London 2012 - Aussie Girls through to Jumping final!
|London 2012 - Aussie Girls through to Jumping final! - 7th Aug 2012|
"EDWINA TOPS-ALEXANDER (AUS) riding Itot du Chateau
Australia's leading showjumping ladies Edwina Tops-Alexander and Julia Hargreaves have secured their spot in Wednesday's jumping final after strong performances in today's third round qualifier.
Impressive riding by both ladies in front of the 22,000 strong crowd saw them selected in the top 35 riders that progress through to the medal round.
Tops-Alexander had one rail down today to finish in fourth place with a total of four penalty points. But with everyone going back to zero points for the final, she admits the real work is yet to come.
"The Olympics for me doesn't start til the final. That's where it's going to get tough, that's where it will sort everyone out," she said.
The 38-year-old has been working towards her dream of an Olympic medal for many years, and she said she has it firmly in her sights.
"You've got to look for it, you've got to stay positive, got to have your focus on that. That's what we're all here for essentially," she said.
Come Wednesday's final it won't just be her that needs to be prepared, she'll need to ensure her horse Cevo Itot du Chateau, is ready.
"I had to work a bit harder than Itot today but yesterday he had to work a bit harder than me – it's all a balancing act.
"It's all about the horse trusting you, the horse believing in you, horses are so sensitive and they have amazing instincts."
For Julia Hargreaves her Olympic debut has been a dream come true, having only one rail down and one time fault today to finish on 12 penalty points and secure her spot in the final.
She has admitted she has had to battle the nerves coming into the biggest event of her young career, but she says she and her horse Vedor are getting better as the competition continues.
"He's (Vedor) actually a really good Games horse. He is getting better every day and I get more comfortable every day so it's a combination of all those things," she said.
For fellow Aussie James Paterson-Robinson, there was just one too many rails down today finishing with 21 penalty points, sitting just outside the top 35 in 41st place.
The medal day for the showjumping will be on Wednesday 8 August starting at midday
Edwina jumps her way to the top, 7 August 2012
After the second day of competition in the jumping, Australia's Edwina Tops-Alexander has continued her good form to have her second clear round and ultimate score of zero penalty points.
The 38 year old former Sydney resident is now in prime position ahead of tomorrow's third round of individual competition, with the goal of finishing in the top 30 to make the final.
As veteran of the Aussie show jumping team, she proved experience helps. Tops-Alexander and her 16-year-old horse Cevo Itot du Chateau jumped today's tough course with no rails down and under time.
"Experience does count, as well as knowing your horse. I'm really happy with how we went. My horse jumped great, probably better than I rode," Tops-Alexander said.
"The horse is in good shape – tomorrow won't be a lot more difficult, I won't change too much on what I've done," she said.
It was an emotional day for the Aussies at Greenwich Park, with the four person team narrowly missing the next round of competition, finishing in tenth place.
Olympic debutants Julia Hargreaves and James Paterson-Robinson both put in strong performances to continue on with Tops-Alexander through to the individual qualifier with hopes of making the final.
Tops-Alexander is hoping the strong form she has had in the last 12 months leading into the Games will help carry her through and onto the podium.
"He (Itot) is really fit and jumping well so I would hope we can continue the form we've had.
"But you never know what can happen, you have to be prepared for everything. Always expect the unexpected."
The Jumping competition will continue tomorrow at Greenwich Park at 2.00pm (London time).