‘The feeling I had makes the disappointment even bigger’: late rails end Olympic individual title hopes for Martin Fuchs and Clooney 51

  • Reigning European champions Martin Fuchs and Clooney 52 will not be adding a medal from the Olympic showjumping individual final to their collection after finishing on eight faults in the first round.

    The pair were foot perfect over the first 12 obstacles in Santiago Varela’s testing Tokyo Olympic course, but clipped the front rail of the 1.55m Sakura (cherry blossom) oxer at 13 and the last fence – a teetering 1.66m upright.

    “I had a really good feeling throughout the course. He was good to handle, very nice to ride,” said Martin.

    The Swiss world number two, who took individual silver with Luigi Baleri’s 15-year-old Cornet Obolensky gelding at the 2018 World Equestrian Games, added the way the horse felt for most of the course is what makes the “disappointment even bigger”.

    “He jumped the third last fence very careful, very backwards. I landed and I didn’t see the five strides to the second last, so I decided quickly to do the six strides, but didn’t execute them properly enough. We got too close to the second last fence and had the rail down,” he said.

    “Then I was just like, ‘let’s go as fast as we can to the last fence so maybe be the fastest four faults’, which also didn’t work out.”

    While this is the end of the road for the world number two’s chances in the Olympic showjumping individual final, the combination’s Tokyo Olympic showjumping team medal hopes remain alive as part of the Swiss side.

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