Sjef, Rick and Mitch to represent Netherlands in Rio
Sjef van den Berg won his spot at selection tournaments, while Rick van der Ven and Mitch Dielemans were chosen by coaches according to national selection procedures.
Head coach Ron van der Hoff explained that Rick was chosen on his world ranking and proven past results, while the coaches had a tough decision to choose between Mitch and Mick, as there was little to separate the two over both the selection criteria and scoring capabilities. Mitch was picked due to his impact on team dynamics.
“Mitch completes and uplifts the team with his positive attitude, stable mentality and great organisational skills,” said Ron. “Knowing that the following weeks will be intense, accumulating towards hopefully a gold medal final with the team, I believe Sjef and Rick together with Mitch will be the team that has the best chances of winning that gold medal.”
Van der Hoff did add that he considered Mick the best alternate the team could wish for.
“Between the three of us, we have an awesome team,” said Sjef. “In these last weeks, we’ll get the chance to perfect our shooting and aim for the podium in Rio.”
The Netherlands won a full men’s quota to the Olympics by finishing sixth at the 2015 World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark. The nation did not qualify a women’s place.
Both Sjef van den Berg and Mitch Dielemans will receive their first Olympic caps in Rio.
Rick van der Ven finished fourth at the London 2012 Olympic Games. He upset world record holder Im Dong Hyun in the last 16, then eventually lost a semifinal shoot-off to Takaharu Furukawa, the eventual silver medallist. Rick also lost the bronze medal final in a shoot-off to China’s Dai Xiaoxiang.
Sjef van den Berg finished second at the first European Games in Baku and at the Aquece Rio test event in 2015. In 2016, won gold at the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China, on route to qualifying for his first Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
Mitch Dielemans won two bronze medals with the Dutch junior team at World Archery Youth Championships in 2011 and 2013.
Rick, Sjef and Mitch came third in the recurve men’s team event at the European Games in Baku. The Netherlands has not had a men’s team compete at the Olympics since Athens in 2004, which was head coach Ron van der Hoff’s last Games appearance as an athlete.