EDE National coach Arno Havenga has announced the thirteen waterpolosters that will go to the Tokyo Olympics. Including Edese Iris Wolves (in the file photo), and Simone van de Kraats and Joanne Koenders of Polar Bears. Evangelos Doudesis, resident of Ede, and last year also head coach of the Polar Bears, is present as an assistant coach.
At the start of the year, the Dutch water polo women managed to qualify for the Games for the first time since 2008 at the Olympic qualifying tournament in Trieste (Italy). Thirteen years ago, the Orange team became Olympic champions in Beijing. The Orange team will appear in Tokyo in the following line-up: Brigitte Sleeking (Widex GZC Donk), Nomi Stomphorst (Widex GZC Donk), Sabrina van der Sloot (CN Sabadell, Spain), Vivian Sevenich (CN Mataro, Spain), Simone van de Kraats (Polar bears), Iris Wolves (CE Mediterrani, Spain), Maartje Keuning (CN Sabadell, Spain), Dagmar Genee (UZSC), Maud Megens (USC-USA), Ilse Koolhaas (NC Vouliagmeni, Greece), Kitty-Lynn Joustra (Cal-USA), Joanne Koenders (Polar Bears, goalie) and Debby Willemsz (Widex GZC Donk, goalie).
Besides Havenga, the staff is made up of Evangelos Doudesis (assistant coach), Ineke Yperlaan (team leader), Mark Smit (physiotherapist), Tjeerd de Vries (doctor) and Chris Hendrix (video analyst). The ladies water polo will fly to Tokyo on Tuesday July 13 for a training camp in Chiba with the United States and travel to the Olympic Village on Wednesday July 21. The first group game will be against Australia on Monday July 26. During the Games, only twelve names are allowed on the match sheet.
Arno Havenga: ,, I had already had the skeleton of the team in mind for some time, but it took me a long time to decide who would be the best in which positions to fill in the last names. I fully realize that with my choice, I am shattering an Olympic dream for some that they have worked hard for for years and for which they may have left a lot more. It is also part of high performance sport and the job of a national coach. I am happy for those who come, but also the ladies who do not participate in Tokyo at the end are equally valuable in the whole process towards this. I noticed that this is also lived in our team: there is a great solidarity.
The ladies water polo can be admired twice in their own home before they leave for Tokyo. The Hofbad in The Hague will host Orange’s “VASCO farewell matches” against Italy on Tuesday 29 June and Thursday 1 July. Both matches start at 6.30 p.m. and are once again open to the public. Later in the evening (9 p.m.), the Dutch will also play against Germany.
Program of the Olympic Games Group classification: Pool A: Netherlands, Australia, Spain, South Africa and Canada Pool B: Japan, United States, China, Russia and Hungary