The French fly their flag high on Tuesday morning, claiming their first gold title since 2004 with a low penalty score of 169.00.
All three members of the French team make their Olympic debut count. Lemoine, Nicolas, and Vallette set their standards high for their first Olympic appearance, but make their golden dream come true, adding a third title to France’s collection.
Star performances from Astier Nicolas, Mathieu Lemoine and Thibault Vallette set the team up for title position early on in the competition. On day two of the dressage phase impeccable performances from Mathieu Lemoine and Thibaut Vallette helped position the team in the No.2 spot, trailing the reigning gold medalists by a mere .20 points .
Nicolas jumped on the leaderboard early, exhibiting a brilliant dressage performance. The first time Olympian landed in the No. 4 spot early on. By day two Nicolas fell to the No.11 spot. But falling seven spots left Nicolas determined to climb back to the top. In day three he exhibits a crucial flawless performance on Michelet’s difficult cross- country course bringing him back to the No. 3 spot on the leaderboard. Nicolas’ continues to show dominance in the final team jumping round with another flawless performance, keeping his penalty score at a low of 42.00 points behind legend Michael Jung.
Lemoine and Vallette’s four- star dressage performances take the team from the No.6 spot on the leaderboard to the No. 2 spot at the end of the first phase. Both athletes seemed to struggle on Michelet’s cross-country course, accumulating time penalties and falling down the leaderboard. France fell to the No. 3 spot.
All three horse and rider combinations showcase impeccable stamina, precision and obedience in their jumping tests. Nicolas and Vallette contribute flawless performances to the team while Lemoine added a a time penalty of 8.00, making the teams combined total score 169.00.
Germany ends their two consecutive Olympic golden reign after a tough day in the cross-country course. The team makes an impressive comeback from in the jumping round, bringing home silver after starting the day in the No.4 spot. Michael Jung tops the individual leaderboard heading into individual jumping finals.
Team Australia’s dreams of bringing home gold come to an end after Chris Burton and Stuart Tinney struggle in the jumping round. Tinney struggles to clear two jumps and accumulates 17.00 penalty points combined with Burton’s 7.00 jumping penalties. The team settles for bronze with a combined total of 178.80.
The top 25 individual riders will compete for individual Olympic glory in this afternoon’s second round of jumping.