Brits leap into lead in Tokyo Olympic cross-country shake up

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Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class have taken the lead after the cross-country at Tokyo 2020.
Oliver Townend and Ballaghmor Class have taken the lead after the cross-country at Tokyo 2020. © FEI/Libby Law Photography

Hot favourite Michael Jung has dropped down the rankings after an influential cross-country phase for the eventing competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Sea Forest Park.

There were just six clear rounds inside the time on the cross country – and three of those came from the British team. All three British riders now lie in the top six of the competition, and there is less than a single showjumping rail between the top five riders.

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British rider Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class posted a perfect cross-country inside the 7.45min time limit, finishing on his dressage score of 23.60 to lead the field. His team-mate, Laura Collett, did the same on London 52 to be sitting in third place on 25.80, with Germany’s Julia Krajewski and Amande De B’neville splitting the pair in second with 25.60. This put the British team in the top spot by a healthy margin.

Jung and Chipmunk added 11 penalties for triggering a frangible pin, and dropped to 10th individually with 32.10. The penalties may be reviewed. Germany is now sixth in the team rankings.

New Zealand’s Tim Price had a clean round on Vitali, but 1.20 time penalties put him just behind Collett with 26.80, in fourth position. Japanese rider Kazuma Tomoto also went clear but added 1.60 time penalties to his score on Vinci De La Vigne to be fifth with 27.50.

Tim Price and Vitali, who are in fourth place going into the showjumping phase at Tokyo 2020.
Tim Price and Vitali, who are in fourth place going into the showjumping phase at Tokyo 2020. © FEI/Libby Law Photography

Britain’s Tom McEwen (Toledo De Kerser) is next, finishing on his dressage score of 28.90, and Australia’s leading rider Andrew Hoy is just behind in seventh place on Vassily De Lassos with 29.60 penalties.

Collett and London 52’s outstanding round moved them from sixth place up into third. The pressure was on Britain’s third team member, Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser, to make it a clean sweep of clear rounds, and they didn’t disappoint. It means the British team completed the phase without having accrued a single jumping or time penalty and head into the showjumping phase on their dressage score of 78.30.

Austin O’Connor of Ireland riding Colorado Blue during the eventing Cross Country at the Sea Forest Cross-Country Course during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Austin O’Connor of Ireland riding Colorado Blue during the eventing Cross Country at the Sea Forest Cross-Country Course during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. © Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Next in the rankings is Australia with 96.2 and France third on 97.1. New Zealand is next on 104, followed by the USA (109.4), Germany (114.2), Italy (132.8), Ireland (1610) China (185.6) and Switzerland (311.4).

The final showjumping phase on August 2 is back at the Baji Koen Equestrian Centre.

» Cross-country results

Sam Watson and Tullabeg Flamenco on the Tokyo 2020 cross-country.
Sam Watson and Tullabeg Flamenco on the Tokyo 2020 cross-country. © Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

 

 

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One thought on “Brits leap into lead in Tokyo Olympic cross-country shake up

  • August 1, 2021 at 11:29 pm
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    Beautiful course but it is too bad Japan chose to clear cut and practically eliminate a forest so close to the city. Certainly they must have had other open areas to host a cross country course. I am told there was quite an opposition to cutting down the Forest for the event.

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