Britain’s Joanne Eccles (pictured) tops the leader board in the female individual vaulting competition heading into the final tomorrow at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Joanne received the best score — 8.435 — in today’s technical test to take back the lead after holding second overnight.
“I didn’t feel I performed at my best yesterday, so I went out there to enjoy the competition today,” said Joanne, who performed to Send in the Clowns and was dressed as a clown, in white with stripes of colour down her sides and big red, yellow and blue spots on her front.
Her graceful performance was only marred at the very end when she almost had to put a hand down as she dismounted from WH Bentley.
“Halfway through my shoe came off so it was half off, plus I was ahead of the music so I was waiting for the bell [which indicates time is almost up],” she explained. “I just didn’t bring my foot down quite quick enough, I think I was caught in the moment, but the score was still good.”
Germany’s Simone Wiegele, who led overnight, received only the 10th best mark today. She has slipped to third behind fellow German Antje Hill, who was the second highest-scorer in today’s technical test.
The individual vaulters perform in the freestyle final tomorrow, after which the medals are handed out, based on an average score across their four performances.
Joanne said: “The competitions been full of ups and downs and it could go any way. There are about seven girls who could come out on top, so my aim is to enjoy it and have a strong performance tomorrow.”
Britain’s second female vaulter through to this round, Lucy Phillips, was delighted after scoring another personal best, 7.463, having also surpassed herself in the compulsories and freestyle. She lies 13th.
“It’s a new theme and new music — I’ve only done it once in competition,” she said. “It’s the trailer from Avatar because I wanted to tell a story. I tried the theme tune, but it was a bit wishy-washy.”
Lucy revealed that she had got her turquoise outfit some two years ago for another theme, but the realised it fitted into this perfectly.
After the male technical test, Britain’s Ross Foreman lies 10th after scoring 6.608 today.
“I’m happy with the score — that’s only the third time I’ve done that technical test and it’s almost exactly the same score each time,” he said. “I came here to reach the top 10 and I’ve done that, I just need to stay there now. I’ve had a couple of slip-ups, but I can’t complain.”
Patric Looser retains the lead for Switzerland in this class, with German 2006 WEG champion Kai Vorberg second.
Log back on later for an update on the team vaulting and tomorrow to find out who wins the individual medals. Full report in H&H next week, 14 October.