Tag Archives: Youth Olympic Games

Giacomo Casadei Claims Individual Gold in Fantastic Five Way Jump Off

Giacomo Casadei (ITA) with his mount Darna Z (FEI / Liz Gregg)

A day of fantastic sport capped off the equestrian events of the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 with a last decisive dash for the individual medals in a five-way jump off.

Having produced clears all week, Giacomo Casadei (ITA) sailed through the six fences of the jump off and did so at an impressive pace to claim gold, followed by UAE’s Omar Almarzooqi and La Corina Lala producing the only other clear of the jump off in silver. The bronze went to Pedro Espinosa from Honduras riding Llavaneras Genquina who was quickest of them all, but picked up four faults on his way around.

Five-way jump-off

USA’s Mattie Hatcher was first to enter the arena for the jump-off, as she set out an impressive pace with her mare Santa Rosa Valery but knocked two fences along the way. Next into the arena was the UAE’s Omar Almarzooqi, who successfully produced the first clear at a very reasonable pace of 34.37s to pick up silver, followed by Italy’s Giacomo Casadei, who went and produced the second and final clear round of the jump-off beating Almarzooqi’s time by nearly three seconds at 31.79. The pressure was on for Argentina’s home-grown hero Richard Kierkegaard as he entered the arena to huge acclaim, and under pressure to secure a clear and fast round. It was unfortunately not to be for the local hero, with a refusal and two fences down, but the crowds nonetheless gave him a standing ovation as he exited the arena, knowing they would see him again soon. Last to enter the arena, team gold medallist Pedro Espinosa gave it all he had, producing the fastest round but knocking one rail down and picking up four faults to claim the bronze.

Click here to view the final results.

About the new Youth Olympic Games gold medallist

When speaking to Giacomo via an interpreter, he explained that he did not expect to win at all, and it was clearly the highlight of his equestrian career so far. Having won team silver and individual gold, he clearly exceeded all his expectations. From an equestrian family, Giacomo lives in Bologna, Italy and started riding at four years of age under the watchful eye of his father who is a riding instructor. Before the Youth Olympic Games competitions began, we asked Giacomo what his strengths were, and he said “against the clock competitions,” which clearly is true, and he went on to say he sincerely hoped one day to compete at the senior “Olympic Games,” so Giacomo Casadei is one to watch.

National champions

Both UAE’s Omar Almarzooqi with his individual silver and Pedro Espinosa from Honduras with his team gold and individual bronze are currently the sole medallists for their nations at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

They have also secured the first ever equestrian medals at the Olympic and Youth Olympic Games.

Click here to view video highlights throughout the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018.

For more information, go to: www.buenosaires2018.com.

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations and Media Operations
+41 78 750 61 46

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
+41 78 750 61 56

Historic Gold for Team North America at Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018

USA’s Mattie Hatcher on Santa Rosa Valery. (FEI / Liz Gregg)

Round 2 of the equestrian team competitions at the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 had everyone on the edge of their seats, as Team North America and Team Europe battled for the gold medal in a nail-biting jump off, whilst Team Africa settled for the bronze.  Full results can be found here.

Victory was no easy feat, with both teams fighting and producing the three clear rounds, which would count towards their final score of 0. It was all down to the speed with which the five riders from each team tackled the jump-off course. Both teams showed tremendous calm under pressure, but at the end of the day Team North America made the difference with some very speedy and precise performances, relegating Team Europe into a very respectable second place.

The five nations making up the North American team – Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, and USA – were clearly over the moon. On the one hand, they had won gold, and on the other, this was the first time North America claimed the team gold following consecutive wins from Team Europe in 2010 and 2014. For Haiti and Honduras, this was their very first gold medal ever won at Olympic and Youth Olympic level across all sports since the reinstatement of the modern Olympic Games in 1896!

For USA’s Mattie Hatcher, the YOG experience so far is second to none with her horse Santa Rosa Valery delivering everything and more:

“Well you know we only had 4 days (to get to know each other) but it went really well. She was easy to click with and she was so willing with everything, so great.”

In silver medal position, and literally seconds behind Team North America, the all-male Team Europe put on a great performance. For Great Britain’s Jack Whitaker, who was also celebrating his 17th birthday, this silver medal came 34 years after his father Michael Whitaker won team silver at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games alongside his uncle John Whitaker. A family affair which clearly keeps on giving.

Team Africa was delighted with their bronze medal on 1 penalty point. Chance would have it that Zimbabwe’s Youth Olympic Games Young Change Maker Yara Hansen was nominated to hand out the gifts to the bronze medal winning team. Yara had been in their very shoes eight years prior, when Team Africa had won the equestrian bronze team medal at the Youth Olympic Games Singapore 2010.

