Equestrian: hosts USA take gold ahead of Sweden
Seventh place Ireland have two more chances to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympics
The USA celebrate team gold in North Carolina. Photograph: Erik S Lesser/EPA
The USA won gold following a jump-off with Sweden in Friday’s final team show jumping competition at the World Equestrian Games in Tryon, North Carolina.
Over a one-round, 14-fence, 1.65m track built by Tipperary’s Alan Wade, the USA and Sweden finished on 20.59 penalties apiece with Germany claiming bronze on a score of 22.09. In the short, six-fence jump-off, which had a long gallop to the final oxer, three members of both teams left all the fences intact so it came down to time with the USA claiming gold in 100.67 seconds with Sweden having to settle for silver in 102.73.
The Swiss team, who went into the final leg in first place, slipped to fourth on 28.64 but they booked themselves a place in the 2020 Olympics as did The Netherlands (32.35) and Australia (33.32). Ireland, who finished seventh (39.12), and Britain, who were narrowly behind in eighth (40.04), have two more chances to qualify for Tokyo.
Cian O’Connor is the only Irish rider going forward to Sunday’s 25-strong individual final over two rounds. He finished sixth on Friday with Ardena Springs and Ronocco Jump’s 12-year-old stallion Good Luck (6.69 penalties) behind Germany’s Simone Blum riding DSP Alice (2.47).