Tokyo 2020 Individual Eventing Silver For Tom McEwen
The Tokyo 2020 individual eventing silver goes to Tom McEwen and Toledo Der Kerser after a tense showjumping round.
The Team GB olympic debutants took to the third and final round of the individual eventing competition this afternoon, leading the field. After securing Gold in the Team competition for the first time since 1972, the trio were ready to tackle competition finishing in the top 25.
The course was tough with most managing to knock at least one pole. Jumps came thick and fast at the competitors and the Santiago Varela-designed course did not let up on the tight twists and turns either.
First up to the mark for Team GB was Laura Collett. Taking on course with London 52 and an almost immaculate jumping record, the pair breezed through the first half of the course. Their take on 12-element course was looking promising for a medal, right up until the very last fences. On the home straight, London 52 pulled the final two fences, incurring a total of 8.00 penalties. Laura and London 52 finished with a score of 37.80, lying in 9th.
Next up was Tom McEwen with Toledo Der Kerser. With one of the best jumpers in the discipline under his wing, Tom strategically took his time between fences to ensure the best chances of medal contention. Clearing the fences with room to spare, the duo only added 0.4 time penalties onto their score. Tom and Toledo finished the event on 29.3, sitting in second with the rest if the field still to play.
Straight after we saw World No.1, Oliver Townend take to the showjumping ring. However, he a Ballaghmor Class started on the wrong foot, knocking the first rail, plummeting them down the leaderboard, and out of medal contention. However, the cool, calm duo managed to rein in back, again taking the safer, slower option. This approach did incur an additional 0.8 time penalties but with no more fences knocked, it was a successful comeback for the combination. Oliver and Ballaghmor finished in 5th with a score of 32.4 points.
As Oliver dropped down the rankings, a firm, individual silver medal was secured for Tom and Toledo at their debut Olympics!
Meanwhile, making history was Julia Krajewski and Amande de B’Neville. Over coming all the odds, the Team Germany athlete took gold to become the first female Olympic individual gold medalist in eventing! Coming back from losing her two top horses and the sad passing of her father, she mangaged a faultless round on an inexperienced horse to gain Gold!
In bronze medal position was the legendary Austrailian eventer, Andrew Hoy. The oldest competitor on the field, he and Vassily De Lassos were the ‘dark horses’ of Tokyo. Taking part in his eighth Olympic Games, the Australian kept level headed after the dressage put him in 13th place. However, with no faults cross country or showjumping, finishing on his dressage score of 29.6 was enough for bronze at this year’s Games.
An honourable mention also goes to Japan’s Kazuma Tomoto. Swapping showjumping for eventing in 2016, he has spent less than five years in the discipline. Working closely with British rider William Fox-Pitt, he has gone strength to strength evidenced by being the only Olympic Japanese rider in the final showjumping phase. A clear round in the showjumping phase saw him finish fourth with ride, Vinci De La Vigne.
Header Image; Tom McEwen and Toledo Der Kerser at Tokyo 2020 (FEI/Christophe Taniere)
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