Exceptional rider Michael Jung starts the eventing world championships from the best position in the final jumping – and loses gold. After all, he triumphs with the team.
Michael Jung alternately looked distressed and happy. The most successful eventing rider in the world felt torn because he lost gold at the World Championships in Italy and won gold at the same time.
“I’m super happy with the team, but of course I’m also a bit unhappy,” commented Jung, who had two downs with Chipmunk. The 40-year-old professional missed his chance of winning the individual competition in jumping, but still saved first place for the German team.
Individual silver for Julia Krajewski
The joy of Julia Krajewski, who took second place in the singles, was clearer. “Gold and silver, it doesn’t get much better than that,” said the 33-year-old from Warendorf. Beaming with joy, the Tokyo Olympic champion added: “We love winning medals.”
Jung missed the double coup because he was the leader in the final competition, but received eight penalty points and fell back to fifth place with Chipmunk. With one too many he missed the chance to repeat his singles title from 2010 in Kentucky.
Krajewski, on the other hand, worked his way up from fifth to second place on the last day of the World Championships in Rocca di Papa. With silver in the individual, she confirmed her class behind the new title holder Yasmin Ingham from Great Britain on Banzai.
Before her flawless jumping, the Tokyo Olympic champion had shown strong dressage and a splendid cross-country ride. “Mega”, enthused the 33-year-old from Warendorf and praised her mare called “Mandy”. “As soon as there was space, the head went down and the turbo started,” she reported about her cross-country ride and added with a grin: “I’m simply the biggest fan of my horse.”
Praise from the national coach
“You’re great,” said the new national coach Peter Thomsen to his victorious team, which gave him a perfect start as the successor to Hans Melzer. Beaming, the coach embraced his quartet, which also included Sandra Auffarth from Ganderkesee with Viamant and Christoph Wahler from Bad Bevensen with Carjatan. The USA came second ahead of New Zealand.
“It’s unbelievable,” said World Cup debutant Wahler. “I still can’t believe it.” Auffarth, who received twelve penalty points in jumping and thus delivered the discarded result of the German team, also celebrated with a smile. “It was just super exciting today,” said the double world champion from 2014. “It was an exciting day with many ups and downs,” she admitted.
“Gold and silver, that’s what you only dream of beforehand,” commented Dennis Peiler, head of sports at the German Riding Association FN. “It’s unbelievable that it worked out like that. It’s sensational for us.” The German team easily managed to qualify for the Olympic Games in Paris.
Jung had looked like the certain winner. In the dressage on Friday he had taken the lead and defended it in the cross-country. On the dry and dusty cross-country track he rode flawlessly and commented with a grin: “The dust is behind you if you ride fast enough.” Krajewski said after her cross-country ride: “I still have a bit of dust between my teeth and in my eyes.”
At least Jung’s forecast for the team classification worked out. “Honestly, I believed all week that it could work,” said the gold winner after the weak first day, when Germany was only seventh, catching up.