Proud Austin O’Connor finishes 13th in Olympic eventing final

O'Connor helped Ireland to an eighth-place finish in the team event
Proud Austin O’Connor finishes 13th in Olympic eventing final

Ireland's Austin O'Connor, riding Colorado Blue, competes during the equestrian eventing jumping at Equestrian Park in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Eventer Austin O’Connor finished 13th in the final of the individual showjumping in Tokyo this evening, the 46-year-old picking up four faults with his partner Colorado Blue and recording a score of 46.00.

Gold went to Germany’s Julia Krajewski with 26.00. 

“Amazing,” said O’Connor afterwards. “He is a phenomenal horse, this is his first championship. I was drawn in at the very last minute so I was hanging on in there for the last five or six weeks which is a seriously difficult circumstance.

“We will quietly let him down now for six to eight weeks but I think that will be him done for the year. 

“The bottom line is we both showed our professionalism and I hope I did everyone at home proud.

“I was disappointed after the dressage but if I had a blip yesterday (in cross country) with a better dressage I would be an awful lot worse off. We have a great back-up team behind us, Tracey Robinson on the dressage, Grant Wilson on the jumping, and Marcus Swail being our vet.” 

This was O’Connor’s third Olympics, having finished 21st as an individual and eighth in the team event in Beijing 2008 and 17th as an individual at the Sydney 2000 Games.

O’Connor had scored 42.00 to qualify for the final, with teammates Sam Watson (55.30) and Sarah Ennis (79.90) missing out, having finished 30th and 36th respectively on their mounts Tullabeg Flamenco (ISH) and Horseware Woodcourt Garrison (ISH).

The trio secured eighth place for the Irish team with their tally of 177.00, with Britain taking gold ahead of Australia and France.

Darragh Kenny, Bertram Allen, and Cian O’Connor will be in action tomorrow in individual show jumping qualifier on their respective partners Cartello, Pacino Amiro, and Kilkenny, the event getting underway at 11am Irish time.

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