Barcelona, Oct 2 (EFE).- Belgium won the Jumping Nations Cup final at the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona on Sunday, an achievement that also gives them a place to compete in this discipline at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
Given that most of the contenders in the Barcelona arena had already secured their place in the Olympics, the focus was on the duel between Belgium and Switzerland for the spot, and, with a perfect round, the Belgians gave the Swiss no chance.
Koen Vereecke with the horse ‘Kasanova de la Pomme’, Gilles Thomas with ‘Calleryama’ and Jerome Guery with ‘Quel Homme de Hus’ marked three perfect rounds to leave their country’s scoreboard with zero penalty points and add the third Nations Cup to their trophy cabinet.
Guery admitted in a press conference that “the pressure to be in Paris was to win here,” especially because his “dream is always the Olympics”.
France, the main favorite given their performance in Thursday’s qualifying event, finished second with four penalty points and a cumulative time of 241.32 seconds, equal on points but faster than the Swiss with 244.73 seconds.
Switzerland’s efforts were insufficient. The team recorded two “zeros” but Martin Fuchs’ picked up four penalty points with a knockdown to finish third. They need to earn their spot at the Olympics at the next European Championships in Milan in 2023.
The Netherlands were fifth with eight penalty points, followed by Great Britain with 16 points.
Spain, unable to capitalize from performing in front of a home crowd, were unlucky to finish sixth as they were pipped at the post by the British by just 0.03 of a second.
Germany and Ireland were seventh and eighth respectively in the Nations Cup final, organized by the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) for the last ten years in Barcelona.