Ireland’s hopes of a team medal in eventing at the Olympic Games in Rio evaporated this afternoon despite a battling performance following the elimination of first rider Padraig McCarthy.
The day started in the unkindest of fashions as McCarthy, one of the first riders out, took a nasty-looking tumble with Simon Porloe at fence 17b. Fortunately horse and rider got up promptly, but from then on it was going to take a mighty effort raise Ireland’s hopes of a team medal off the deck.
It meant that the three following riders had to complete to keep the team in the competition, and with no drop score option, every penalty would hurt that much more.
Clare Abbott was first to take the pressure and came home intact with Euro Prince but incurring 40 jumping penalties and 25.60 for time. Jonty Evans and Cooley Rorkes Drift then put in the team’s best performance with no jumping penalties, but with the clock hammering almost everyone, the pairing added 22.80 for time to yesterday’s brilliant 41.80.
As last to go for the Ireland, Mark Kyle and Jemilla kept the team in the competition but added 50.80, including one error, to Ireland’s tally which, with no discard, had now soared to 278.40 leaving them well adrift of the medal positions.
Where exactly Ireland are in the team placings is not quite clear tonight as, having been initially placed ninth, that has been revised twice – up to eighth and now back to ninth again, with the Brazilian team score being adjusted. There has been no adjustment to Ireland’s actual penalty tally.
The team will go into show jumping after an inspection in the morning, but again they will have no drop score without McCarthy. The best that can be hoped for at this stage is to improve the team’s standing from the overnight position.
There is still hope of an individual medal though. Evans is 16th on 64.60 penalties, and the top 25 after the team medals have been decided will go forward to the individual jumping Final later in the day. At this point the Irish rider is 22.60 off the bronze medal position. It’s a formidable gap to hope to close, but not an impossible one.
The top 25 will carry all their penalties with them, and will jump in reverse order for the individual medals. Josh Tobin
Team standings after cross-country
1. Australia 150.30
2. New Zealand 154.80
3. France 161.00
4. Germany 172.80
5. Netherlands 238.60
6. Brazil 242.90
7. Sweden 243.10
8 Great Britain 252.10
9. Ireland 278.40
10. Italy 296.00
11. Canada 331.10
12. USA 1097.70
13. Russia 3000.00
Individual standings after cross-country
1. Christopher Burton (AUS) 37.60
2. Michael Jung (GER) 40.90
3. Astier Nicolas (FRA) 42.00
4. Mark Todd (NZL) 46.00
5. Phillip Dutton (USA) 46.80
6. Boyd Martin (USA) 50.90
=7.. Carlos Paro (BRA) 51.30
=7. Clarke Johnstone (NZL) 51.30
9. Sam Griffiths (AUS) 53.10
10. Mathieu Lemoine (FRA) 53.60
16. Jonty Evans (IRL) 64.60
35. Mark Kyle (IRL) 101.20
38. Clare Abbott (IRL) 112.60