A strong German team won its second consecutive Olympic gold medal in equestrian team eventing at Greenwich Park on Tuesday. Michael Jung's two clear rounds also gave him individual gold.
Germany went into the event atop the standings after yesterday's cross-country and never lost the lead. Great Britain, the host nation, took silver and New Zealand, the bronze.
Britain's Zara Phillips and Nicola Wilson both knocked down rails scuppering Britain's chances of gold. But New Zealand's Mark Todd had one fence down allowing Tina Cook to secure the silver for GBR even with four penalties. Meanwhile, teammate veterans William Fox-Pitt and Lionheart, and Mary King on Imperial Cavalier, both produced clear rounds, but Fox-Pitt's lower overall score for team GBR was discounted.
Germany ended with a final score of 133.7. Britain's final score was 138.2, while New Zealand had 144.4. The United States finished seventh with 208.6.
German Gold medal winning team in eventing
The US team had climbed to fifth place yesterday after the cross-country portion of the competition, but were slammed by the news that Boyd Martin had been forced to withdraw his horse, Otis Barbortiere. To make matters worse, Phillip Dutton then hit two rails and had a refusal during his ride in the jumping phase, but Dutton and teammate Karen O'Connor did advance to the top 25 individual riders jumping final.
Martin was one of six Olympic riders, two from Belgium, one from France, and the only Polish rider who withdrew from the competition after cross-country. One of the last two Canadians also left the competition after failing or not presenting their horse for inspection. The Canadian's did not fair well yesterday, two of their riders were eliminated for falls and Hawley Bennett-Awad left the course in an ambulance having suffered a concussion and fractured sacrum after a fall.
Sweden's Sara Algotsson Ostholt on Wega with 39.3, entered the final round of individual jumping in first, followed by Germany's Michael Jung on Sam second with 40.6. Great Britain's Mary King and Imperial Cavalier with 42.1 were third and Tina Cook fourth. Germany's Sandra Auffarth was fifth and teammate Ingrid Klimke's terrible team jumping round, dropped her to eighth. Klimke had led after Monday's cross-country phase.
Silver medal winning Britsh team in the eventing.
Entering the individual gold medal round it was Sara Algotsson Ostholt's to lose, and lose it she did, to a cool-as-a-cucumber round from Germany's Michael Jung. Jumping last but one in the individual competition, Jung's clear and penalty-free round placed Ostholt in the unenviable position of needing a clear round to win the gold.
It looked like the Swedish rider might just do it. Then heartbreak. In the last fence but one – a triple combination, Wega rattled a couple of rails and never recovered his stride. Sara Algotsson Ostholt's horse toppled the last fence on the course and had to settle for silver, the individual gold medal went to Jung.
Britain's Mary King and Tina Cook took themselves out of medal contention. Both had terrible rounds with 8 penalties apiece finishing 5th and 6th respectively. Teammate Zara Phillips was eighth. Germany's Sandra Auffarth produced a stellar round on Opgun Louvo and secured individual bronze. But New Zealand's Mark Todd crashed out of the rankings, finishing twelfth.
Karen O'Conner was the only American rider to finish in the top ten. O'Conner and Mr Medicott finished 9th with 53.8.
Final standings – Individual eventing:
Zara Phillips receives her silver medal from her mother The Princess Royal.
1. Michael Jung/Sam, GER, 40.6
2. Sara Algotsson Ostholt/Wega, SWE, 43.3
3. Sandra Auffarth/Opgun Louvo, GER, 44.8
4. Andrew Nicholson/Nereo, NZL, 49.0
5. Mary King/Imperial Cavalier, GBR, 50.1
6. Kristina Cook/Miners Frolic, GBR, 51.0
7. Aoife Clark/Master Crusoe, IRE, 52.5
8. Zara Phillips/High Kingdom, GBR, 53.1
9. Karen O'Connor/Mr Medicott, USA, 53.8
10. Jonathan Paget/Clifton Promise, NZL, 53.9
Olympic equestrian will continue on Thursday with Individual dressage, Grand Prix day 1.