Equestrian great Andrew Hoy will join an elite group of athletes to compete at eight Olympic Games after earning quota spots for Tokyo at the Strzegom Horse Trials in Poland.The three-time gold medallist stunningly earned a quota spot for two horses, finishing second in the three-day eventing with Vassily de Lassos and also ninth with Bloom Des Hauts Crets.
Hoy's score of 38.00 was only bettered by Great Britain's Harry Meade on Superstitious, who posted 34.00, among a field of 31.
Hoy tweeted his excitement at the results. "Thank you so much! I very much hope to be able to wear green & gold once more in 2020 and that we as a team will be able to do our great country proud!," he wrote on Twitter.
He also had high praise for Vassily. "His athleticism never stops to amaze me! He runs with such speed and grace and never seems to touch the ground and - at the same time has got such a huge, powerful jump with so much scope," Hoy told EA High Performance.
"It's nothing but joy and thankfulness to be his partner! We have an exciting time with big goals for 2020 ahead - keep your fingers crossed for us!"
Only 10 athletes have competed at eight Olympics, with the record of 10 Games held by retired Canadian equestrian athlete Ian Millar.
Hoy made his Olympic debut in 1992 in Barcelona and could have been lining up for this ninth after also qualifying for Moscow in 1980 before the equestrian section boycotted.
The 60-year-old won gold in the team eventing in 1992, 1996 and 2000 and silver in Sydney in the individual eventing.
Hoy and Bloom have already competed on the Tokyo course, taking part in the August test event.
They were second after the dressage and moved into top place after a flawless cross-country leg.
But as the final combination into the jumping arena, the pressure on the young horse took its toll and with one rail, which added four penalties to their final score, they finished the event in fifth position
Article courtesy of Australian Associated Press and Equestrian Australia