Equestrian: Japan Narrowly Qualifies Dressage Team at Special Olympic Event

Japan narrowly qualified a dressage team to the Olympics at a special dressage Olympic qualification event. While nations from around the world were eligible to compete only the nations in Group F (African and Middle East), Group G (South, East Asia and Oceania) and the Asian nations in Group C, namely Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were allowed to compete for quotas. The highest ranked team not yet qualified from those regions along with the highest ranked individuals not yet qualified from Group F and Group G will be given a quota to compete. The special dressage qualification event was held in Perl, Germany on September 11th 2015.

In terms of team qualification only three nations sent enough riders to be eligible; Japan, Kazakhstan and South Africa. With only three riders and no true anchor for team Kazakhstan, their bid for the team spot always seemed unlikely. South Africa had a terrible start with both Denise Hallion and Katherine Berning performing poorly. However, a good performance by Tanya Seymour gave South Africa a chance against Japan with one rider to go for both nations. South Africa’s Nicole Smith also placed a good score of 68.420%, but Masanao Takahashi’s score of 68.660% meant Japan won the team quota by a minuscule 0.060.

By not winning the team quota South Africa’s Tanya Seymour was the highest ranked Group F athlete with a score of 68.880% defeating her compatriot Nicole Smith and Palestine’s Christian Zimmermann. The Group G individual quota went to South Korea’s Kim Dongseon whom with a score of 66.940% finished ahead of Singapore’s Caroline Chew and Indonesia’s Larasati Gading.

This was the final opportunity to qualify a team for dressage. The only other way a nation could qualify a team is if they qualify at least three individual athletes to form a composite team. The remaining individual athletes will be decided via the world rankings that will be finalized in March 2016.

Athletes by Nation

  • Japan – 4
  • South Africa – 1
  • South Korea – 1

References

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