roster & staff
Day 17: Day of surprises|
BEIJING (China) - Thursday was a day of surprises on the Olympic Games. Surprises in the weather, but also surprises in results, as the Dutch Olympic Team won two unexpected gold medals. Did we have warm and even hot weather and humid conditions in the last few days, it was a big surprise that it rained heavily. On TV, we saw that the Women's 20 km walk was staged in heavy rain, then later the Women's Final in Beach Volleyball also was played in the rain. Some members of the Dutch Olympic Softball Team today had a trip scheduled to the Great Wall, but canceled it due to the rain.
But there also was a Dutch success in the rain, as Maarten van der Weijden captured the Gold Medal in the Men's 10 km Marathon Swimming in open water.
In the evening, another Gold Medal was won (and another surprise), as the Women's Waterpolo Team won its final against reigning world champion USA, 9-8. DaniŽlle de Bruijn scored seven of the nine Dutch goals. The Dutch Team already led 4-0 in the first five minutes. In the second period, the score was tied at 5-5, but then De Bruijn scored the winning goal with only 45 seconds left to play.
Over at the Olympic Green, the Men's Hockey Team lost to Germany in the semi-final. Three minutes before regular time expired, the Dutch led 1-0, but then Germany equaled the score and forced overtime.
While it had started to rain, the overtime went by scoreless, but then Germany had more luck taking penalty shots. After the first series of five ended in a 3-3 tie, the sixth shot was in favor of Germany, which advanced to the final, while the Dutch Team has to play for bronze.
The Dutch Olympic Team has now captured 15 medals (six gold, five silver, four bronze) and is in tenth position on the medal-list, which is headed by China. The organizing country won 83 medals (46 gold, 15 silver, 22 bronze). In medal-totals, the USA leads with 93, but only 28 of them are gold, completed with 34 silver and 31 bronze.
The biggest surprise, however, was registered in Fengtai Softball Field, where Japan won the softball-final vs. USA, 3-1.
The USA had won the Gold Medal is all previous three Olympic Softball Tournaments, winning in 1996 (Atlanta), 2000 (Sydney) and 2004 (Athens).
Yesterday, Japan already eyed strong in the semi-final against the Americans and today won the Gold Medal.
Yukiko Ueno, who also pitched the semi-final and the bronze medal-game, tonight again pitched against the Americans.
She struckout only four batters, but gave up only five basehits to the hardhitting American squad.
Most important, runproducer Jessica Mendoza was held hitless.
On the American side, starter Cat Osterman struckout nine batters and gave up only three hits in five innings, but also two runs.
Reliever Monica Abbott then took over and gave up another run.
Japan took an 1-0 lead in the third inning.
Masumi Mishina led off with a double and advanced on a sac-bunt, then scored on a 2-out single by Ayumi Karino.
In the fourth inning, another run was added when Eri Yamada led off with a homerun.
In the home of the fourth, it was Crystl Bustos who led off with a homerun for the Americans, then they left the bases loaded in the sixth inning.
Japan sealed the victory by adding an insurance run in the seventh inning when the American defense committed two errors.
After a lead-off single in the home of the seventh, a fly out, line out and groundout ended the game.
Japan won the Gold Medal and the USA had to settle for a (for them disappointing) Silver Medal.
For the American team, this was its first loss since September 21, 2000.
With the final game, the softball-tournament ended and also marked the last Olympic softball-game. For now.
In 2005, softball (and baseball) was dropped from the Olympic calender for the 2012 Olympic Games to be held in London (Great Britain), but is working hard through the BackSoftball-campaign to get softball reinstated for the 2016 Olympics.
Softball has been a medal sport since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta (USA).
The bronze medal game was attended yesterday by IOC-President Jacques Rogge and former IOC-President Juan Antonio Samaranch.
In October 2009, in the Danish capital Copenhagen, the IOC will decided the calender for the 2012 Olympics.
What did the Dutch Softball Team do today?
As mentioned, some team-members had planned a trip to the Great Wall, but canceled it due to the weather conditions.
In the afternoon, Business Manager Caroline Theunissen had to arrange several things for the shipping back home of the team's equipment and uniforms.
In the evening, Caroline, Physical Therapist Rob Oskam, Coach Rob Walgien and players Marloes Fellinger and Rebecca Soumeru went to the waterpolo-final, which was won by the Dutch women.
Pitcher Judith van Kampen was spotted with her parents at the men's hockey game, which was also attended by Media Officer Marco Stoovelaar, KNBSB-President Ruud van Zetten and his wife Rienette, while most other players went to the softball-final.
On Friday, the semi-final in the baseball tournament are being played.
In the morning, Korea plays against Japan, then in the evening, Cuba meets USA. The winners will meet each other in the final on Saturday, while the two losing teams will play for the Bronze Medal.
In the Cuba-USA game, Dutch umpire Edwin van den Berk will be part of th 6-man crew and is assigned to the rightfield-position.
An overview of the Olympic Green Hockey Stadium during the semi-final
Netherlands vs. Germany
Action in front of the Dutch goal
Dutch spectators cheer after the hockey-team took an 1-0 lead
Timme Hoyng is ready to play the ball
Looking on are veterans Teun de Nooijer (14) and captain Jeroen Delmee (captain), who was
the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony and today played his 400th international game
Also attending the hockey-game was former volleyball-national team player Bas van der Goor
In the second half it started to rain and it becamer heavier
The game was decided by penalty shots
Go back to the schedule of the Olympic Games