A clear round from Shane Sweetnam has kept Ireland in medal contention at the halfway stage of the team final in Gothenburg tonight (Friday, 25 August), with Sweden currently holding the gold medal position.
Partnering Chaqui 5, Shane produced an immaculate clear round to boost the Irish hopes. They hold the silver medal position joint with Belgium at this stage in the team final and field just three riders after Bertram Allen withdrew Hector Van D’Abdijhoev yesterday.
“There was a lot of pressure on because we only have three so there is no room for error and everything counts, but he jumped great,” said Shane. “He gave me everything. It’s a tricky course — 14 jumps in there is a lot, probably the most I’ve seen.”
Overnight runners-up Switzerland have dropped down the leader board after both trailblazer Nadja Peter Steiner and Romain Duguet picked up penalties.
Clear rounds are few and far between so far and the time is proving influential.
Sweden’s trailblazer Henrik Von Eckermann produced a clear round, picking up a time penalty, to keep their gold-medal hopes alive going into the second half of this team final, before team-mate Malin Baryard-Johnsson retired her mount.
Disappointment for solo Brit
William Whitaker, riding as an individual, had two fences down with Utamaro D’Ecaussines early on.
“He spooked at fence three and it broke our rhythm to the combination afterwards — the rest of the course he jumped well. It is a tough track,” said William.
More from the Europeans…
The team currently hold joint third but will go into tomorrow's team final fielding three riders
The Irish quartet share bronze after today's first team leg, despite one of their riders taking a tumble
Check out all the results from the 2017 European Championships here.
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