Canada win team show jumping silver

Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:00pm EDT
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By Sophie Taylor

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Canada took home the Olympic silver medal in the equestrian team jumping on Monday.

The United States took home the gold and Norway the bronze

The United States and Canada had tied for first place in the show jumping final with total penalties of 20 each, and went on to battle it out in a thrilling timed round over a shortened course.

"I'm shocked, so thrilled with the way we did. So exciting," said American rider Laura Kraut, who tackled the seven imposing Chinese-themed fences in under 35 seconds. "We wanted that gold medal really really bad."

The victory marked an outright win for the United States, who had received a team gold medal for jumping at the 2004 Athens Games only after Germany's Ludger Beerbaum was disqualified, bringing his team down to bronze.

When asked if he was disappointed to see Canada miss their first gold in the category since the 1968 Mexico City Games, rider Eric Lamaze said: "What we did was already amazing, so we're already very happy."

Norway took bronze. "It's not only a dream, it's unbelievable for us. It's like winning gold," Norwegian rider Geir Gulliksen told a press conference after the event.

Thirty-five riders out of the 50 who rode on Monday will also go through to the individual show jumping final on Thursday.

The top-ranking individual rider was Norway's Tony Andre Hansen with a total of 3 cumulative penalties.

(Additional reporting by James Pomfret)

<p>Ian Millar of Canada riding In Style competes in the equestrian jumping team competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong August 18, 2008. REUTERS/Bobby Yip</p>