Laura Collett and London 52 collected four penalties at fence four, an oxer over a water tray, in their first Olympic eventing showjumping round for the team medals today (2 August) at the Tokyo Games. Their new individual score of 29.8 meant that Britain maintained their team gold medal position, 17.9 penalties ahead of Australia in team silver, and, helped to contribute to team gold for Team GB. Laura now sits in fifth place ahead of the second individual round of showjumping.
Olympic eventing showjumping: Laura Collett reflects on her round
“He started jumping mega, his normal self. Then, just as I came around the corner and straightened up to [fence four], I think the lights shone on the water and there was a bit of a reflection and he just suddenly started to draw back and then I got quite far off it,” Laura explained after her round.
“He just spooked basically and ended up paddling through the poles, but he is a very good jumper to recover and come straight to the treble without it luckily it fazing him – he got it back together and finished jumping really nicely.”
Although relieved it didn’t put a huge amount of pressure on Oliver Townend, who was the last rider to jump for Britain in the team competition, Laura was understandably a bit disappointed.
“Obviously I’m gutted and it’s a shame but I think it could have been a whole lot worse in that situation, so I’m just relieved that we managed to scrape it back.
“I think I’d have been even more annoyed if it had been an unlucky rub of a pole – I was no doubt in that fence was coming down and luckily we didn’t come down as well.”
Laura said that she is still very proud of the 12-year-old London 52, who she owns with Karen Bartlett and Keith Scott.
“I’m really, really proud of him for doing that in that in that environment with the pressure and everything – it’s so annoying and frustrating but equally I have to look at the flip side that it could have been even worse,” she explained.
“It’s one of those things – he’s never jumped under lights before and it’s a huge occasion in there and he’s still pretty inexperienced so hopefully he’ll have learned from it and do better next time.”
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