When it comes to team and individual events at the Olympics, Great Britain is now in the lead heading into the final day.
After a stellar showing in the cross-country race at Sea Forest Park, British eventers will compete for Olympic gold in team and individual events on Monday.
Oliver Townend, Laura Collett, and Tom McEwen, who are ranked first in the world, have a massive 17.9-penalty advantage in the team event.
O. Townend Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
At 23.60, Townend of Yorkshire has a slim lead over Julia Krajewski of Germany in the individual gold medal standings. Collett is in third place while McEwen is in sixth.
Townend set the pace by clearing the water five seconds before the cutoff time atop Ballaghmor Class, and he was followed by Collett and McEwen, who both performed flawlessly.
Collett, who experienced a cross-country crash eight years ago that left her blind in one eye and with several injuries, showed equally searing form onboard London 52.
With McEwen’s spectacular hat trick on Toledo De Kerser, Great Britain now holds the lead in the team competition, followed by Australia and France with scores of 78.30 and 77.70, respectively. Meanwhile, Ireland is ranked number eight.
After overnight leader and two-time Olympic champion Michael Jung suffered 11 penalties during his round on Chipmunk FRH, Townend was assured of first place heading into Monday’s final showjumping competition.
Showjumping medals for teams will be decided after one round of competition at Tokyo Equestrian Park, with the top individuals jumping again afterward. The last time Britain won an Olympic eventing team gold was 49 years ago in Munich, and only two riders, Richard Meade in 1972 and Leslie Law in 2004, have ever won an individual gold medal.
The Huddersfield native Townend rode Ballaghmor Class to victory at the 2017 Burghley and the 2018 Kentucky Five Star. We know he is a special horse,” the 38-year-old remarked. He really gets down to business and is challenging to deal with.
More than anything else, it’s his way of thinking. He has an unusual personality, but he’s tough as nails, and he really wants to accomplish his job.
“When I first saw the course and the terrain, I felt it was going to be difficult, but last night I talked myself into believing that it wouldn’t be.”