He briefly considered starting another Olympics, but in the end 38-year-old Bas Verleken made the decision: stop fencing. “It’s beautiful, right. The past few years have been tropical years.”
Verleken, who hails from Oss and lives in Den Bosch, put a sword fence on the map in Holland. He participated in four Olympic Games, and his best result in 2008 was the quarter-finals.
It witnessed sporting highlights at the 2005 World Cup in Leipzig (bronze) and 2011 in Catania (silver). In 2011, he also won the silver medal at the European Championships in Sheffield. He was the world ranking leader on two occasions.
‘I took the time to make my decision,’ Verleken says, and he feels good that way. The past few years have been tropical years with a full-time fence, a full-time job, and my family. The alternative was to go through another Olympics. It could have been done, but there’s a higher chance you won’t succeed. I’m looking forward to having more time for other fun things.”
Verleiken’s last match was the third round match he lost at the Tokyo Olympics against Frenchman Romain Cannon. “Of course it was very disappointing. But this boy had the time of his life and took the gold.”
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