All in all, it was a wonderful day of sport: exciting, full of suspense, and impressive! But beyond the sport in the field, what was truly remarkable was the team spirit around the field. The teams – which are made up of five separate nations brought together by the pure coincidence of qualification and geography – have clearly bonded. Athletes, coaches, parents, and all the accompanying persons have built relationships in a matter of days. Everybody has come together for a unique experience and unique Games here in Buenos Aires.

For more information, go to: www.buenosaires2018.com.

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager, Media Relations and Media Operations
+41 78 750 61 46

Olga Nikolaou
Media Relations Officer
+41 78 750 61 56

Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games: 11 Nations Making Their YOG Debut

Photo: YOG 2014 individual medallists Emily Fraser (NZL) gold (centre), Martina Campi (ARG) silver (left), Jake Hunter (AUS) bronze (right). (Richard Juilliart/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 5 September 2018 — A total of 30 highly talented equestrian athletes from six continents have earned their tickets to represent their nations at the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) – the world’s largest multi-sport youth event – in Buenos Aires (ARG) next month. And 11 nations will be making their YOG debut.

The athletes, aged between 15 and 18 years, have made the grade after a series of tough global qualifiers, including the FEI World Jumping Challenge series, European and Regional Championships and wider international youth events.

“Representing your country at a young age, at such a prestigious event, is an undeniable honour,” said FEI President Ingmar De Vos. “The YOG is a springboard to the Olympic Games and to the FEI World Equestrian Games. The international equestrian community wishes all our YOG athletes the best for this very important equestrian career stepping stone!”

Team spirit

Every equestrian athlete at the YOG will have the challenge of competing on borrowed horses, which is a major test of earned trust and combined courage.

The athletes will be introduced to their horses, which have been carefully selected by a group of experts in the months running into the Games, for the very first time on 4 October, just four days before the equestrian events start on 8 October.

All athletes will then compete in the Team competition – with a twist – on 8-9 October followed by the Individual competitions on 12-13 October.

“The YOG teams are composed of athletes from the same continent, so this is not just a test of the ability of our athletes to bond with their horses, but also their capacity to bond with each other as they bid for a team medal,” the FEI President explained.

Historic venue

The YOG Equestrian events will be held at the historic Club Hipico Argentino, founded in 1909, and nestled in the Buenos Aires’ Green Park district, famous for its forest and lakes.

The YOG Equestrian events will see 30 athletes from 30 nations compete: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Egypt, Great Britain, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Qatar, South Africa, Syria, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Eleven National Olympic Committees will be making their YOG debut: Bolivia, Haiti, Hungary, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Zambia.

About the Youth Olympic Games (YOG)www.buenosaires2018.com

The Youth Olympic Games (YOG), which were launched in Singapore 2010, were created to reach out to young athletes worldwide, inspiring young people to take part in sport and adopt and live by the Olympic values.

The 2018 YOG will bring together almost 4,000 talented young athletes aged from 15 to 18 from 206 countries around the world for a 12-day period.

The Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games will take place from 6-18 October 2018.

Samantha Lam Named Athlete Role Model for Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games

Samantha Lam (HKG), pictured here at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on Jockey Club Tresor, has been named Equestrian Athlete Role Model for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games. (Photo: Kit Houghton/FEI)

Lausanne (SUI), 17 March 2014 – Hong Kong Olympian Samantha Lam has been named the Equestrian Athlete Role Model for the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Lam became one of the youngest athletes to contest an FEI World Cup Final in 1997, when she competed in Gothenburg’s Scandinavium arena in Sweden aged just 18.

She went on to represent Hong Kong at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, and in 2009 secured team bronze at the National Games in Jinan, China, where she was also presented with the Sportsmanship Award. In 2010, Lam helped to secure Hong Kong’s first equestrian medal, team bronze, at the Asian Games in Guangzhou (CHN).

After a short “baby break” following the birth of her son Daniel in December 2012, she jumped back in the saddle and is now competing in the Mediterranean Equestrian Tour, with her sights set firmly on the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in Korea, which open on 9 September.

“The Youth Olympic Games are a fantastic opportunity for our younger generation of athletes to get a taste for the Olympic Games, and meet athletes from different cultures,” said Samantha Lam. “Equestrian will be extra special in Nanjing, simply because our athletes will be competing for YOG medals with horses, making us entirely unique. The team format for equestrian at YOG is also very exciting with one rider from every continent forming a team, teaching our young athletes the vital sporting and life skill of working together for a common goal.”

