Gooooooood morning, sports fans, and welcome to the latest edition of ‘EN Breaks the Internet.’ I’ve done approximately three squats, chucked on a bodycon dress, popped a bottle, and have adopted The Position in preparation:
I’m kidding. I am in the exact same position I was in when I finally went to sleep four hours ago, except I’ve shifted my laptop over onto my person and am typing with one bleary eye open, having watched the sun rise for the seventh morning in a row. For the last couple of nights, I’ve shared my bed with a printer, and last night, I accidentally spilled a packet of crisps in the bed and just…lived with it. Is this the mark of a woman on the edge? Perhaps. Anyway! What am I on about! This isn’t Tilly Live Blogs Her Sad, Weird Life, it’s Tilly Live Blogs the Final Day of Tokyo! We’re due to get underway at 5.00 p.m. local time — so that’s 9.00 a.m. BST, 4.00 a.m. Eastern, or four minutes from now. Yikes.
Here’s a link to the order of go for this first session of jumping, which will be the team medal decider as well as the qualifier for the individual final later on, where the top 25 riders will battle for the podium.
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11.39: While we’re waiting for the individual rounds, check out Maggie’s predictions:
11.26: The individual final will begin at 12.45 British time, which is 7.45 on the East coast.
11.20: And here’s the individual top ten as we head into the final, which will feature the top twenty-five riders after the first round:
11.15: Here’s the final team leaderboard, and a sense of how extraordinary that British achievement was:
11.10: This first showjumping session has already rearranged our individual standings going into the final, which will see the top 25 riders return over a shorter, but bigger, course. Now, it’s Germany’s Julia Krajewski sitting in top spot, and what a story — she had to retire her top horse this year after he lost an eye, and her father passed away earlier this year. She’s been in the tough position this week of competing against her beloved Chipmunk, who she lost the ride on in late 2018 to Michael Jung, and her feisty mare Mandy is pretty green in comparison to many of the obvious contenders here this week. And yet, here she is: on top of the world with one round left to ride.
11.08: So to recap! That’s:
- A British team full of Olympic debutants winning gold by a country mile for the first time since 1972
- The intrepid Aussies climbing from sixth after the first phase to silver, despite a last-minute horse-and-rider substitution before the first phase
- Rio’s gold medallists France climbing from ninth to bronze, despite having to replace two horses and largely riding inexperienced horses
11.04: The first part of the double comes down but it’s team gold for Britain — their first since 1972! NINETEEN SEVENTY SODDING TWO. My mother was four years old! That is SUCH A LONG TIME AGO OH MY GOD
11.03: Ballaghmor Class chucks his head over the second element of the treble and taps — but doesn’t topple — the third. Clear so far.
11.02: Okay, okay, this is fine, everything’s fine, Oliver Townend has four rails in hand.
11.01: Goes for the six strides to the double and remains clear. Jumps the last – CLEAR! Australia will take silver at worst!
11.00: This is Andrew’s eighth Olympics so he’s not lacking in experience dealing with pressure.
10.59: CLEAR! France is guaranteed bronze, and could move up in just a moment — Andrew Hoy needs to go clear to stay ahead.
10.58: Christopher Six in for France now. They’re in bronze now but could move to silver — a clear round here is essential.
10.55: Tim Price last in for New Zealand in just his second CCI4*-L with inexperienced Vitali. That inexperience is showing through — the first and last part of the treble fall. Ugh, and now the first part of the double.
10.54: I don’t feel bad calling out the commentator, mind you — he’s been actually laughing at teams’ misfortunes. Ugh, Boyd takes the first part of the double — that fence is such a heartbreaker. They also add 0.4 time.
10.53: Boyd Martin in now for the US — or ‘Martin Boyd’ as this very odd commentator calls him.
10.52: Rattles that first element of the double but they’re clear! What a round, and on an inexperienced horse. Super, super stuff!
10.51: Julia Krajewski in with Amande de b’Neville — the shining lights of the German team this week. Germany won’t make the podium as a team, but a clear now will set Julia up well to fight for her own medal later on. She’s currently in silver position.
10.50: Aaaaaaaand the first part of the double falls again. I have a feeling I’ll dream about that damn pole tonight.
10.49: Vittoria Panizzon and Super Cillious are up next for Italy. This is a horse who takes some real riding, and Vitto is one of the most tactful riders in the world — so she’s getting the best she can out of him. One rail so far, though.
