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Germany’s Jung, French team begin defense of full contest title

Madrid, Jul 29 (EFE).- Germany’s Michael Jung in individual competition and Team France are to begin on Friday their defense of the Olympic title at Japan’s Baji Koen Equestrian Park.

The full contest is divided into three competitions to take place over three different days. Dressage, Cross Country and Obstacle Jumping make up the set in that order, which will award an individual value each and the combined sum will form the final classification.

Michael Jung will start the Dressage event second-to-last with his horse Chipmunk FRH and will seek his third consecutive gold after winning with his steed Sam FBW in London 2012 and Rio 2016. The American Phillip Dutton, who shared the podium with Jung in Rio with bronze, will start in 27th position.

The British rider Oliver Townend, currently number one in the world, will make a bid for Olympic champion on the back of Ballaghmor Class on the new Olympic track that will debut in Baji Koen. The pair will appear second, once the Thai Arinadtha Chavatanont and Boleybawn Prince finish their exercise.

Thomas Heffernan (with Tayberry) will be the first rider in history to compete in the Full Show on behalf of Hong-Kong.

The 62-year-old Australian Andrew Hoy will be the oldest athlete to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Complete Competition, forty years older than the Austrian Lea Siegl, the youngest rider.

In the team competition, France arrives in Tokyo as Olympic champion. In Rio France beat Germany and Australia; silver and bronze, respectively. Thailand and China are making their debut in the team competition.

Once the horse inspections were carried out, the number of participants in the event was reduced after Poland’s Pawel Spisak’s Banderas, was the only one not to make the cut.

Castle Larchfiel, with Puerto Rican rider Lauren Billys, was finally declared fit to compete after being sent to the waiting area for a new evaluation.

Canadian rider Jessica Phoenix did not present Pavarotti, so the final number of equestrian athletes in competition is 63. EFE

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