Lakerveld has been writing about Olympic sports such as speed skating, athletics and rowing since 2016.

Although the composition was different in Poland, expectations were high. But Terence Agard, the third runner, was packed in and saw the rest of the field falter. The time, 3:20.40, was not relevant.

No outliers

And despite the lack of that resounding final chord, the Dutch athletes proved once again with their sixth-place finish in Chorzow that they now consistently belong at the international top. And the performances in Tokyo, where the athletics team won a record eight medals, were not extreme.

For the IAAF’s technical director, Vincent Kortebeek, that was exactly the goal of the European Championship for National Teams, which was put under the banner of the European Games this year. He wanted to go to Poland with a good team to show the breadth of Dutch athletics. To get confirmation that the policy at Papendal is working and to bring to the attention of NOCNSF that the athletes are trusted award winners.

Kortebek, who has held his position since the end of last year, was at his disposal. The championship in Poland showed the full range of the current group of athletes. Since the launch of this European tournament in 2009, the Netherlands have never finished higher than 11th, both in 2014 and 2017. But there have been years when the weight of the delegation has been lower because the European Team Country Championships is simply a pretty cool competition.

Women's 4x100 relay team after winning.  Environmental Protection Agency photo

Women’s 4×100 relay team after winning.Environmental Protection Agency photo

All results, men and women, are poured into points and added together. Sixteen countries participate, so the winners get sixteen points. Whoever gets the silver gets fifteen, and that’s how it ends. As a tournament, it’s part of everything: a training incentive for the best players, an experience for the youngsters and a way to ensure a sense of team in more than just the relay.

An example of the latter was provided by Belgian shot putter Julien Maliga-Bumko. Compatriot Anne Zaghry had to cancel the 100m hurdles due to an injury. Pumko took her place to secure the two points that could be earned. Despite the team spirit in her work, her dribbling around the court and quiet skipping over the fences was no match for a tournament that should be about the best of sports.

There is no higher championship

But the European Championship for National Teams is not an outright tournament. Its determination leaves him in two minds. And by no means were there all the top athletes from Europe. There is no Carsten Warholm with the Norwegians, no Jakob Ingebrigtsen either, no Dina Asher-Smith with Great Britain.

The Netherlands were also not at their full strength, with discus thrower Jorendy van Klinken, who recently won the Diamond League in Oslo, absent. Neither did Sevan Hassan, who undoubtedly could have added sixteen points to the Netherlands’ total, whether in the 1500m or 5000m race.

But there were also world-famous athletes in orange in Poland. Femke Bol left the 400m hurdles to Kathelijn Peters, who finished third, and opted for the 400m flat. Lieke Klaver moved up to 200 metres.

Aero David lands in the long jump area.  Environmental Protection Agency photo

Aero David lands in the long jump area.Environmental Protection Agency photo

This selection turned out to be great. Claver took the win on Sunday afternoon and ran a personal best of 22.46. That was just 0.01 seconds higher than the championship record set by Daphne Schippers, who set 22.45 seconds in 2015. Paul, the indoor 400-meter world record holder, won the 400-meter race in 49.82 seconds on Friday force majeure.

Even more surprisingly, Mino Flon won the pole vault. And he seized his opportunity in the absence of the best in the world in this discipline, the American-Swedish Mondo Duplantis. At 5.85 he still had a quartet of challengers. In one fell swoop, Flon flew over it, while stranding four others. Add to that the wins of Nketiah Sidhu, Jamil Samuel, Tassa Jia and Claver in the women’s 4x100m race, and the Netherlands achieved better results than expected.

Although it was all about the points in Chorzów, the organization also maintained the medal standings. Then the Netherlands performed better and finished second, behind Italy, who were crowned European champions. Compared to the points standings, second place in the medal standings reveals that the Netherlands still perform slightly better at the top than on the show.

See also  "It ended in a weird way."

Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *