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OLYMPICS: Bronze boost after individual medal eludes Andrew
MARLBOROUGH rider Andrew Nicholson admits that he was “gutted” to miss out on an individual eventing medal at London 2012 – but was more than happy to celebrate helping New Zealand secure team bronze.
Riding Nereo, Nicholson, along with teammates Mark Todd, Jonathan Paget, Caroline Powell and Mildenhall-based Jonelle Richards, secured third place at Greenwich Park behind Great Britain and winners Germany on Tuesday.
But the New Zealand veteran, who turned 51 yesterday, felt that his chances of a first individual Olympic medal were thrown into disarray after he was forced into a 10-minute weather delay during his Sunday’s dressage test, with ride Nereo primed and ready to go.
Nicholson, who branded the delay a “disgrace’’ after completing his dressage, went on to finish fourth in the individual standings, 4.2 points behind bronze medallist Germany’s Sandra Auffarth.
Consolation came in the form of a third Olympic team medal, adding to the bronze and silver he won with his country in Atlanta 1996 and Barcelona 1992 respectively.
“I was gutted about what happened in the individual because finishing first, second and third is all that matters – but there was nothing that I could do about it,” Nicholson told the Gazette & Herald.
“Finishing fourth is still progress and hopefully I’ll have the chance to try and put that right at the next Olympics because I still feel like I’ve got one more in me.
“I’m so happy with how we’ve done as a team and it’s nice for me because the last time I was part of an Olympic medal-winning team was 16 years ago.
“We’re proud of what we’ve done and the event itself was fantastic – the course was everything you would want it to be and it was well thought out.
“A few of the other guys have stayed around the Olympic venue but I’ve come straight back home because I’ve got to get straight back in to things.
“I’ve got a small competition in West Wilts (Holt) next week and then it’s not long before the rest of the big international competitions like Burghley and Blenheim start.”