Wednesday 7 December 2016

Olympic flop a bitter pill

Published 18/09/2011 | 05:00

The failure of Ireland's showjumping team to qualify for next year's Olympics is a massive blow to the sport.

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Going into the European Championships in Madrid last week, Ireland knew what they needed to do to qualify and it appeared well within the grasp of a talented group of jumpers. With Britain, Germany, Belgium and France already qualified before Madrid, there were three remaining places up for grabs, to go to the three highest non-qualified finishers.

But by finishing ninth Ireland missed out and the remaining spots went to the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.

As one of the leading nations in showjumping, it is disappointing that Ireland won't have a team presence in London, although we will still be represented in individual events.

London 2012 would have been seen as an ideal opportunity for an Irish team to shine in favourable, and suitable, conditions, and particularly to restore some of the reputational damage incurred by the controversies of previous games.

jgreene@independent.ie

Sunday Indo Sport

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