Netherlands wins Jumping Nations Cup for third time

Barcelona, Oct 3 (EFE).- The Netherlands on Sunday won the final of the Jumping Nations Cup in Barcelona for the third time with an almost perfect performance.

The Dutch regained a title they had not won since 2017 by scoring three zeros and only one knockdown, which was discarded because only the best three scores are used.

Harrie Smolders riding Monaco was the last rider to enter the arena and the pressure was intense as reigning champions Ireland, with only one point, anxiously waited for a mistake by the Dutchman.

“I think we all worked hard, we had the patience to seize the moment and that was key,” Smolders said at a press conference.

One of the most in-form athletes of the season, Maikel van der Vleuten, told the media that he had no problems accepting the responsibility of competing first because his only concern was “to begin with a zero to get a good feeling from the start.”

“There’s nothing better than winning a tournament with your country,” Dutchman William Greve said.

Reigning Olympic champions Sweden, with two perfect rides also had victory in their sights until the last two team members scored four and nine points, respectively.

They were also beaten by Belgium, who equaled the Swedes on points but achieved a better time to snatch the last podium place.

The course created for the final by Olympic designer Santiago Varela was very demanding, especially in the second half, with the penultimate obstacle, a triple combination, causing problems for many of the riders.

World No. 1 Daniel Deusser of Germany had a disappointing ride, finishing with 11 points after he had a refusal, a knockdown at the end and received penalty points for exceeding the 77-second time limit.

The final standings were: Netherlands, Ireland, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, United States, Brazil and Spain.

The Spaniards, after an historic result on Friday night, on Sunday felt the demands of the competition and simply lacked the luck that is needed at this level.

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