10.47: The first part of the double falls again, but clear otherwise. The ring crew must be so sick of that fence.
10.46: Austin O’Connor in now for Ireland. He and Colorado Blue delivered one of seven clears inside the time yesterday to be best of the Irish — not bad for a last-minute substitution!
10.45: Clear on the second attempt and big pats for Don. My heart breaks for him — to come so close to something so big is an enormous blow. I hope he can take the positives away and realise that coming close this time means he can do so again.
10.44: Oh my god, I wasn’t expecting that. Don Geniro slams on the brakes at the final fence after a foot-perfect round. They wait for it to be rebuilt so they can try again.
10.43: Alex Hua Tian and Don Geniro come forward as the final Chinese pair. It’s been a bittersweet week so far for Alex — he was in bronze position after dressage but 12 time penalties yesterday pushed them to 18th. On the flip side, they’re helping make history with this first-ever Chinese team, which will complete the Olympics. That’s pretty magical. Clear through that tough double so far!
10.42: Nothing to add for Mélody and the cheers are enormous considering this is a spectator-free event! This commentator does make me laugh: “she only took up eventing in 2013! I wonder if anyone has taken up the sport that late.” Yes. Kazu. The rider you just saw.
10.41: Mélody Johner up now with Toubleu du Rueire for Switzerland. Another former showjumper here — she took up eventing on a challenge from her husband. Our kind of gal.
10.40: Kazu and Vinci tap the last hard but it doesn’t fall so just the one rail to add. They’ll jump in the individual final later on.
10.39: Kazu looking excellent so far — he was a top-level showjumper until 2016, when he swapped to eventing. Aaaaand I’ve cursed it, because the first rail of the double comes down. Damn it.
10.38: Just the one to add for Carlos and Goliath, who only stepped up to four star late last year. Kazuma Tomoto in now for Japan with Vinci de la Vigne.
10.36: Carlos Parro in with the green Goliath, who has put in such game efforts this week and looks to be a real star for the future.
10.34: Jan Kaminski in for Poland in this final rotation. Two down so far, including the second part of the double, for Jard. My autocorrect STILL thinks this horse is called Hard.
10.33: Someone just knocked on my door and I bellowed “IMSORRYIMDOINGLIVEUPDATESANDITSTHEOLYMPICSANDITSTHETEAMFINALANDICANTIMSORRYAAARRGGHHHH” so loudly that they’ve left. Sorry to whoever that was.
10.32: Louise Romeike jumps for Sweden with Cato 60 despite a technical elimination for missing a fence yesterday. They take three rails — a tough week for the Swedes.
10.30: I wonder how high Laura’s heart rate is right now. No one will have expected that from this exceptional jumping horse — it was rather like he took off and then tried to take off again in mid-air.
10.29: Crikey! They absolutely demolish the fence before the treble, but regroup to get through the double clear. Britain is still safe — they had five fences in hand and now go back to having four. The double remains upright.
10.28: Phew. Okay. Now. Laura Collett and London 52. I shan’t say anything about this horse’s jumping skills because I don’t want to jinx anything.
10.27: Shane Rose and Virgil in now — but the first part of the double falls when Virgil taps the front rail with his hind end. Australia is back to being just one penalty ahead of France.
10.26: There’s now less than a rail between France and New Zealand as they head into their final rotation. If Tim Price goes clear on Vitali, Christopher Six will need to do so as well to keep France on the podium.
10.25: The second part of the double comes down. They’re giving second-placed Australia a bit of breathing room — they’ve gone from a one penalty margin to a five penalty margin. Karim is clear over the last.
10.24: Will this round make the Kiwis’ journey easier? It’s Karim Laghouag, who was part of the gold medal winning team at Rio. This time, he rides Triton Fontaine. They look stylish to start.
10.23: Jonelle practically steeplechases the double and it stays up! A beautiful clear for Jonelle and Rev. The Kiwis get closer to that podium.
10.22: Jonelle Price in for the Kiwis with Grovine de Reve. This horse jumped super for third at Kentucky, and Jonelle has ice in her veins. I reckon she’s probably at her best when she’s in this kind of spot — fourth as a team, and fighting to take over a place on the podium.
10.21: Oof. Another down for Phillip and Z. They slip below Germany now and that podium dream is looking further and further away.
10.20: Phillip Dutton in now for the USA with Z. The final part of the treble comes down — Z looks to come right down on it behind.
