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Rediff.com  » Sports » France takes first gold in team eventing; Germany's Jung claims second individual gold

France takes first gold in team eventing; Germany's Jung claims second individual gold

Last updated on: August 10, 2016 02:39 IST

Karim Florent Laghouag (FRA) of France riding Entebbe jumps.

IMAGE: France's Karim Florent Laghouag riding Entebbe jumps during the eventing team jumping final at the Olympic Equestrian Centre in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

France won its first gold medal of the Rio Games in eventing on Tuesday in a dramatic show jumping final, rising two places from the cross country phase after riders from Australia and New Zealand knocked rails down.

Germany had to settle for silver as their Olympics' streak of two team titles ended.

Australia took bronze while New Zealand, who were in the running for silver after the cross country, slipped to fourth when seven-time Olympian Mark Todd knocked several rails down.

Eventing is a three-phased sport including dressage, cross country and show jumping. France last won the team gold in Athens in 2004.

"We've been waiting a long time to bring the French flag back to the top," said Astier Nicolas, 27, who was the team's top individual rider with a silver medal.

Nicolas jumped a clear first round on his horse Piaf de B'Neville but had a near miss at an oxer in the final jump-off, snagging a rail. Jung rode two clear rounds to claim another gold.

"It was just bad riding," Nicolas said of the rail that earned him four faults.

Michael Jung of Germany riding Sam jumps during the eventing team jumping final at the Equestrian event at Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday

IMAGE: Michael Jung of Germany riding Sam jumps during the eventing team jumping final at the Equestrian event at Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Earlier, Germany's Michael Jung claimed his second consecutive individual eventing gold medal on Sam after posting two clear rounds in the final show jumping phase on Tuesday.

France's Astier Nicolas took silver with one rail down and Phillip Dutton of the United States won bronze.

Eventing is a three-phased sport including dressage, cross country and show jumping.

Jung, widely considered the best eventing rider ever, only turned to Sam, the 16-year-old German Sport Horse he rode to win gold in London, a week before the animals were due to fly to Rio. His first and younger choice, Takinou, had suffered an infection.

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