Olympic champion Jung forced to switch horses for Rio

Fri Jul 22, 2016 4:09pm EDT
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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's Olympic eventing team and individual champion Michael Jung has had to change horses for the Rio Games a week before the animals are due to fly to Brazil.

The double gold medalist said he will now ride Sam, the 16-year-old he won with in London in 2012, after his first choice Takinou suffered an infection.

However, Germany's eventing team trainer Chris Bartle, a Briton, told the Horse and Hound website that the replacement had yet to be decided with Rocana another option.

"Today I have to write the worst news of the year," said Jung on his Facebook page. "Takinou has suffered a febrile infection after his victory in Aachen (last week) and cannot fly to Rio."

Only two horse and rider pairings have ever won back-to-back individual Olympic gold medals in eventing, the most recent being New Zealander Mark Todd on Charisma in 1984 and 1988.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Tony Jimenez)

Germany's Michael Jung riding fischer Takinou jumps a fence during the show jumping at the FEI European Eventing Championship at Blair Castle, Scotland, Britain, September 13, 2015.  REUTERS/Russell Cheyne