All conditions seemed perfect this afternoon at the Spaarne under Molen de Adriaan to go fierljeppen. The athletes were all set to break the record of 22.21 meters. However, there was a major hindrance this afternoon: the rain.
Reigning record holder Jaco de Groot from Woerden was ready for it. “You run as fast as you can – I sometimes say – like a madman towards that stick. You actually want to slow down, but you have to ram through it. Then you push off, climb up about seven meters and let yourself to the other side fall without breaking anything. That’s Fierljeppen.”
The athletes and the public were ready, but Fierljeppen ultimately didn’t work out. Due to the rain, the game was stopped for a long time because the safety of the players could not be guaranteed.
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“When it rains, the track is slippery and the players can slip,” says Jens Vlasveld of the competition management. “The pole is also slippery, so they can’t climb in. So we really have to wait for drought.” Jaco de Groot has often been to competitions that were stopped due to the weather. “You also learn to deal with that.”
Something different again
A spectator from the north of North Holland had also come to the game. “It’s something different. You can always watch football or Formula 1 at home, but I thought ‘I’m going to see if this is something’.” It feels good despite the rain. “Always keep trying new things, I like that.”
After a few jumps by the ladies it only became dry enough in the afternoon and a number of men were able to jump. Jaco de Groot’s record was not threatened. And he himself ended up disappointingly second with 17.02 meters. Rian Baas jumped 7 centimeters further and won the tournament with 17.07 meters.