Tokyo Olympic Games: Bronze medal in team jumping
Belgium had been waiting 45 years for a medal in one of the equestrian disciplines on the Olympic programme. But Pieter Devos, Jérôme Guéry and Gregory Wathelet obtained a fantastic third place in the team jumping event during this year's Games.
The Belgian riders, who finished second in the qualifications, showed great consistency in the final, which involved each of the three team members riding. Pieter Devos (with Claire Z), the first competitor, placed Belgium in a very respectable provisional fourth place. Then it was Jérôme Guéry's turn (with Quel Homme de Hus) to withstand the pressure by posting a perfect performance, but without moving up in the rankings. In third and final place, Gregory Wathelet (with Nevados S) set out and completed the course perfectly.
With their fate no longer in their hands, Belgium had to wait for the performances of the riders ahead of them in the rankings and hope to gain a spot on the podium. And while Sweden and the United States saw their teammates achieve a clear round, this was not the case for France, although they were provisionally leading the rankings. Pénélope Leprevost had to deal with the refusal of her mount, Vancouver de Lanlore, to jump a fence at the start. This led to the French team being disqualified and, ultimately, unexpected luck for the Belgians.
The Belgian equestrian world had been waiting 45 years for this Olympic medal!