Red Lions hockey team cruise into Olympic quarter-finals


While other Olympic hopefuls were dropping out, Belgium’s field hockey team moved on up yesterday in Rio

Last place for swim team

Belgium clinched a place in the men’s field hockey quarter-finals at the Rio Olympics on Tuesday night after a Tanguy Cosyns goal secured a 1-0 victory over world champions Australia. It was the Red Lions’ third Olympic win in a row, after beating Britain 4-1 and hosts Brazil 0-12 in their opening ties.

Although the team still need to play Spain and New Zealand in the group stage, they are guaranteed a berth amongst the last eight; as the current leaders in Group A, they are among the favourites to medal.

Meanwhile, Belgian freestyle swimming champion Pieter Timmers has secured a place in the 100m freestyle final with a personal best time of 48.14 in the semi-final. It came after Louis Croenen came eighth and last in the 200m butterfly final: He finished in 1:57.04, while US giant Michael Phelps won it in 1:53.36.

The Belgian 200m freestyle relay team also came last in the final: Croenen, Timmers, Dieter Dekoninck and Glenn Surgeloose swam in 7:11.64, while the US team, led by Phelps, won in 7:00.66. The loss followed controversy around Croenen and Timmers who earlier said they would not swim with the team in order to be better prepared for their individual swims later the same day. This would have led to a Belgian team forfeit, but the pair eventually agreed to swim.

Flemish tennis player Kirsten Flipkens, meanwhile, ended her Rio adventure with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Germany’s Laura Siegemund in the third round. Flipkens and Yanina Wickmayer were also knocked out of the doubles, losing their second-round tie against Spain’s Garbine Muguruza and Carla Suarez Navarro 7-5, 2-6, 6-2.

Photo: Benoit Doppagne/Belga