Tuesday 21 October 2014

Irish showjumpers suffer Olympic heartache as they narrowly miss out on Rio qualification

Published 04/09/2014 | 19:14

4 September 2014; Bertram Allen on Molly Malone V competing during the Second Round Team Competition. 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Caen, France. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
Bertram Allen on Molly Malone V competing during the Second Round Team Competition. 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, Caen, France. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Ireland's showjumpers have fallen agonisingly short in their bid to secure Rio 2016 Olympics team qualification at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Caen.

Ireland must now wait until next summer's European Championships in Germany for another opportunity.

Ireland went close to claiming a qualifying slot as they ended up seventh with the top six qualifying because 2016 hosts Brazil finished in fifth.

A Dutch quartet of Jeroen Dubbeldam, Maikel van der Vleuten, Jur Vrieling and Gerco Schroder took world gold, with France finishing second and America third.

There was some consolation for Ireland, with three of their team - Denis Lynch, 19-year-old Bertram Allen and Darragh Kenny - qualifying among the leading 30 riders for Saturday's penultimate individual competition.

America's Beezie Madden, winner of the Longines King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead earlier this summer, leads the individual race for gold, closely followed by Sweden's Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Dane Soren Pedersen.

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