WoSJ asked Maikel van der Vleuten, Jos Verlooy and Romain Duguet where they think the medals will end up as the showjumping gets underway in Aachen, and what it will take.
Maikel van der Vleuten: “For the team medals I would say that we are talking about Germany, England, Ireland, France, Sweden and also ourselves - these are the teams that I am quite sure that we will see one or more of on the podium. Individually it is harder to say, and then there is normally always one you did not expect to go and do it that will - that one surprise rider. It is also special here in Aachen; it will be quite difficult, you need a horse and rider with the right experience otherwise it will be very hard here. I think if you come her with a horse you jumped in the ring before it gives you as a rider more confidence; then you know what you have. Some horses get a lot more scope and a bigger stride in here, but then there are also horses that go the other way around and that get smaller with all the atmosphere and those big fences. So I would say its quite open when it comes to Sunday’s medalists.”
Jos Verlooy: “I think that Germany will be strong, they are at home here and that will for sure help them on. The Dutch come with their riders from the gold medal winning team from last year’s World Championships, the French have a very good team and also our own team Belgium have a chance I believe - we had good performances through the summer and we won the Europe Division 1 Nations Cup league. Individually I really believe in Bertram Allen; he is such a good rider and in form - with a horse jumping really good at the moment. I also think Daniel Deusser has a big chance; over the last years he was always in front here in the Grand Prix classes, he is also such a good rider and with a great horse. I also have to say Gregory Wathelet - he really deserves it, and is another great rider with a horse that jumps fantastic here.”
Romain Duguet: “For the team medals I think Netherlands, Germany, France and my own Switzerland will have a good chance. We have some good horses on our team, some of them are maybe young - but they have the quality and are all in good form so we should have a shot. It’s a long way individually, there are a lot of good combinations here. There is a group of around ten riders that have a real chance here I would say. I think what also will play a part is that the horses need to stay fit until Sunday evening, it is a long week for all of them - and then Aachen is also a special place, and that can bring on a lot of surprises - as well as the pressure coming on top. It will be exciting, that is for sure!”
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