Canada’s Mario Deslauriers qualified for the individual show jumping final after completing the qualifying round near the top of the field following a clean run at the Tokyo Equestrian Park on Tuesday.
Deslauriers finished with a time of 84.76 without penalty to qualify for fifth among the runners tied for first. The top 30 of 73 riders qualified for the final, which will take place on Wednesday.
Deslauriers and his horse Bardolina 2 are the only Canadian horse and rider in the individual competition.
After the qualifying round, Deslauriers said it was a tough qualifying for the horses and riders because the light was reflecting off the ground and some of the jumps were, as he described them, “colorful. “. Bardolina is an alert and attentive horse, he said, so she looked around her more than usual.
“At the end of the day she jumped really well and we got the job done,” he told CBC Sports.
Canada was not allowed to send a show jumping team to Tokyo after being stripped of its fourth place at the 2019 Pan American Games in Peru after Nicole Walker tested positive for a cocaine metabolite.
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She said she inadvertently ingested the substance while drinking coca tea, a common drink in Peru.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport agreed that Walker had not intentionally taken a prohibited substance, but said he had no authority to overturn the decision of the Pan American Disciplinary Commission which removed Canada from the fourth and last Pan American qualifying spot for Tokyo.
At 56, Deslauriers is the oldest member of Team Canada at these Olympic Games. He was born in Quebec but lives in New York.
The Tokyo Games are Deslauriers’ third Olympics, although it has been a while since he appeared on one of the biggest stages in the sporting world. He finished fourth in the individual and team show jumping finals at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles, and was 30th in the individual and fourth in the team final at the 1988 Games in Seoul.
CBC Sports explains: Horse jumping:
He finished 15th in the individual event at the 2019 Pan American Games.
“I think it’s always exciting to go to the Olympics for your country,” said Deslauriers. He was much younger in his first two Olympics and may not have fully grasped the meaning of it all, he said.
“I think today with more experience and 30 years later I appreciate the state of being here again.”
Britain’s Ben Maher, who won silver at the 2019 European Championships, led the field in Tuesday’s qualifying. Her best Olympic result was ninth in the individual event at the London Games in 2012.
He was followed in the top three by Kenny Darragh of Ireland and Ashlee Bond of Israel.
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