The Dutch were expected to perform very well in the cycling events at the Tokyo Olympics. So far, they’ve had an incredible stretch of bad luck.
The most recent incident occurred in training for one of the Olympics’ BMX events. Niek Kimmann, a gold medal favorite, collided with a person, reportedly a race official, while riding.
Kimmann reportedly suffered a small fracture in his knee after the collision. He’s still going to attempt to participate in Thursday’s BMX Racing quarterfinals.
“So this is what happened today. Hit an official that wanted to cross the 2nd straight,” Kimmann wrote on Instagram, along with video of the crash. “Hope the official is O.K. My knee is sore, but will do my best to be ready for Thursday! Thanks everyone for the messages, appreciate it!”
So this is what happened today. 💣 Hit an official that wanted to cross the 2nd straight. Hope the official is O.K. My knee is sore, but will do my best to be ready for Thursday! Thanks everyone for the messages, appreciate it! ❤️ pic.twitter.com/QOdJ2r0usT
— Niek Kimmann (@niekkimmann) July 26, 2021
That is a very kind message considering the incident could wind up costing him when his events come up later this week. Injuries impacted his 2016 Olympics in Rio as well, when he fell during a quarterfinal ract, suffering ankle and foot injuries.
Kimmann won the 2019 European BMX Championships, and won gold back at the 2015 Men’s BMX World Championships. He was the silver medalist at the 2016 World Championships.
Niek Kimmann’s accident comes on the heels of the Dutch women’s cycling team finishing Sunday’s road race, losing track of Austrian Anna Kiesenhofer, who won in shocking fashion. Dutch Olympian Annemiek van Vleuten thought she was the gold medalist when she finished the event, only to discover that the team hadn’t accounted for the little-known Austrian.
“I don’t think anyone wrote her down. I don’t know her. How much can you do wrong, if you don’t know someone?,” she said of the Austrian’s surprise victory.
“We thought we were doing it right, we took the Polish and the Israeli back and we thought we were driving for the gold.”
On Monday, Mathieu van der Poel, another gold medal contender, was in a frightening accident during a cross country mountain bike race.
— René Bugner (@RNBWCV) July 26, 2021
He left the race with a hip injury.
So far, the Netherlands sit in 31st place of the official Olympic medal count, with three silvers.