The first Belgian to start playing before the opening ceremony: …

© RR

Jarno de Smet will be the first Belgian athlete to compete in the Olympics in Tokyo at 6 a.m. on Friday, ahead of the opening ceremony. It goes fast for 21-year-old De Smedt, because he was only sure of his ticket to the games at the beginning of July. “The sixteenth goal is the goal, in three years in Paris I want to participate in the medals.”

Jonas WithockSource: Belgian

De Smedt was only allowed to book his ticket to Japan as a last resort, based on the rankings as number 44. “I wasn’t really counting on him. After the last quota cycle, I hardly missed last place. That was too bad. I knew there was still a chance but it was small Very. When that turned out to be the case, that was a huge relief. It’s also a way to go to games.” As a team, the Belgians missed one of the Olympic qualifiers.

“Fight yourself”

De Smedt started archery about fourteen years ago. “As a young kid I was open to many sports. I got a taste of archery through a sports camp in my home town and loved it so much that I wanted to do it again a year later. Then it became very clear to me and I started looking for a club. I haven’t stopped since now “.

The Puurs shooter loves his sport because it is a “fight against yourself”. “You are your opponent, you have to know yourself and allow you to grow. Now when I look back and see the growth I have had and realize that there are still many opportunities for growth, this keeps me busy.”

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Jarno de Smet wants to “give his best” in gaming. “The big goal is to win, of course, but I can be satisfied with the top sixteen.” In three years in Paris, De Smedt wants to fully compete for Olympic medals.

Emotional Vermeeren in 1996

When you say Belgium and archery in the Olympics, you inevitably think of Paul Vermeiren. In 1996 in Atlanta, he just missed the bronze and then gave an emotional interview in front of the camera that is etched in the memory of many. His reaction was very understandable after fourth place. I also felt that way, of course not at the Olympics, but this is very well known,” says de Smed, who got a taste of a major championship for the first time in 2019 at the European Games in Minsk (33rd place).

The shooting qualifying round is scheduled for Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. local time (6 a.m. – 8 a.m. in Belgium). Next week, the direct elimination matches (from the 1/3 Finals) will take place over four days.

Jarno de Smet, 21, was only allowed to pack his suitcase for Tokyo at the beginning of this month.

Jarno de Smet, 21, was only allowed to pack his suitcase for Tokyo at the beginning of this month. © Belgaplus

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Amber Webster

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