Tokyo 2020 Cross Country Course Revealed
The Tokyo 2020 cross country course has been revealed ahead of the Olympic Eventing competition, starting on Friday 30 July.
Consisting of 23 elements, the rustic style, cross country fences are all themed around Japanese heritage in the Sea Forest Park. Based in an area of reclaimed land, the venue offers superb views of Tokyo Bay and Tokyo’s dramatic cityscape. A temporary course, the 2020 Games offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the competitors.
Designed by Derek di Grazia, best known for his work at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event, the course is set at roughly 4420m and will take roughly 7 minutes and 45 seconds to complete. The course is shorter than previous Olympic cross country courses, according to the FEI Climate Impact study which took place at the Olympic test event. This study decides the intensity of competition and how the combinations will cope under the Tokyo climate.
With the small man-made island, where the cross country course is set, does not have an enormous amount of space, also hosting canoeing and rowing. Therefore, the Olympic cross country track is full of twists and turns, making it technically much more difficult.
The fences are delicately decorated with Japanese culture, named after some of the things the country is most well-known for. Examples of the fences on the Tokyo 2020 cross country course include; Samurai Sword, Mt Fuji, and Lone Tree Moguls. Although there is nothing too bold to distract the horses, the subtle design features may just catch them off guard.
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However, the course eases the horse and rider combinations into competition. Four, fairly straight forward fences on an almost straight trajectory get the horses on board.
After this, the scene is quickly set for a winding path, full of complex combination jumps and tactical decisions on the riders behalf.
Many of the fences on the Tokyo 2020 cross country course mean riders will have to make a call on whether to jump the right or left side of the fence. Whilst one way may save precious seconds, the other may increase partnerships chances of a fault-free run.
Based on an island, the course also integrates it’s water-surrounded venue into the course. Hosting 5 water complexes in total, stamina and balance will be tested on this route.
The Tokyo Olympic Eventing will take place between Friday 30 July to Monday 2 August 2021.
View the full course at app.crosscountryapp.com
Header Image; Sea Forest Park Cross Country Course at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games [screenshot via the Cross Country App]
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Reporting on equestrian news stories, Abby also produces a variety of engaging content for the magazine.