Broeksma a surprise addition to Dutch Olympic squad for Tokyo 2020
Rick van der Ven, who finished fourth individually at London 2012 and was on the squad that won the European recurve men’s team title just last month in Antalya, has been dropped in favour of 21-year-old Gijs Broeksma.
“I’m super excited. It’s obviously a dream coming true for every athlete,” said Gijs. “I’m super pleased that I can go to the Olympics with Steve and Sjef.”
The statistics frame the substitution as an intriguing decision.
At international competitions this season to date, Rick and Gijs were performing at a similar level. The senior member averaged 9.05 points per arrow and had a qualifying best of 662, while Gijs was at 9.07 and had hit 660. There was a difference in head-to-heads, with Gijs winning 64% of his matches compared to Rick’s 43%.
The Dutch men’s team has long been considered medal contenders for Tokyo. But this line-up has only one veteran of the Olympics in Sjef, while Gijs and Steve will make their debuts at the Games this summer.
The trio will arrive at the Olympics ranked third among recurve men’s team in the world but perhaps a closing window for success, with 26-year-old Sjef apparently considering retirement following Tokyo.
Is Gijs the spark needed to push for a podium?
“I have two of the world’s best archers beside me, and that gives me a safe feeling,” said Gijs. “They’re my friends, my teammates and we’re gonna have a lot of fun. Just enjoy the ride.”
This will be her second Olympics. She represented Mexico five years ago in Rio.
It is the first time in 25 years that the Netherlands will have a woman competing in the archery events at the Games. It comes at a good time, with not only an individual medal available but, for the first time, a mixed team competition, too.
The archery competitions at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games start with qualifying on 23 July 2021.
Netherlands at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
As of the team announcement on 2 July 2021.
- Sjef van den Berg
- Steve Wijler
- Gijs Broeksma
- Gaby Schloesser