Maher makes his mark in first Individual competition

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BJS 0463 Ben Maher Explosion W GBR

Jumping got off to a flying start at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Baji Koen tonight with some big surprises and plenty of drama as Santiago Varela’s bright and beautiful 14-fence track weeded out the top 30 that will go into tomorrow’s Individual Final.

A total of 73 horse-and-athlete combinations tackled the 14-fence course, and Great Britain’s Ben Maher was quickest through the finish with Explosion W who is one of the favourites for the Individual title.

Reigning European champions, Switzerland’s Martin Fuchs and Clooney, were also impressive and look set for big things as the week rolls out. Of those qualified, 25 jumped clear rounds, four finished with a single time penalty and, last to make the cut, New Zealand’s Daniel Meech steered Cinca 3 home with two time faults.

The biggest surprise of the night was that not a single member of the crack American side have made it through. Jessica Springsteen (Don Juan van de Donkhoeve) and Kent Farrington (Gazelle) collected four faults each while Laura Kraut (Baloutine) collected eight. They won’t be in action again until the Team competition begins on Friday.

All of the top 30 will start on a zero score in tomorrow’s second competition which will decide the Individual medals and, with today’s fastest time, Maher will have the advantage of being last to go.

Results here

photo credits: Ben Schellekens

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