France Clinches Eventing Team Gold at Rio 2016 Olympics
France clinched team gold in Olympic eventing at the Olympic Equestrian Venue at Deodoro Park today, with defending champions Germany in silver and Australia slipping from the overnight lead to bronze. The last four horse-and-rider combinations decide the results.
The Australians led as the day began, but with only a 4.5 point advantage over New Zealand, while the French were just 6.2 further adrift and the Germans stalked the leading pack over 11 penalty points further behind. France represented the only leading team to go into today’s closing phase with a fully intact four-member team.
The 12-fence stadium course challenged the turning skills of horses that just the day before took on one of the toughest Olympic Eventing cross-country runs of all time.
Australia’s grip on the lead was severely undermined by a cricket score for their opener, Stuart Tinney, whose horse Pluto Mio kicked out four fences and also went over the time-allowed to collect 17 faults. This dropped Australia into bronze medal spot and left New Zealand out in front despite a single mistake from opener Jonelle Price with Faerie Dianimo. With the luxury of the full four-rider team, the French looked comfortable after rounds from both Karim Laghouag with Entebbe and Thibaut Vallette riding Qing de Briot. However, the began to look vulnerable when Mathieu Lemoine’s Bart L got tired towards the end of the course and left two fences on the ground for eight faults
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