Lam (35), who in 1993 at the age of 14 won the prestigious Spruce Meadows Junior of the Year Award, and repeated the feat in 1995, has some wise words for the young equestrians heading to Nanjing: “At the end of the day, you cannot always control the outcome. Do your best and enjoy the experience. It is not about winning, it is about sportsmanship, overcoming hardships and accepting defeat. Winning can come easy, but so can losing. It is important to be humble and be a sportsman in every situation. These are qualities that I will be teaching my son about.”

“Samantha Lam is a superb ambassador for equestrian sport and role model for our young athletes in Nanjing,” FEI President HRH Princess Haya said. “As a mother and international athlete, she is also a great role model for our young female athletes as they consider their future careers.

“The Youth Olympic Games represent an incredible opportunity for the next generation of Olympic equestrian athletes, and Nanjing will be a valuable character building experience, which our athletes will cherish for the rest of their lives.”

The Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, which encompass 26 sports, open on 16 August. A total of 30 athletes will compete in the Individual Jumping and Team Jumping events in the Xinzhuang Equestrian Venue on 19-24 August, followed by four days of cultural activities before the Closing Ceremony on 28 August.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) today announced the full list of 37 Athlete Role Models (ARMs) who will attend the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing here.

Selected by the 28 International Federations, whose sports will feature at Nanjing 2014, the list features many legendary names from the world of sport, including Olympic and world champions. In Nanjing, they will play a key role in supporting, mentoring and offering advice to the 3,800 young athletes who will be participating in the Games. Also on the list will be ARMs from the world of rugby sevens and golf, which will make their YOG débuts at Nanjing 2014 before appearing at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Claudia Bokel, Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission and Olympic silver medalist in fencing, said: “The Athlete Role Model programme is a really unique element of the Youth Olympic Games. The ARMs have so much valuable information to pass on to the younger generation. They will really inspire and empower the athletes long after the Games conclude to not only be great ‘Youth Olympians’, but to share the skills and values learnt at the YOG with their communities and peers.”

The ARMs will be accessible to the athletes both in the Youth Olympic Village and during a series of educational activities and workshops that will focus on areas such as skills development, how to lead healthy lifestyles, environment and social responsibility and Olympism.

Athletes at the Youth Olympic Games will get to engage in conversations with the ARMs throughout the Games. They will be behind the scenes during competition and will also be available for informal chats in the ARM lounge that will be open to all participants. The athletes can also learn valuable lessons from the ARMs during “Chat with Champions” sessions, which will also be accessible to people around the world on the IOC’s digital platforms. And YOG fans will have the opportunity to put their questions directly to the ARMs during informal chat sessions on the IOC’s social media channels.

Also in attendance at YOG will be the IOC Athletes’ Commission, which will play a key role in the educational activities and workshops for athletes off the field of play.

About Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games:

About Samantha Lam:

Check out the FEI’s Flickr album from the 1st Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore here, where images from Nanjing will also be made available.

For an extensive selection of photos shortly after each event in Nanjing, please also follow the International Olympic Committee on Flickr.

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FEI Media contacts:

Grania Willis
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Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 45

Uruguay’s Marcelo Chirico Claims Individual Gold in Singapore

Individual gold medallist Marcelo Chirico (URU) takes centre stage on the podium, flanked by Mario Gamboa (COL), who took silver, and bronze medallist Dalma Rushdi H Malhas (KSA) after a thrilling finish to the YOG Equestrian Events in Singapore. (Photo: IOC)

24 August 2010 – Marcelo Chirico (URU) and Links Hot Gossip were the stars in Singapore today, clinching individual gold in a jump-off against Mario Gamboa (COL), who had to settle for silver, while Dalma Rushdi H Malhas (KSA) won out in a six-way jump-off for the bronze on another scorching day – inside and outside the YOG Jumping arena.

All riders from Sunday’s first individual round, with the exception of Maria Victoria Paz (ARG) who was eliminated, went forward to today’s second round. They were jumping in reverse order of merit, which meant that the nine riders with clears in Sunday’s competition were last into the arena today.

Course Designer John Vallance (AUS) upped the degree of difficulty for today’s individual final and this was reflected in the number of clear rounds. The obstacle that caused most grief was fence 4, a Liverpool, with wings made in the image of the Singapore Flyer, which was on a related line from the double.

