Barcelona, Sep 30 (EFE).- The Spanish team heads into Sunday’s FEI Jumping Nations Cup Final taking place at Barcelona’s Real Club de Polo with the aim of cementing its status as one of the sport’s elite.
Team leader Carolo López-Quesada, stressed that sentiment in Thursday’s qualifying test, noting that the combinations “were really extraordinary,” as they took the third position with a score of five.
France won the series with four perfect rounds without penalties, followed by Ireland’s four points. The final will be completed by the likes of Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain and the reigning champions of the tournament, the Netherlands.
“We have a very consistent team that jumped very well, very firmly in a very tough test. We have had some selection problems, some horses were sold, others have left and the four riders who have jumped here have been up to the task,” López-Quesada told EFE.
One of those riders is Eduardo Álvarez Aznar, who is by classification the best Spanish rider of the year. He says his goal on Sunday will be the podium, but acknowledged that “anything” could happen in a one-round race.
Álvarez Aznar was the only Spanish participant to compete in the Tokyo Olympics in the individual jumping event and, like the rest of the team, he has his mind set on the European Championships in Milan 2023, where there will be three spots for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Spain, as the host country, qualifies directly for the final of the Nations Cup, so it cannot qualify here for the one Paris 2024 spot up for grabs in Barcelona.
Looking to the future, experienced riders have their hopes pinned on names like Álex Codina, who completes the national team this weekend in Barcelona at just 20 years old.
“I’m proud to be part of the team, also right in Barcelona, where I’m from, it’s more rewarding,” Codina told Efe
Another rising Spanish star is Sira Martínez, the daughter of the coach of Spain’s national soccer team, Luis Enrique Martínez, who is still fine-tuning her technique.
“I usually watch videos of good riders and my own to improve technique, but above all, it’s about jumping and having the experience to know how to handle situations on the track,” she said. EFE