Germany Wins Eventing Gold Medals

Germany had a big night Tuesday in equestrian competition, taking gold medals in both team and individual eventing.

Hinrich Romeike won the individual title, scoring 54.2 penalty points on Marius to edge the American silver-medalist Gina Miles, riding McKinlaigh (56.1 points). Kristina Cook of Great Britain was also close for bronze with 57.4.

Germany took the team gold in an exciting showdown with Australia that went down to each team's last rider, and they were separated by only one dropped jump rail.

Romeike and Australia's Megan Jones, riding Irish Jester, each had one fence down in the team round. That clinched the gold for Germany with 166.1 penalty points, while Australia won the silver with 171.2 points, and Great Britain took the bronze with 185.7.

Germany was leading going into this last show-jumping phase after the grueling cross-country phase on Monday. The show-jumping segment is designed to test how well the horses bounce back from the rigors of the cross-country endurance phase, but all the horses looked eager to jump on Tuesday, especially Marius.

"I was astonished how fresh he was," said Romeike.

Jones was philosophical about bringing home silver instead of gold: "It's amazing to come home from your first Games with any sort of bling."

After the team round, the obstacles were raised and the riders then jumped again to determine individual medals with the result once more in doubt until the end. The top eight riders were separated by a score of just one dropped rail, which counts for 4 points.

Miles went clean in both rounds and moved from fifth to second, while Cook also had two clean rounds and made the podium after starting the evening in 10th.

Eventing competitions are usually held in daytime, but the show jumping was held at night here for lower temperatures to benefit the horses. Miles said jumping under the bright lights gave her an edge.

"He's a big horse and I'm a small rider and that gave him extra life," she said.

The U.S. team, which had done well in the dressage phase, had a disappointing Monday on cross-country and finally finished seventh with 250 points.

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The Associated Press

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