Continue reading Uruguay’s Marcelo Chirico Claims Individual Gold in Singapore

Saudi’s First-Ever Female Olympian Competes in YOG Equestrian Events

23 August 2010 – For the first time in history a female athlete from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has competed at an Olympic event. Dalma Rushdi Malhas, a member of the Saudi Youth Olympic Games Team, participated in the Equestrian competition this week. Her participation has been facilitated by the FEI working in conjunction with the IOC to widen the participation quota.

Dalma competed in the two rounds of the Team competition hors concours (out of competition) as she was not part of an official team, picking up 16 faults in the first round and then going clear in the second when she was first into the arena. She had her first taste of full Olympic competition yesterday in the opening round of the individual, completing with just four faults. She is now in equal 10th place going into tomorrow’s individual final, the equivalent of one fence behind the nine riders on zero who are battling it out for individual glory.

FEI President, HRH Princess Haya said, “We in the FEI are enormously proud to have one of our athletes record this historic event.”

Media Contacts:

Richard Johnson (in Singapore)

FEI Director Corporate Communications

Tel: +41 787 506 122

Email: richard.johnson@fei.org

Grania Willis
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org

Race for Individual Medals Still Wide Open at Youth Olympic Games

Mohamed Abdalla (EGY) acknowledges the crowd’s support after jumping a clear with Buzzword in today’s individual competition for a share in the lead going into Tuesday’s Final. (Photo: IOC)

22 August 2010 – Another steamy day in Singapore greeted competitors and spectators for round 1 of the Youth Olympic Games Individual Jumping Competition, with all the riders going back to zero scores for a brand new start after the Teams medal decider.

Singaporean precision meant that the first competitor from Chile rode into the arena today at exactly 9.30am, ready to jump the course presented by international Course Designer, John Vallance (AUS). The fences were a little higher and wider, with oxers looking squarer than those for the Team Competition. This is appropriate now that the horse and rider combinations have got to know each other better and should be able to handle the elevated degree of difficulty. Distances in the course were very even and fair with a flowing line. A triple combination was also included to test the riders.

There were nine clear rounds in today’s competition, with most of them being ridden very smoothly and effectively. Competitors who went clear were Marcelo Chirico (URU), Thomas McDermott (AUS), Mohamed Abdalla (EGY), Timur Patarov (KAZ), Dominique Shone (CAN), Guilherme Foroni (BRA), Samantha McIntosh (RSA), Wojciech Dahlke (POL) and Mario Gamboa (COL).

Continue reading Race for Individual Medals Still Wide Open at Youth Olympic Games

Gold for Team Europe at Youth Olympics

Team Europe celebrates winning gold in the Youth Olympic Games Team Jumping - back row (L-R): Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), Martin Fuchs (SUI) and Wojciech Dahlke (POL) and front row (L-R): Carian Scudamore (GBR) and Valentina Isoardi (ITA). (Photo: IOC)

20 August 2010 – Team Europe has won the coveted team gold at the Youth Olympic Games after a nail biting jump-off between three teams in a day of unsurpassed excitement in the jumping arena.

Three teams – Europe, Australasia and Africa – were all on four penalties going into today’s second round and it proved to be a battle to the end for these continents. It looked as though Europe would clinch gold when their last rider, Nicola Philippaerts (BEL), cleared fence after fence with Gippsland Girl in what was looking like another wonderful clear for Europe. But a rail down at the last fence left Europe, Australasia and Africa tied on eight penalties, forcing a jump-off against the clock over a shortened course to determine the medal placings.

Both Europe and Australasia picked up four faults in the crowd-pleasing jump-off, but Europe’s faster overall time earned the gold, Australasia got silver and Africa bronze, to the huge delight of the riders and their supporters. After the historic presentation of medals for the first ever Youth Olympic Games equestrian competition, the riders galloped joyously around the ring on their lap of honour, elation at winning an Olympic medal evident on every smiling young face.

Continue reading Gold for Team Europe at Youth Olympics

FEI Blog on Youth Olympic Games and Video Interview with Lisen Bratt Fredricson

16 August 2010 – Stay updated on the equestrian events at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore and visit the FEI Youth Olympics Blog.

An interview with YOG Equestrian Athlete Role Model Lisen Bratt Fredricson is now available and free to view at www.feitv.org.

Media Contact:

Grania Willis
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org

Video Footage of Youth Olympic Games Horses’ Arrival in Singapore

16 July 2010 – Free-to-view video footage of the horses for the Youth Olympic Games departing their Australian base at Glen Haven Park and arriving in Singapore ahead of the Games is now available at www.feitv.org and FEI YouTube Channel.

Media Contact:

Grania Willis
FEI Director Press Relations
Tel: +41 787 506 142
Email: grania.willis@fei.org