Dhe eventing rider Julia Krajewski has not had much luck at championships so far. At her first start at the Olympics five years ago in Rio de Janeiro, for example, she was disqualified in cross-country riding after three refusals. At the 2017 European Championships, the German team even lost the silver medal because their horse had been proven to have been medicated forbidden. “I have a history at championships,” she said ambiguously on Sunday in Tokyo after her successful cross-country ride. For this reason, too, her result is “incredibly relieving.” Because this time it could turn out differently.
Before the final course jumping on this Monday (10 a.m. in the FAZ live ticker for the Olympics, on ARD and on Eurosport), the junior national trainer from Warendorf is in second place. A single medal is within your grasp. “She deserves it,” said national coach Hans Melzer when she crossed the finish line with her mare Amande de B’Neville. She made it through without a mistake and exceeded the ideal time by just one second.
“I told her that there will come a day when you will be on the podium after the back and forth of the last few years,” said Melzer. The gap between 32-year-old Julia Krajewski and the leader, the Briton Oliver Townend with Ballaghmor Class, is only two points. The lead over the British Laura Collett, who is in third place with London, is only 0.2 points. In the course, four fault points are chalked for each throw – so a lot can still happen.
Michael Jung falls behind
The Germans, who are currently sixth, could also improve in the team standings – Great Britain is ahead of Australia and France. Your distance from a bronze place is around two drops. “You only give up when the last rider has crossed the finish line in jumping,” said Melzer. Five years ago in Rio he was right with this attitude, his team improved from fourth to second. And he can rely on the fact that his riders have a lot of experience in courses.
Jung and Auffarth even start in special jumping on a regular basis. And Julia Krajewski can build on the strengths of her mare: “I could hardly sit on a better jumping horse.” Because the International Olympic Committee stipulates that only one set of medals may be awarded in a competition, the riders only compete for one round for the team ranking and then for another course jumping for the individual ranking.
Michael Jung, who after the best dressage with his gelding Chipmunk was actually on the way to his third individual gold after 2012 and 2016, fell back to tenth place. The 39-year-old exceptional rider from Horb in the Black Forest had bad luck at obstacle 14, a large oxer that was quickly followed in a right-hand bend by a high corner that had to be jumped over from the side. Jung solved the tricky task.
But the horse’s hoof hit the jump, triggering the safety device that is actually supposed to protect the rider and horses from dangerous falls, so that the bar fell down. The penalty for this: 11 minus points. “I only realized the situation when I heard the bang,” said Jung. “By then I was already gone a few gallops. It certainly touched the crack, but not in a way that I expected it to trigger. “
New day New luck?
A German protest that the device might not have been adequately checked was dismissed. “I’m of course disappointed,” said Jung, who was the fastest on the lovingly designed, 4420 meter long course in Sea Forest Park. With 7:35 minutes he was ten seconds below the ideal time despite the late start time in the heat of the morning, for which there is no reward, however. Jung’s performance also reflects Julia Krajewski’s ability as a trainer: The gelding Chipmunk comes from her training and only moved to Horb in 2019.
Sandra Auffarth (Ganderkesee), the 2012 team Olympic champion and 2014 world champion, managed to stay cool after walking past a corner. She immediately rode up again with Viamant du Matz and made the jump without any problems. But the 20 penalty points plus loss of time threw them back to 32nd after a moderate dressage. New day, new luck? “I still believe in it,” said Jung. “I hope that we can still make some progress.”
The fate of the Swiss horse jet set showed how close to one another fascination and tragedy can be in such a competition. The gelding of the 22-year-old Swiss Robin Godel suddenly went paralyzed while riding out of the last water complex and had to be brought to the clinic on site by the ambulance.
The ultrasound examination showed an inoperable torn ligament in the front right, so the rider and owner decided to have the gelding euthanized. “Jet was an excellent horse that once again completed a great off-road course. He did what he loved to do best: gallop and fly over the obstacles, ”the rider posted on Instagram.