10.19: Gosh, that is bittersweet for Michi — he jumps a foot perfect round. This horse’s weak phase has been the showjumping, and ordinarily we’d have been looking to him to jump in the lead and risk losing it on a rail. He’d be in the lead if not for that MIMclip; and with that round, he’d be our Olympic champion for the third time in a row.
10.17: Michael Jung comes forward for Germany — and it’s odd to see him coming forward halfway through the order. He’s in individual tenth because he — you guessed it! — hit the MIMclip at 14C. The rail didn’t fall until he was several strides away, which is…interesting.
10.16: Nothing to add for Italy in that round — super riding and a lovely jumping horse.
10.15: Susanna Bordone and Imperial van de Holtakkers for Italy also had that MIMclip at 14C yesterday, though added no time — they’re clear over fence six so far.
10.13: Sam’s another rider with an unconventional style over fences, though he’s effective. Today, though, luck isn’t on his side — he has two down, including the first part of that double, which is proving to be the bogey fence of this round.
10.12: Ireland’s Sam Watson and golden boy Flamenco now in. They produced a spectacular round for two time penalties yesterday — but raise your hands if you’ve ever felt personally victimised by the MIMclip at fence 14C, because they certainly have. They were one of seven pairs to pick up 11 there.
10.10: Just chips in at the first as Flandia looks a bit backed off, but she’s scopey enough — and Bao is capable enough — that they make it through clear and pick up a better rhythm by the time they get to the treble. They miss at the oxer before the wall and give it a clonk, but it stays up. The double stays up, too, but annoyingly the single oxer after it falls. They’ve gotten lucky a few times over this course and that appears to be their pay-to-play. One rail and 1.6 time to add — another valuable round for China’s first-ever eventing team.
10.09: Felix opts for more of an inside line to the double from the triple bar, but the pole still falls. They have a second rail shortly after and you can see the pain and frustration on his face. China’s Bao Yingfeng will be next in with lovely Flandia 2.
10.08: This round is looking very, very good so far. So does Felix, mind you.
10.07: Now in: Felix Vogg and Colero, the most experienced pair on this Swiss team. We’ve seen this pair finish in the top ten at Kentucky CCI5*, and Felix is ranked in the top twenty in the world rankings.
10.06: The third from home and the final fence both fall after what was a brilliant first two-thirds of a round.
10.05: Next up is Toshiyuki Tanaka for Japan, who had a run-out and 10.8 time penalties with Talma d’Allou yesterday. It’s not been the week Japan had been hoping for, so their hopes rest on an individual medal for Kazuma Tomoto.
10.04: Two down for Malgorzata and Chenaro but a good round and an admirable effort, considering they lost a stirrup on course yesterday and had to ride on without it. We’re so impressed by this 23-year-old, who has just one horse and is also a full-time Psychology student.
10.03: Malgorzata Cybulska and Chenaro 2 come forward to jump for Poland after their technical elimination for missing a fence yesterday. This is allowable under the new format — and they’ll be one of just two Polish combinations to jump for the team today, as Joanna Pawlak and Fantastic Frieda were spun in this morning’s final horse inspection.
10.01: Marcio plans to retire this 19-year-old gelding, who he rode at the 2018 WEG, after this competition — so even though Brazil is miles out of contention for a placing, it’s wonderful to get to see Marcio and Iberon JMen in this beautiful arena. They have one down and 0.4 time, and they finish to a huge cheer. Honestly, what is wrong with me — I’ve started crying watching him cantering around hugging his beloved horse’s neck. What a super partnership.
10.00: Now we have a first rider for Team Brazil, and it’s a sub: this is Marcio Appel and Iberon JMen. He replaces Rafael Losano and Fuiloda G. The last-minute withdrawal of Marcelo Tosi and Glenfly means that just two combinations will represent Brazil in this final phase.
9.59: Another in for Sweden; this is Therese Viklund, who fell from the lovely one-eyed Viscera yesterday. They tip two rails and add 0.4 time, too.
9.57: Well, that was glorious, because of course it was! Toledo knows he’s done well and cocks an ear at his sobbing groom as if to say, ‘you ever doubted me?’
9.55: Let the clenching begin: it’s Tom McEwen up now for the Brits on Toledo de Kerser. This is one of the best jumping horses in the sport, even though he’s so quirky that Tom can’t really school him over fences at home.
