Tokyo 2020 Cross Country Results: Team GB Lines Up For Double Gold
The Tokyo 2020 cross country results are in and Team GB are lining up up for a double gold!
Taking to the Sea Forest Park cross country course, the three British riders excelled on the field. Posting speedy times without fault, the trio have all secured top ten positions at the end of the cross country phase.
First for Team GB and entering the cross country in second position was Oliver Townend. On a course where two combinations retired and ten combinations were eliminated, Oliver and his ride, Ballaghmor Class seemed to take the twists and turns in their stride.
Talking about his run on the course, Oliver paid tribute to Ballaghmor Class;
We know he’s special. Anyone who watched Eventing knows he’s special. But he’s tough, he digs deep. Early on, I thought he was slightly away with me, in fact, a couple places I thought, ‘He’s in control, I’m not!’ But I sat behind him and tried to find good distances for him. And once I got into the course, I started picking up very good, quick, big, fast distances, almost racing distances to the straightforward fences. He answered beautifully.”
As the pathfinder for Team GB, the combination performed beautifully with zero jumping penalties, finishing five seconds within the time.
Meanwhile, Team GB’s Laura Collett with London 52 and Tom McEwen with Toledo Der Kerser were waiting in the wings. Following suit, both combinations posted within the allocated time with no jumping penalties. With times that only three other riders, including the infamous Micheal Jung (GER), could match, this saw Team GB shoot up the rankings. Laura secured third position at the end of the cross country. Meanwhile, Tom McEwen flew six places up the leaderboard, heading into the showjumping phase in sixth position.
However, despite Micheal Jung finishing ten seconds inside the time, the reigning Olympic champion had slipped considerably down the rankings.
Micheal Jung and his World Equestrian Games gold medal-winning horse, Chipmunk, headed into the cross country in pole position after an immaculate dressage test scored them 21.1 points. Negotiating the course with speed, the pair started well. However, the young horse came into difficulty at fence 14C, knocking a fence that triggered a frangible pin. A costly mistake, the pair added 11 points to their score, leaving them to just scrape into a top ten position.
Following the event, Micheal commented;
“I am certainly disappointed about the 11 points. We have to continue to fight more than ever and ride a double-zero tomorrow.”
“He (Chipmunk) certainly touched the corner a little bit but by no means in such a way that I would have expected it to fall. And only when I galloped on, I suddenly heard a bang and looked back and gulped a bit: ok the pole is down.”
Elsewhere on the field, Julia Krajewski and Amande De B’neville are the top ranking Team Germany combination, sitting in second. Finishing the phase with a score of 25.60 points, there’s a healthy margin between her and gold medal positioned, Oliver Townend. Although, they sit just 0.20 points ahead of Laura Collett in third.
New Zealand’s Tim Price had a clean round on Vitali. With 1.20 time penalties, the combination sit in fourth with 26.8, just 1.0 point behind Team GB’s, Laura.
Japanese rider, Kazuma Tomoto also went clear but added 1.60 time penalties to his score on Vinci De La Vigne. They sit in fifth with a score of 27.50, 1.40 points ahead of Team GB’s, Tom.
The switched up rankings also see the Team leaderboard drastically change. Team GB secure their Gold medal position even further with a score of 78.30. Meanwhile, the rest of the field drop behind. Team Australia have jumped into 2nd with a score 96.20 points. Team France are in third with 97.10. An unexpected drop down in the rankings, after finishing the dressage strongly in silver, Germany are now lying in sixth place as a team.
The riders now head back to the Equestrian Park to take on the third and final phase of the competition; showjumping. Here, tension will be at an all-time high with the Brit’s in pole position for medals, but a fiery field to contend with.
Header Image; Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class at Sea Forest Park (JPN), Tokyo 2020 (FEI/Christophe Taniere)
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Reporting on equestrian news stories, Abby also produces a variety of engaging content for the magazine.