Japan Secures Olympic Eventing Qualification for London 2012

Japan secures qualification for Eventing at London 2012 at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (GBR). Photo: Fiona Scott-Maxwell/FEI.

Lausanne (SUI), 12 September 2011 – Japan has secured qualification for the Olympic Eventing next year following the London 2012 Eventing Team Qualifier for Asia-Pacific nations which took place at the Fidelity Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials (GBR) from 8-11 September.

New Zealand, led by Clarke Johnstone, finished first in the team competition, but they are already qualified for London 2012 after claiming team bronze at last year’s Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Kentucky (USA). The battle for the remaining slot was between Japan and Australia.

Japan fielded five riders, but their first, Yoshiaki Oiwa, was eliminated with a Cross Country fall. But Kenki Sato, Takeaki Tsuchiya and Atsushi Negishi all went clear and, at the end of Cross Country day, Japan had a four-penalty lead over Australia.

Australia became vulnerable after Lucinda Fredericks fell on the Cross Country and Bill Levett had a run-out, but the Australian their problems worsened when Brook Staples was eliminated for two refusals in the Jumping phase.

Japan’s best-placed rider, Kenki Sato, who was 16th overall in the CCI*** at Blenheim on Chippieh, said: “It’s a miracle. This is a dream come true for our country, and for my family, to qualify for the Olympics and go to Greenwich. I owe everything to my horse, and to Michael Jung [the German world champion with whom he is based] who trains me.”

Final result:
1.    New Zealand, 185.8 penalties
2.    Japan, 245.9
3.    Australia, 1155.8

Listen to Japanese rider Kenki Sato, best placed of the Japanese team, who helped to secure Japan’s qualification for Team Eventing at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Kenki Sato (English)
Kenki Sato (Japanese)

Japan is the ninth nation to qualify for Team Eventing at London 2012.

Five countries secured their Olympic participation at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games 2010 in Kentucky: Canada, New Zealand, USA, Germany, and Belgium.

France and Sweden qualified as a result of their placings in the HSBC FEI European Eventing Championships 2011 team competition.

They will all be joining host nation Great Britain.

The two best placed teams at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico (14 – 29 October) from Olympic Groups D (North America) and E (Central and South America), excluding the USA and Canada, will secure participation in London.

A total of eleven nations qualify directly for the 2012 Olympic Eventing competition through team competitions at FEI Championships.

However, the total number of nations participating in the team competition in London may exceed 11 since additional composite teams made up of a maximum of five athletes and five horses and a minimum of three athletes and three horses from the same nation may qualify through the FEI Olympic Athletes Rankings.

The complete qualification procedure for the Eventing competitions at the 2012 Olympic Games is available here.

Media contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Malina Gueorguiev
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 33

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