Olympics-Equestrian-Germany strike gold and silver in individual dressage
Newsfrom JapanSports Tokyo 2020
By Shadia Nasralla
TOKYO (Reuters) -Germany cemented their domination of equestrian dressage on Wednesday, as Jessica von Bredow-Werndl won individual Olympic gold and her team mate Isabell Werth took home silver.
“At times I felt like I was riding in and out of a fire, on the edge of a knife,” an elated von Bredow-Werndl told reporters after performing “horse ballet” on her mare Dalera to the soundtrack of the film “La La Land”.
“How far can I go, how much risk can I take? But it all worked out.”
Bredow-Werndl had set an Olympic record on Tuesday, when Germany won a comfortable gold in the team event.
Werth, already her sport’s most successful Olympian before Tokyo, retained the individual silver she won at Rio in 2016 to take her 12th medal at the age of 52.
“If I’m capable of competing, it is possible you will see me in Paris,” Werth said with a grin, referring to the host city of the 2024 Games.
Britain’s Charlotte Dujardin, the individual winner in Rio and the holder of the Olympic record for freestyle dressage, finished third this time to become her country’s most decorated female Olympian.
She competed on the relatively inexperienced Gio, whom she calls Pumpkin and who succeeded Valegro, the horse on which she celebrated some of her biggest wins.
“He had no idea what he was doing... (but) he is going to be a superstar,” Dujardin said, adding it was the first time he had ridden the full combination of her ride to music.
Equestrian athletes compete against each other without gender discrimination and riders in their 50s and beyond vie with athletes in their 20s in top-level competitions.
(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by John Stonestreet and Ed Osmond)