Dutch Golfer Joost Luiten Overcomes Olympic Exclusion with Court Ruling

Learn how Dutch golfer Joost Luiten took on the Dutch Olympic Committee’s decision and secured his spot in the 2024 Paris Olympics through a court ruling. Despite initial exclusion, Luiten remains determined to compete for a shot at an Olympic medal.

Dutch Golfer Joost Luiten Wins Court Battle to Compete at 2024 Paris Olympics

On June 24th, 38-year-old Dutch golfer Joost Luiten was disappointed but unsurprised to learn that despite qualifying, he would not be competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Luiten, along with compatriots Darius van Driel, Anne van Dam, and Dewi Weber, had all earned spots in the men’s and women’s golf competitions through the International Golf Federation’s rankings.

However, the Dutch Olympic Committee (NOCNSF)* had its own criteria, requiring male golfers to be ranked in the top 27 and female golfers in the top 24 globally. While van Dam qualified by finishing second at the 2023 Andalucia Costa del Sol Open, the NOC*NSF deemed that Luiten, van Driel, and Weber did not have a reasonable chance of finishing in the top eight at the Olympics and opted not to send them to Paris.

“I wanted to show them they can’t just do whatever they want,” Luiten said. “That’s the good thing about this court ruling, it shows them that they’re not untouchable.”

Determined to challenge the decision, Luiten hired a lawyer and took the case to court. On Tuesday, a Dutch judge ruled in his favor, requiring the NOC*NSF to enter Luiten into the Olympic field by the 5 p.m. local deadline for Olympic entrants.

At the time of the NOC*NSF’s initial decision, Luiten was ranked 147th in the Official World Golf Ranking and 40th in the Olympic rankings, while van Driel and Weber had lower rankings. Luiten, who also competed at the 2016 Rio Olympics, is determined to represent the Netherlands and potentially even bring home a gold medal.

“Golf is a strange game. Anybody can win. If I have a good week and a little bit of luck … you can go home with a gold medal. That’s how crazy this game is,” he said.

The IOC now faces the task of finalizing the 60-player men’s and women’s fields for the 2024 Olympics by July 9, with Luiten’s late inclusion complicating matters. However, the Dutchman remains optimistic about his chances of competing in Paris, stating, “At the moment, I expect to be in the Olympics, for sure.”

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