Olympics: Bronze for NZ Eventing TeamWednesday, Aug 1, 2012
Veteran equestrians Mark Todd and Andrew Nicholson spearheaded a New Zealand Olympic three-day-event campaign that has secured the first Kiwi medal at London 2012.
New Zealand claimed the Olympic team bronze at Greenwich Park overnight after a nail-biting day of show jumping saw the team hold their nerve to secure third place behind hosts Great Britain in second while Germany took gold.
This medal came 28 years after Mark's first time on the Olympic podium bringing the 56 year-old's overall medal tally to five, he now joins canoeists Paul MacDonald and Ian Ferguson as New Zealand's most successful Olympians.
Bronze medallists Caroline Powell, Mark Todd, Jonelle Richards & Andrew Nicholson - absent Jock Paget.
The show jumping phase commenced with Mark and Andrew in the hunt for individual medals with particularly strong performances from Mark in the dressage and Andrew in the cross country, however both fell short of a spot in the individual medals.
Mark closed his campaign in 12th place after the cross country took its toll on his young horse NZB Campino with a rail dropped in each round of the show jumping, while Andrew's efforts weren't quite enough to secure him a medal, finishing in fourth on the individual table.
"I could allow myself to be disappointed, I guess, that I did not win an individual medal but I have to be pleased with what I got, which to me is almost as important, and the horse performed," said Todd.
"What this horse has done has to be put in context, he would be most inexperienced horse here at the competition.
"Less than 12 months ago he was in his first advanced competition. I'm not surprised he was tired today. I'm disappointed for him as much as anything he could not show how good a jumper he is."
The Kiwi team of Mark, Andrew, Jock Paget, Caroline Powell and Jonelle Richards hope they have set New Zealand on course for plenty more medals at London 2012.
"Early in the piece we have kicked off and won a medal. Hopefully it can inspire the others to really get in there and perform. I know it won't be the only medals we win," said Mark.
Mark is proudly sponsored by New Zealand Bloodstock who supported him in his campaign to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and London in 2012. Congratulations to Mark and the team!