We wondered whether 75.391 was enough for Lee to clinch his 10th Gold and it turned out to be a case of “oh so close”. Joann Formosa clinched Australia’s first Gold at Greenwich with 75.826% and Pepo Puch took Bronze on 75.043; oh oh so close but a Silver medal is still a great achievement.
Oh so close continued to be the cry today. A couple of mistakes meant Deborah Criddle, who was drawn first to go, had to fight back to secure Silver; she landed a 71.267% and the last to go scored 71.233% - now that is close. It was another close battle in Grade IV with Silver going to Sophie Wells with 76.323% whilst Michele George (BEL) scored 77.065% to take Gold.
“So close” ceased with the arrival of Sophie Christiansen on the Field of Play. A superhuman effort by Sophie and Janeiro 6 posted a score of 82.750% which assured her Gold; Ireland took Silver and Singapore Bronze.
Definition of a very happy Gold medallist -
|Sophie receiving her medal on the podium|
The conclusion of grade Ia also allowed the Team scores to be calculated. GBR won Gold with a new Paralympic record; a Team score of 468.817. Germany scooped Silver with 440.970 but it was the calculation of Bronze that caused a number of re-counts to double, triple check; Ireland 428.313, Netherlands 428.253 – how close is that!!
This is a quite incredible achievement by the GBR Team; they remain undefeated as a Team since equestrian was admitted to the Paralympic Games in 1996. The Team score is calculated from the three best scores but any combination of three of the riders from the four that make up the Team would still have won us Gold. Outstanding.
In Beijing we won 10 medals at the Paralympics with 5 Gold and 5 Silver. We had 7 athletes in Hong Kong, we have 5 in London. So far we are on 3 Gold and 3 Silver; a good 4 days at the office but we will all be focused on the next two days with the Freestyle Tests (dressage to music) starting tomorrow. As the scores show, it is not easy to win medals at the Paralympic Games! The quality of riding and quality of horses is so much improved from when we last saw a full range of countries in 2010.
There are many familiar faces here from the Olympic Games; some with very different jobs. Alec Lochore (Olympic Eventing Competition Manager) is now a tractor driver!