GERMANY’S Michael Jung, Olympic Eventing champion in London 2012 and again in Rio 2016, has already claimed gold in Tokyo one year out from the Olympic Games after taking the honours with Fischerwild Wave at the Ready Steady Tokyo test event which wrapped up at the Equestrian Park in the early hours of today (Wednesday).
The 37-year-old, who has three Olympic gold and one silver from two Games appearances with the now retired La Biosthetique Sam FBW, had shadowed the leaders from the outset, even though he was riding the youngest horse on the start list.
Third after dressage behind the home side’s Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA, the German pair moved up to second after yesterday’s cross-country and a superb clear in the final jumping test with the seven-year-old Fischerwild Wave then put the pressure on overnight leaders, Australia’s Andrew Hoy with Bloom Des Hauts Crets.
The mare had jumped impeccably around Derek Di Grazia’s cross-country 24 hours earlier, but became increasingly headstrong over the coloured poles and, when the middle element of the triple combination hit the sand to drop Hoy down the order to fifth, victory went to the German duo.
In mixed weather conditions that veered from heavy rain to hot sunshine, nine horses were foot perfect over Santiago Varela’s 11-fence track, with Japan’s Ryuzo Kitajima on Vick Du Grisors JRA and dressage leaders Yoshiaki Oiwa and Bart L JRA among them. The home pair moved up to claim podium spots in silver and bronze, heading no less than four Japanese in the top 10.
The German winner was quick to praise the facilities provided at the two venues, Equestrian Park and Sea Forest. “For me it was very interesting to be here and nice to see how everything works, especially the cross-country with the horses.
“It felt very good. It’s difficult but still possible and I think it’s really not a problem. For sure you need a very good preparation and you have to be very fit before you arrive here, the horses and the riders as well.
“I think it will be very nice next year if you see everything this year and we have one more year to prepare and to make some little details a bit better. I’m really looking forward to next season.”
Sydney 2000 Olympic champion David O’Connor, who chairs the FEI Eventing Committee, said: “The facilities are very impressive and we had the chance to test everything we needed to test, which was the purpose of this week’s test event.
“There are some adjustments to be made but they are minor ones, as the Organising Committee has thought through all the details and is right on track to make 2020 a really great Olympic Games for equestrian sport.”
Source: FEI press release