Great Britain win team eventing GOLD for the first time since 1972 after strong showjumping display on final day of competition… and individual medals could follow today
Great Britain’s eventers took a glorious gold medal in the team competition in Tokyo.
The trio of Oliver Townend, Laura Collett and Tom McEwen prevailed in the final showjumping round after going into the day with a near impregnable lead of 17.9 penalties. Even though that was cut to 13.9 at the end of the night, it was still enough for glory.
Final British rider Townend had the luxury of knowing he could knock four fences down and still win gold, such was the team’s dominance.
Great Britain’s eventing team won the gold medal for the first time since the 1972 Olympics
Oliver Townend, Laura Collett (above) and Tom McEwen produced GB’s 11th gold of the Games
All three British riders were making Games debuts, but they delivered high-class displays to end a 49-year wait for team gold.
Britain finished on a score of 86.30, and it is a third equestrian medal in Tokyo for Team GB following Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry winning dressage team bronze, and Dujardin also collecting an individual bronze.
It is only Britain’s third Olympic team crown in eventing after Stockholm in 1956 and Munich 16 years later.
Attention now switches to the individual final, which follows the team competition later on Monday, with Townend starting the showjumping phase in the silver medal position behind Germany’s Julia Krajewski.
Townend is second in the individual standings and in with a chance of winning a second gold
Reflecting on his round, McEwen said: ‘He is a class horse and a great jumper, so it was just up to me on top.
‘My nerves were fine. They (Townend and Collett) are both brilliant riders, and I had no doubt they would pull it straight out of the bag quite easily and comfortably.’
And Collett, who dropped places individually after having one fence down, added: ‘He (London 52) was his normal self at the start, then I think there was a reflection off the water and he just spooked, basically.
‘He got it back together. It’s a shame, but it could have been a whole lot worse in that situation. It was a very clever course.’
Collett revealed her horse London 52 was spooked by a reflection coming off the water