Paris 2024 | Which colour? Marit Bouwmeester is going for the fourth medal – and is not the only contender

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Paris 2024 |  Which colour?  Marit Bouwmeester is going for the fourth medal – and is not the only contender

Marit Bouwmeester is back in Paris as the Netherlands’ most successful Olympic sailor… Erm, Marseille! She is sailing in the women’s class ILCA6, formerly the Laser Radiaal. A one-man boat that has been Olympic since 2008 (the men’s class, now ILCA7, has had Olympic status since 1996).

Bouwmeester already has a medal of all colors hanging at home. In 2012 she won silver in London, four years later she won the coveted gold medal in Rio de Janeiro and took bronze in Tokyo. This summer she wants to show one last time that she is the best sailor in the world in her class.

Paris 2024 |  Which colour?  Marit Bouwmeester is going for the fourth medal – and is not the only contender

Tokyo 2020 – sailing day 7 – Suddenly there are medal opportunities again for Bouwmeester

First mother, then sailor – Bouwmeester’s new priorities

Bouwmeester’s campaign looks a little different this time. Her top priority was always winning. Once on the water, this has not changed. But when she’s not in the boat, she’s a mother. After the Tokyo Games she gave birth to a daughter.

It gave her teammates and direct competitors for a ticket to Paris 2024 the chance to develop further. The internal battle became very exciting, Maxime Jonker came very close, but eventually had to acknowledge her superior in Bouwmeester.

Within sailing, only one sailing team per country may be sent per class. It was Bouwmeester’s first serious internal selection. During the previous Olympic campaigns, she stood head and shoulders above the other Dutch sailors in this class. The fact that the difference is now a lot smaller is positive for the future.

Paris 2024 |  Which colour?  Marit Bouwmeester is going for the fourth medal – and is not the only contender

Tokyo 2020 | Marit Bouwmeester back on course for medals

Duko Bos has to work hard for the Games

While we have had a steady sailor at the top in the ILCA6 for years, this is not the case in the ILCA7 class. The ILCA7, formerly the Laser Standard, is the men’s class in this boat. The gentlemen sail with a slightly larger sail area. This summer, Duko Bos will represent the Netherlands in this class. Bos is an emerging talent who has been active in this class for several years.

The ILCA7 is known as a very competitive class where the top is always close together. It is not easy to connect with the world’s best here. Rutger van Schaardenburg sailed a number of campaigns in this class for the Netherlands, but no Olympic medals were forthcoming.

Bos scored top ten ranking at the Sailing World Championships in The Hague

Now TeamNL has Duko Bos who surprisingly finished in the top 10 during the World Sailing Championships in The Hague last summer. During the World Championships in Adelaide this year he got stuck in eleventh position. But there are medal chances for Bos if we look at his qualities and development in the last months.

Bos himself said during that last World Cup: “If you give your maximum every day and are also open to learning new things, then it goes very well. I want to show at this World Cup where I stand, that I am there and that they can take me into account at the Games.”

But we also have to remain realistic… the medal candidates from other countries have been firmly established in the world top for years.

Lambriex and Van de Werken are working on a successful collaboration

There are also great medal opportunities in the single sculls classes. Bart Lambriex & Floris van de Werken form a duo in the men’s class, the 49er. In the women’s class, the 49erFX, Odile van Aanholt & Annette Duetz form a duo. Both teams have only been sailing together for a short time, but have already achieved several achievements.

Lambriex and van de Werken have been sailing together since 2021. This duo was formed after Lambriex and his previous sailing buddy, Pim van Vugt, split up after the Tokyo 2020 Games. It soon became clear that it was a successful match.

Within a year they won their first world title together, which they subsequently extended twice more. During the last World Cup in Lanzarote, in March 2024, the duo Lambriex/Van de Werken were able to win the fourth title. Due to a disappointing start to this tournament, they made it unnecessarily difficult for themselves.

They did show their resilience here and ultimately came back super strong. Gold was no longer possible, but they still won the silver medal. Next summer in Marseille, eyes will certainly be focused on this ‘golden duo’ in the 49er class.

Van Aanholt and Duetz also only together for a short time

Van Aanholt and Duetz have also only been sailing together for a short time, since May 2022. Duetz formed a duo with Annemieke Bekkering for many years, but the latter ended her top sports career after the Games in Tokyo, where they won a bronze medal together. Duetz wanted to continue, so she had to look for a new sailing partner. She found one in van Aanholt. And just like with the men, it turned out to be a successful match.

Within six months they won their first European title together and took the world title. A year later they won the silver medal at the World Cup in their own country and also secured their ticket for the Games here. This will be the third Games for Duetz, and the first time for Van Aanholt. A dream come true: “This is something I dreamed of as a little girl. I’m glad it’s going to happen now.”

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