9.54: I love this game, bold little horse. Kevin, for his part, is a stylist, with one of the most following hands in the game. They’re clear! Best ride we’ve seen so far from the triple bar to and through the double. Super stuff! That puts some pressure on Great Britain, who are currently miles ahead with four rails in hand — but every clear round will make them clench their bums a little harder.
9.53: Kevin McNab now in for silver-placed Australia. Don Quidam has a 50/50 chance of going clear, realistically. They’re safe through the treble!
9.51: Nicolas clears the last with his characteristic elbows-out enthusiasm, and they’re clear! Just 0.4 time to add — this is a HUGE moment for the French team, who currently sit in bronze but wouldn’t be on the strongest show jumpers in the field.
9.50: France’s Nicolas Touzaint up next with Absolut Gold HDC. Our former European Champion has a unique style over fences, but you can’t fault his effectiveness.
9.49: They’re picking up the pace midway through the course. They get a bit lucky at the plank, the penultimate fence, when the horse swaps his leg on the way in, but they’re clear with just 0.4 to add. They won’t give the US an open door to the podium — it’ll be closely fought for that bronze medal position, which is currently held by France.
9.47: Just four penalties to add for Doug and Vandiver. We’ll have to wait and see if he gets through to the individual final. Jesse Campbell in now with Diachello, who looks to have recovered after visibly tiring on course yesterday. He’s not running through the hand like we’ve seen many do, but he’s got his ears pricked and is jumping carefully. They will have time penalties.
9.46: They live a bit dangerously down to the wall, but get away with it. First part of the double goes, though.
9.46: Now up: Doug Payne and Vandiver for the US. The team sits fifth at the moment and within touching distance of the podium. This round is very, very important.
9.45: We get a nice glimpse of Germany’s team showjumping trainer, Marcus Döring, in the kiss and cry zone. What a delicious bit of eye candy for a Monday morning.
9.42: Sandra Auffarth in with Viamant du Matz for Germany, who sit sixth after an uncharacteristically tricky day for the team yesterday. This pair had a surprise 20 penalties yesterday but Sandra has come out with fire in her belly to try to add nothing further today. It’s easy to see why she was our former World Champ; she has ice in her veins. Clear.
9.41: Arianna Schivo and Quefira de l’Ormeau up for Italy — they were super yesterday, adding just 2.8 time penalties. They’re looking quick today, too, and Arianna is having to discuss a few things with fiery Quefira along the way. The second part of the double goes, but that’s all.
9.39: Sarah balances forward riding and precision well on this course and has just one fence down. It’s great to see all these horses coming out so well after yesterday’s exertions in the heat — and they’ve had much longer than normal to recover, which is helpful. They finished cross-country around noon on Sunday, and now it’s after 5 p.m. the following day in their time.
9.38: Now the turn of Ireland’s Sarah Ennis and Woodcourt Garrison. This is a rider with an enormous amount of experience — she was part of the silver medal winning team at WEG in 2018, though not on this horse.
9.37: This horse has a huge stride and Sun just doesn’t quite scale it back enough on that related distance from the triple bar to the double. They take the first part, and then get a bit forward and deep to the final fence, too. 9.6 to add in total, as they finish four seconds over the time, too.
9.36: The first of our Chinese riders — and the first actual team rider we’ve seen — is Sun Huadong and Lady Chin V’T Moerven Z. They jumped a slow and steady clear yesterday and Sun, who also showjumps, will be looking to make some headway in this phase with this very nice jumping horse.
9.34: It’s sub city in here. Switzerland sends forward Eveline Bodenmüller and Violine de la Brasserie. There’s a 20 penalty addition to the team score for the substitution, plus a 200 penalty ‘fee’ for the non-completion of cross-country of the horse and rider she replaces, but Eveline adds nothing further — another super clear from a fresh horse who hasn’t run cross-country.
9.32: Now in is Ryuzo Kitajima who, like Sara, has been subbed in for this final phase for team Japan. He replaces Yoshiaki Oiwa and Calle 44, which is something of a surprise as they passed this morning’s horse inspection. Ryuzo and Feroza Nieuwmoed give us our first clear!
9.29: Sara Algotsson-Ostholt and Chicuelo are first up for Sweden. She hasn’t competed in any other phases this week, but as the sub rider, she’s been pulled in to replace one of the non-completing riders. And honestly, they’re having a rough time of it: Louise Romeike was technically eliminated for missing a fence, Therese Viklund fell from Viscera, and Ludwig withdrew after dressage. They’ve effectively lodged non-completion penalties across the board for 723.9 total team penalties after Sara pulls three rails and adds 0.8 time penalties.
