After the first day at the World Championships in Antwerp, the Dutch gymnastics team currently ranks eighth in the national team competition with 246.028 points. A place among the top twelve results on the Olympic team ticket. Eight more countries will take action on Sunday.
Japan tops the list with 258,228 points, followed by the United States (254,628) and Great Britain (254,193).
The Dutch team – made up of Casimir Schmidt, Laurent de Monk, Bart Dorloo, Jordi Hagenar and Jermaine Grunberg – got off to a good start on the rings (40.233) and also impressed on the vault (42.632). Things went less well on the bridge: De Monk fell and Haguenaar did not reach his level. Grünberg kept the damage fairly limited to 14,500.
After that, the team set the bar high again, with strong workouts for Grunberg (13.666) and Derlo (14.100). Grünberg made a jumping error, but Hagenaar, De Munck and Schmidt then managed to limit the damage. Schmidt was the last gymnast to make the vault.
The gymnasts won’t know the value of their performance until Sunday afternoon around 2 p.m. Then all participants from the six subsections had their turn. Eight other countries will participate on Sunday, including France, Colombia, South Korea, Hungary, Switzerland and European champions Italy.
“Leaving major competitors behind”
This may be the second time ever that Dutch gymnasts have qualified for the Games as a team. The first time was at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which was led by the then-retired Epke Zonderlund. Naturally, the Dutch men also hope to be there in Paris.
“Of course I hope with all my heart that we succeed,” Derlo said afterward. “But it will be a pain in the ass.”
Hagnar agrees: “Today we have left a number of major competitors behind, such as Belgium, Brazil and Ukraine. We just did a quick count. There are still five countries that I think can do it.”
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