The orange team started the match with France nervously. With a score of 6-6, the Netherlands entered the match better. Thanks to a number of quick runs from Jesse Furn, national coach Brian Benjamin’s team took a 13-8 lead. After that, the Orange team took the lead well.
Voorn and Dimeo van der Horst each scored 7 points. Arvin Slagter scored 5 points and Julian Garang scored two. We showed character,” smiled van der Horst, who almost missed the tournament in Graz with an ankle injury. The Dutch lost their first two group matches against Latvia (17-21) and Canada (15-17), but they prepared in time.
“We have never lost faith in ourselves,” van der Horst continued. “We’ve worked hard for this in recent years. This comeback from us after two defeats feels like a fairy tale. It didn’t all go in vain.”
The orange reached the semi-finals earlier in the day thanks to a surprise victory over defending champion United States. And national coach Brian Benjamin’s team won that match, 21-16. The Netherlands joined the quarter-finals on Saturday thanks to victories over Austria (17-15) and Croatia (22-16).
The Netherlands women’s team was eliminated from the group stage in Graz on Saturday. The Orange team also won their last two group matches, 16-14 against Belarus and 22-3 against Sri Lanka, but that was not enough to secure a place in the quarter-finals. Belarus scored 3 more points than the Netherlands in Group C (68 vs. 65) and thus qualified for the knockout stage.
It will be last October in Hungary (4-6 June) next week. Only one Olympic starting ticket can be won in that tournament. The Dutch women’s team is hoping for a good result at the second chance in Debrecen.
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