The showjumping at the Asian Games 2014 in Incheon took centre stage at the Dream Park Equestrian Centre these past days, where Qatar claimed the team gold medal on Sunday and Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Al Sharbatly took the individual title today. The Qatari team victory was clean and clear-cut as they completed on a zero score. Saudi Arabia had to settle for silver with a total of just four faults while Japan slotted into bronze medal position on a total of 12.
It was double-clear performances from three of the four Qatari team members that put gold in their grasp. Nasser Ghazallijahromi on Delloren, Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani on Vienna Olympic and Khalid Mohammed Al Emadi on Tamira were all foot-perfect, while Bassem Hassan Mohammed on Anyway collected only three time faults for the discount score.
There were 20 horse-and-rider combinations in today's individual decider, and this time Al Sharbatly's 11-year-old bay Hannoverian by Contendro never put a foot wrong to help his rider finish top of the order. It would be a hard-fought affair however, with two separate jump-offs to decide the medals, and a great day for Japan when taking both the silver and bronze.
Only the 32-year-old Saudi Arabian rider and Satoshi Hirao managed to stay clear over the first two rounds. Al Sharbatly posted yet another clean run at this third attempt in the quick time of 33.64. So when 39-year-old Hirao faulted just once with his 13-year-old Canadian Warmblood, Ulano, the Japanese rider had to settle for silver.
Before the medal ceremony could take place however there was more work to be done as there were eight riders tied on a four-fault tally at the end of round two so another gallop against the clock ensued to decide where the bronze medal would go. And five horse-and-rider combinations left all the fences in place this time around, but Taizo Sugitani's super-fast run in 30.95 seconds firmly clinched it for the 38-year-old double-Olympian who finished 10th individually in Kentucky four years ago. Once again it was a case of so near and yet so far for Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum who missed a place on the podium when finishing fourth when just over a second slower than Sugitani in the final round.
Jumping Team Competition: Gold - Qatar 0 faults: Delloren (Nasser Ghazalliahromi) 0/0, Vienna Olympic (Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani) 0/0, Tamira (Khalid Mohammed Al Rmadi) 0/0, Anyway (Bassem Hassan Mohammed) 1/2; Silver - Saudi Arabia 4 faults: Talan (Faisal Al Shalan) 0/0, New Orleans (Abdulrahman Bader Alrajhi) 0/12, Senorita (Salman Hamad Almaqadi) 0/0, Callahan (Abdullah Al Sharbatly) 1/4; Bronze - Japan 12 faults: Ulano (Satoshi Hirao) 0/4, Touche Pas a Riversuite (Takashi Utsunomiya) 4/8, Loretto Classic (Tadahiro Hayashi) 4/4, Avenzio (Taizo Sugitani) 0/0.
Jumping Individual Competition: Gold - Callahan (Abdullah Al Sharbatly) KSA 0/0/0 33.64; Silver -Ulano (Satoshi Hirao) JPN 0/0/4 39.36; Bronze - Avenzio (Taizo Sugitani) JPN 0/4/0 30.95.
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