9.28: Here’s a reminder of how the team standings are looking:
9.26: ‘Fighty’ has lived up to his name a tad through the week, but he seems on side today — they have the first part of the double when Lea slightly kicks and flings at it, but the rest of this round, and this pair’s week, has been impressive. Now onto team riders!
9.25: Lea Siegl for Austria is up next with DSP Fighting Line; they had an impressive clear to sit 16th overnight yesterday. Lea is just 22 — the youngest rider in the field — and says that that really takes the pressure off her, because she knows she has so much time.
9.23: Gosh, Fouaad really is a beautiful rider; you can tell he trains with the Germans. That influence is so evident in his riding. He has the second part of the treble, which is a shame, and then the last fence falls after they have a pretty big miss. Seigneur — who was piloted at the top level previously by Bettina Hoy — has never found this phase the easiest.
9.22: India’s Fouaad Mirza and Seigneur have been extremely impressive this week — they were in the top ten after dressage and then added 11.2 time yesterday to sit 22nd overnight. They’re fighting now for the chance to jump in the individual final later.
9.21: Colleen Loach and Qorry Blue d’Argourges are in for Canada. They had a bit of a bad time in this phase at Kentucky but are looking good so far. Colleen opts to swing wide out after the triple bar and come into the double on a very forward stride. The second part falls, and then they take another late pole at the end of the course.
9.19: Miroslav is a gutsy jumper himself; he gets himself slightly in the backseat, allows the horse his neck, and encourages an open, positive stride. They tip just one pole — the first part of the double — but it’s a back rail that falls and with time, they’ll tidy up the edges of the performance with this ten-year-old.
9.18: Now in for the Czech Republic: Miroslav Prihoda and the adorable Ferreolus Lat. This JUMPS.
9.17: 26 penalties to add in total for Andrey and Gurza — five rails, and six time penalties. Just a little bit lacking in planning, that round.
9.15: The second Russian competitor is in now; this is Andrey Mitin and Gurza. This horse was very cool across the country, though picked up 30 time penalties. They take two parts out of the treble after adding strides on the way in and then having to scrape their way through.
9.14: They bowl down from the triple bar to the double in six strides, get a bit close, and have the first part of the double down. In total, they’ll take three rails down, but this will have been super experience for them to gain ahead of Paris 2024.
9.13: The Czech Republic’s Miroslav Trunda and Shutterflyke are in now and making a lovely show of it so far — though the second element of the triple is tipped. This ten-year-old still looks incredibly keen, and takes a flyer with pricked ears at the upright wall, but leaves it intact.
9.11: Nicolas kicks on for the triple bar, which works well — at that fence. It’s a short distance from there to the double, and he’s just too flat for it, so both parts fall. The next falls, too, so he adds 16 penalties but no time.
9.10: Nicolas Wettstein and Altier d’Aurois. The live dangerously at three, and take off nearly from underneath it, but it stays up. The last part of the treble goes, though, after they just lose their shape a bit there.
9.08: Denmark’s Peter Flarup is next in with Fascination. They didn’t have the easiest time of it yesterday, so this will be about giving this relatively young and inexperienced horse a good, educational experience. They’re clear so far through the treble and jump the wall beautifully. They run on a bit after the triple bar and the first part of the double falls, but a nice, swift round with just the one rail.
9.07: In fact, Tayberry is perhaps too feisty today — he’s getting a bit ahead of himself and jumping slightly over his front end, which sees him tip up three rails and the brick wall, too. They add some time, as well. The 79 second time is looking pretty tight out there.
9.06: Three down and 2.4 to add for Mikhail and Imagine If. Tom Heffernan Ho and Tayberry, who’s looking super today, tip an early rail. This 20-year-old gelding, who’s just 15.1hh, looks nice and feisty today.
9.05: Let’s take a look at this first-round course, which is set at 1.25:
9.03: Francisco tips three rails — but wow, what an exceptional feeling to have completed three phases at the Games! Russia’s Mikhail Nastenko and MP Imagine If in next, and straight away, they have one down.
9.02: First into the ring is Spain’s Francisco Gaviño Gonzalez, who brings forward 123 penalties from across the first two phases. His spicy mare Source de la Faye doesn’t appear to have been fazed by her exertions so far!