The Norka squad from Cologne, Germany, successfully defended their Gold medal in the Team Final of the Christie's International Real Estate's Vaulting competition at the FEI World Equestrian Game™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, to conclude the discipline. The team earned a total score of 8.638 and repeated their ranking in the FEI Nations Cup™, keeping Switzerland and Austria at bay.
The dual Gold medalists beat their result from WEG 2014, showing a truly magical performance interpreting the magician’s known from the movie ‘Now You See Me’. Spectators were treated to a class performance with Danny Boy OLD and lunger Patric Looser, a WEG Gold medalist himself in 2010 for Switzerland. The endless hours of training that went into their show were obvious.
“We know each other since many years and we are one. We could trust each other,” the team explained when asked how they kept their nerves.
The Team Gold medal was hard to earn, especially for anchor vaulter Thomas Brüsewitz, who sustained an injury during the Individual Male Final earlier in the day, in which he secured third.
“There is a large team behind us. It is impossible not to win with them. If need be, somebody would carry me onto the circle,” said Brüsewitz following the medal presentation in TIEC’s Indoor Arena.
Team Switzerland, defending their Silver medal from WEG 2014 behind Germany, had trailed the overnight leaders by the smallest possible margin, only 0.001 points but could not stand the pressure. Several of their intricate moves collapsed, leaving them disappointed, but later happy with their second place finish.
The Bronze medalists from Austria showed the second-best Freestyle of the day, finishing on 8.198. They earned overall 9’s for technical execution and artistic value, but missed out on a top score for their horse Alessio L’Amabile with lunger Maria Lehrman.
“It is so amazing to be here and have this chance to show our Freestyle. We were the perfect team and the harmony was awesome,” the Austrian Vaulters raved.
Team USA took fourth place, overtaking Italy who had showed their beautiful aerials to a medley of catchy Italian records, wowing the crowds.
Germany’s Kristina Boe Takes Top Honors in Female Vaulting at WEG 2018
Germany’s Kristina Boe won Gold in the Individual Female Final during the Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting discipline of the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon 2018 on Saturday, retaining her lead in the overall ranking after the first Freestyle. Vaulting for a score of 8.388 over four rounds, followed by Germany’s Janika Derks and Austria’s Lisa Wild.
The current FEI World Cup™ winner, Boe, wowed the crowd with her Freestyle routine with a British scientist Jane Goodall-themed routine. The 32-year-old doctor was dressed appropriately for her choice of music and showed extraordinary artistic movements requiring all of her ability to show perfect balance. Don de la Mare, lunged by Winnie Schlüter, carried her easily and she landed her dismount perfectly.
“I can’t even put that into words. It feels fantastic. I had a good feeling in the preparation; we had three hard rounds before but I just set myself one goal to get a harmonic round and to feel the music and the atmosphere of this beautiful freestyle and we managed—getting Gold on top is unbelievable,” said Boe.
Janika Derks, already decorated with a medal on Thursday and known for her technical powers had a great Individual Final Freestyle scoring 8.810—better than Boe, but paid for a rocky start in the Compulsory where she had been ranked only with a 7. She made up for everything with her Freestyle with Carousso Hit and lunger Jessica Lichtenberg.
“It feels very good, I’m so happy I can’t believe it,” said Derks afterwards.
Austria’s Lisa Wild secured Bronze on a total average of 8.363 after four rounds.
“I was so nervous before I went in, I knew it was the last round. In the rest day I was not really resting in my head—I knew it would be the last chance to show what I can do,” she said after her competition with Fairytale and lunger Maria Lehrmann.
Germany’s Sarah Kay missed the podium by 0.055 points. She had presented the best freestyle of the final after the first one was messed-up, letting her sit in tenth place.
Leclezio Makes Mark in Male Individual Vaulting Final for France
Lambert Leclezio took Gold for France in the Individual Male Freestyle Final at Christie’s International Real Estate’s Vaulting discipline. Leclezio earned the win with a score of 8.744 points after four rounds, beating Germany’s Jannik Heiland and Thomas Brüsewitz, who claimed second and third, respectively.
The talented 20-year-old Leclezio moved to Saumur, France to improve his sporting aspirations and it has clearly paid off.
“It’s very difficult. I have no words to describe what we did—I’m very, very happy. I want to take a moment to thank my lunger and the horse because it was his last competition. He really deserved to show on this because he’s just at the top of the game and he’s allowed me to win this competition,” he said, praising Athimon and his horse, Poivre Vert.
“The most difficult thing is to stay calm when entering the ring and today we did a good job with it and we didn’t let the pressure of this competition get too much.”
Jannik Heiland came a close second with 8.606. He commented, “It’s amazing to win this Silver medal, I didn’t imagine it before—four fantastic rounds with a fantastic horse and a fantastic lunger and a fantastic German team. It was such an honor to be part of this event. During the performance, I know how it feels and how the exercises are going and I had a little mistake, but it wasn’t a big problem and I felt very good.”
Thomas Brüsewitz, aboard Danny Boy OLD with World Champion from WEG 2010, Patric Looser on the other end of the lunge, repeated his interpretation of the Truman show again, but had his mind already set on the team competition, where he had a lead role as well.
“I’m quite happy about what we achieved today. I am preparing now for the team competition in the evening. The team, that’s what’s running through my mind.”
Fourth place was awarded to the third German Vaulter Jannis Drewell, who performed with good balance and fluidity.