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Twomey boosts Ireland's Olympic chances

January 23, 2012

Billy Twomey further boosted Ireland's chances of securing two individual slots at this year's Olympic Games in London with a fourth place in the weekend's World Cup Qualifier at Leipzig in Germany aboard Tinka's Serenade.

Billy Twomey and Tinka's Serenade. © Kit Houghton/FEI
The last published Olympic rankings, which took account of results up to December 31, 2011, saw Twomey in the third of Europe's three qualifying slots with Ireland's Denis Lynch leading the rankings.

However, following his fourth place in last week's Grand Prix in Basel, Switzerland, his second place in the ranking class in Leipzig on Friday and Sunday's Grand Prix result, Twomey has now moved to the top of the unconfirmed European Olympic rankings. Denis Lynch is still in the second of Europe's qualifying slots with the cut off date of March 1 just over one month away.

Both riders and their main rivals for the available slots move on to the World Cup show in Zurich this weekend.

Cork-born Twomey collected €15,000 for his place on Sunday, with the winner's purse of €37,500 going to Germany's Christian Ahlmann and Taloubet Z, who were the fastest of the five double clear rounds at Leipzig.

Twomey also moved up 20 places to 19th in the World Cup rankings after his fourth place finish, with Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson top of the leaderboard, and Ireland's Denis Lynch in second.

• Earlier, Lynch added more ribbons to the Irish tally when finishing second in Saturday's jump-off class, and later sharing first place in the Six Bar competition. He also took a fifth in the speed class.

In the jump-off competition Lynch, piloting Abbervail van het Dingeshof, was one of eight combinations to make the cut for the final round from a starting field of 49, but ended up just over a second off the pace of Dutch winner Maikel van der Vleuten and Vdl Groep Zandorra. The Irish rider, who currently lies seventh in the Rolex World rankings, won €4800, while van der Vleuten took home a car.

In the speed class Lynch stopped the clock at 56.96 seconds with Twister S, picking up €2000, with France's Patrice Delaveau and Baritchou HDC collecting the first prize of a car in a finishing time of 55.74 seconds.

The 35 year-old Irishman then went on to tie for first place in the last competition of the night, the Six Bar, riding Upsilon d'Ocquier. He was one of four to reach the fourth round, where all finalists faulted once, but still took €4575 in prize money.



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