France manages to make a repeat performance of their 2004 Athens Olympics performance after they snatched the gold in the team event of equestrian Tuesday in the Rio Olympics, stunning reigning world champions Germany.
France had a total of 169 points — enough to take the gold medal in the eventing team jumping event behind the team of Nicolas Astier on Piaf de b’Neville; Thibaut Vallette on Qing du Briot and Mathieu Lemoine on Bart L. They were 3.8 points ahead of Germany, who was favorite to win their third gold medal, but fell short and instead settled for the silver medal instead. Coming in for the bronze was Australia.
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France managed to regain their bearing in the sport wherein they are considered as the third best country in the world behind Germany and Sweden. Now that the Eventing is finished, France gears up as they would like to dominate in the Dressage and Jumping events.
But Germany was not to be denied as Michael Jung rode to take the gold medal in the eventing individual jumping event followed closely by Astier of France while Phillip Dutton of USA settled for the bronze medal.
“To do this twice with the same horse is very special,” Jung said. “It is unbelievable. An amazing feeling when you come in and your horse jumps so powerfully. In London, it felt the same. Sam is just amazing. A brilliant horse.”
Australian rider Chris Button stated that there was a lot of pressure coming into the event, but was happy with the performances of their horses. He also congratulated France and Germany and hopes to bounce back in the next two major events in equestrian.
“Look there’s always a lot of pressure when you jump in three-day eventing in reverse order in pole position, but I was happy with the way everything went. The horse has really exceeded our expectations this week but of course, it’s disappointing to have two down,” Button said.
It will be an exciting event to see France, Germany, and the rest of the equestrian competitors slug it out in the remaining events. Four more gold medals will be up for grabs in equestrian and it will surely be a close competition till the end.
Photo Courtesy: Michael Kramer/Wikimedia