Red Lions bring home silver from Rio


In Belgium’s most-talked about Olympic match, the men’s hockey team ultimately lost to Argentina, winning the silver medal

Tense final

Belgium’s men’s hockey team were left heartbroken last night after they were edged out of the Olympic gold medal by Argentina in a tense and close final in Rio. Argentina won 4-2 to claim the Olympic title.

While Belgium’s sliver was the Red Lion’s best finish at the Games since they took home bronze in Antwerp in 1920, it felt like a blow for a side that had enjoyed such a fairytale run. Belgium had beaten the odds in Rio to make their first Olympic final, eliminating world number two the Netherlands 3-1 on Tuesday.

In last night’s match, Tanguy Cosyns deflected a strike to claim an early lead for Belgium. But the Argentine Lions roared back, scoring from two penalty corners and netting a third before halftime. As the Belgians fought to equalise the score, Argentina’s final goal came 16 seconds from the end of the game.

“We had so many opportunities today, we should have done better,” said captain John-John Dohmen. “If you don’t score on your opportunities, you cannot win. It’s that simple.”

Elsewhere in the Olympics yesterday, Belgians racked up impressive personal bests. There were two fourth place finishes in taekwondo: Raheleh Asemani was beaten in the women’s under 57kg bronze medal match by Egypt’s Hedaya Wahba, while Jaouad Achab lost to South Korea’s Lee Daehoon in the men’s under 68kg.

Thomas Van der Plaetsen finished eighth in the decathlon with a personal record of 8,332 points, while Marten Van Riel came in sixth in the triathlon with a time of 1:46:03.

Photo: Dirk Waem/BELGA