Great Britain have won Olympic team eventing gold for the first time in 49 years, and their strong showing sees them well-placed for individual medals later today.
The team – made up of Oliver Townend, Laura Collett and Tom McEwen – were in gold-medal position going into the final stages of the competition after the dressage and cross country on Sunday, leading by 17.9 penalties.
They comfortably retained the top spot in the showjumping stage, with McEwan going clear on Toledo De Kerser. Collett on London 52 took one fence down on her run, picking up four penalty points, but she rallied to go clear for the rest of her course.
Townend was the last of all the riders to go, knowing that he effectively had a four-fence cushion, provided he incurred no time penalties. In the end he took down one fence, to secure Britain’s first victory in the event for 49 years.
Britain finished on a score of 86.30.
Australia took the silver medal, and France was in the bronze position.
Reflecting on his round, McEwen said: “He is a class horse and a great jumper, so it was just up to me on top. My nerves were fine. [Townend and Collett] are both brilliant riders, and I had no doubt they would pull it straight out of the bag quite easily and comfortably.”
And Collett, who dropped places individually after having one fence down, added: “[London 52] was his normal self at the start, then I think there was a reflection off the water and he just spooked, basically. He got it back together. It’s a shame, but it could have been a whole lot worse in that situation. It was a very clever course.”
This is Team GB’s third equestrian medal at Tokyo 2020, after Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry won the dressage team bronze, while Dujardin also collected an individual bronze.