Tokyo, Jul 31 (EFE).- Germany’s Michael Jung on Saturday kicked off his defense of full contest Olympic title in auspicious fashion, as the Dressage phase came to an end at Japan’s Baji Koen Equestrian Park.
The two-time defending champion earned a score of 21.10 to overtake Briton Oliver Townend, who had taken the lead in the individual competition on Friday with 23.60.
The German is the favorite to claim his third consecutive Olympic gold medal, after his victory at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
Now he has to consolidate his lead in the upcoming competitions; Sunday’s Cross Country and Obstacle Jumping, scheduled for Monday.
The 38-year-old said he was satisfied with the bond with his horse Chipmunk FRH, 13.
“We had a very good partnership today, everything worked like I wished,” he said afterwards. “Since the European Championships in 2019 I’ve had more time to train with him.”
“We had a long winter to work more and have had many more competitions this year, so everything is going much better,” he added.
China’s Alex Hua Tian came third after the first competition with a score of 23.90, ahead of Germany’s Julia Krajewski (25.20) and New Zealand’s Tim Price (25.60).
The United Kingdom remains on top of the Team Eventing charts on the strength of the performances of Townend, Laura Collett and Tom McEwen that earned the UK a score of 78.30, ahead of Germany (80.40).
New Zealand completes the provisional podium of the Team Eventing with a score of 86.40, ahead of Japan (90.10) and Sweden (91.10). EFE