The last day of these FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon was full of excitement and tension with three vaulting finals and medals ceremonies: Germany and France won the gold medals after a very tight competition in all categories.
> Individuals Female
We started the morning with the individual female final round. The great Kristina Boe (GER) won the FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon after a very constant competition ending with a total of 8.388. She demonstrated a lot of self control holding the high pressure till the end.
Kristina told us how she works on her mental strength:
“We have Gaby, she’s our sport psychologist, I work with her since I’m the German team and I know her for many years now. She’s fantastic, I wasn’t always that strong mentally during competitions. I was nervous and she helped me a lot getting more settled, getting more confident, believe in myself. She gave me technics to be more focused in the circle.”
We could see her enjoying her rounds in a perfect harmony with herself and her horse, Don de la Mar.
A slight mistake of Lisa Wild (AUT) in her jump made her lose the second position to get the bronze medal. She finished the competition with a 8.746 for this round, and a 8.363 for the total score. Janika Derks (GER) after her second freestyle scored 8.810. She finally got the silver medal with a total of 8.374.
The final scores of the top 4 female vaulters were all held in a pocket handkerchief in between 8.308 and 8.388.
Watch our interviews with Kristina, Janika and Lisa:
> Individuals Male
The following gold medal went to the extraordinary Lambert Leclezio (FRA), who performed a stunning last round with his metamorphosis freestyle, closing his competition with an outstanding total score of 8.744. One of the judges scored 9.940 for the technique of his final freestyle. Lambert, originally from Mauritius, prepared himself in France in the last years along with Poivre Vert and François Athimon former partners of his predecessor Jacques Ferrari (FRA), winner of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ in Normandy 2014.
“Right after my dismount, I knew I did a good freestyle, it was like…Woah… I did it! It is very hard to explain I think but when I was doing my push to the bridge fine, I knew that the rest of the freestyle would just come in and I knew it was a good job.” said Lambert.
The fight between the Germans was intense to get the two other medals: Jannik Heiland did a small mistake in his ground jump, nevertheless he scored an amazing 8.974 in this round and an total of 8.606 for the silver medal. Thomas Brüsewitz, interpreting “The Truman Show” scored 8.868 for his last round and walked away with the Bronze. We don’t forget about Jannis Drewell, another German fellow who followed very closely with a total of 8.509.
Watch our interviews with Lambert, Jannik and Thomas here:
The last round for squads was full of twists as the top nations were under pressure. Apparently Team Norka (GER), inspired by the movie “Now You See Me”, could handle it quite easily as they showed a flawless second freestyle. With no surprise, they stuck to the first place with a total score of 8.638 and an amazing 9.104 for their last performance.
Team Lütisburg (SUI) also kept their position of the second best in the world, scoring a total of 8.433. Nonetheless, the girls were unsatisfied with their round, scored 8.491: They had several small uncertainties and couldn’t really explain it to themselves:
“We don’t know what happened. We were confident, well prepared, the horse did well.”
Team URS Wildegg (AUT), interpreting Gustav Klimt’s paintings are known for them hand-to-hand breathtaking handstand. They scored a total of 8.198 after their last freestyle (8.641) and secured their bronze medal. We have to mention the excellent performance of Team USA on this last round, which is the fourth best freestyle of the day scored 8.457. The crowd intensively cheered them:
“It was so good, all that energy running in was awesome! We’ve never heard a crowd like that before. We were feeling a little nervous and then we heard them and we thought – alright, we got that! It was our best performance of the season by far, we gave everything that we wanted to give. I thought we did really well, and then the first technique score appeared and I was really surprised, but the other scores were similar.” (Kristian Roberts)
With this last round, they took advantage on Italy for the fourth place.
We held our breath during these vaulting finals, but now it is over. As often, Germany showed an extremely strong team, with a medals rain for the nation. However, we will remember from these FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2018 Tryon that the general level of the discipline is rising in all categories of these vaulting finals, with a notable progress in the last years of some nations such as Italy, the USA or Czech Republic for instance who might be tough challengers in the future.
Watch our interviews with Team Norka, Team Lütisburg and Team Wildegg here:
More details here.