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The victory of the hosts brought the team event of dressage at the FEI Wrold Championship in Herning to a conclusion. Denmark shared the podium with Great Britain and Germany. Alltogether seven teams secured a place for the Paris 2024 Olympics. The Grand Prix have been held for two days with two athletes achieving a result above 80% - Cathrine Laudrup-Dufour on Vamos Amigos (81,864%) and Charlotte Fry on Glamourdale (80,838%). They were the leaders of the teams battling for the gold. The success was on the hosts' side with Nanna Merrald Rasmussen on Blue Hors Zack (76,724%) and Carina Cassøe Krüth on Heiline's Danciera (76,863%) beating the Brits, where Fry was joined by Charlotte Dujardin on Imhotep (77,407%) and Gareth Hughes on Classic Briolinca (75,978%). The podium was completed by the title defending Germans with Ingrid Klimke on Franzikus having their result dropped as the worst in the team (75,683%) the result of 230,791% was achieved by Isabell Werth on DSP Quantaz (77,127%), Bejamin Werndl on Famoso OLD (77,003%) and Frederic Wandres on Duke of Britain FRH (76,661%). Beside the medallists, the three next teams also secured a place in the Paris 2024 Olympic team event (as well as team members starting in the individual competition). These are Sweden, Netherlands (including Dinja van Liere on Hermes - third pair of the Grand Prix with 78,835%) and USA. Another quota went to team of Australia, placed eighth, being the best from the Group G of South East Asia and Oceania with Japan in 15th and New Zealand eliminated as Gaylene Lennard's Jax Johnson haven't passed the inspection and the team had no reserve of their three-pair team. The next medal events are to be held on Monday with dressage Grand Prix Special (individual only) and the non-Olympic vaulting Squad and Individual medals to be given. The next Olympic quotas will be distributed during the jumping team final on Friday the 12th. Author: Wojciech Nowakowski, Totallympics Photo: © FEI/Leanjo de Koster
Some of the world's top athletes in equestrian will be in the small Danish city of Herning over the next week for the 2022 FEI World Equestrian Games. In the only "open" (non-gendered) sport on the Olympic programme, events will take place in Dressage and Jumping, as well as the non-Olympic disciples of Vaulting and Para Dressage. A large amount of Olympic qualification spots are up for grabs. Starting with Dressage, which has a team event and an individual event. There are fifteen teams, with Olympic hosts France getting the first spot in Paris, with the next six earned in Herning over the next few days. The other team spots will be earned regionally, but the spots for Group F (Africa/Middle East) and Group G (South East Asia and Oceania) will also be earned here, with the top ranked team in each group also snagging a quota. Out of the sixty individual spots, forty-five belong to team members, none of the standalone individual places will be earned here. The system is not too different for Jumping. In this event, there are twenty teams, again hosts France make up one of them. These championships will earn five of the remaining team spots, as well as two for Group F and another two for Group G. There are seventy-five team spots (with sixty belonging to the team members), and again none of the standalone individual spots are earned in Herning. Qualification won't be earned here for Eventing, which instead sees its world championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy, as the first qualifying event. The dressage event, which has a two-day Grand Prix on 6 and 7 August, has nineteen teams participating. In order, these are Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, Portugal, Finland, Austria, Ireland, Poland, France, Spain, Belgium, Great Britain, Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the United States. Four years ago, Germany won the gold in this event, qualifying alongside the US, Great Britain, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Spain. Eagle-eyed readers will notice that there are no teams from Africa or the Middle East, meaning that the Group F spot will now go to a designated qualifying event. In 2020, that spot went to South Africa, although they later withdrew. Australia, Japan and New Zealand are the only Group G teams to enter, in 2020 it was Australia that got the place. The start lists aren't available yet for the Jumping competition. Patrick Green Writer, Totallympics News
Paris 2024 will have a busy qualification schedule, which will take athletes to every inhabited continent in 32 sports. While some ranking events and pre-qualifiers have already started, the first event that directly qualifies athletes (or more specifically in this case, teams) to the Olympics is just around the corner. A dream that will end in the second weekend of August 2024 when the gold medals in Men's Football are given out will begin nearly nine thousand kilometres away in Honduras as the qualifier for the North/Central American and Caribbean region, the 2022 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship takes place from 18 June to 3 July: two spots will be earned from this event, which is the only way North American teams can qualify for the Games. Out of the forty-one members of CONCACAF (the North American Football continental federation), thirty-four entered the tournament. The top sixteen ranked teams did not have to qualify, instead entering the group stage of the final tournament. The remaining eighteen teams did enter a qualifying tournament in the Dominican Republic, with the four winners of groups of four of five entering the final tournament. For their troubles, they will skip the group stage and have a bye directly to the Round of 16. These teams are Curaçao, who won a group containing Grenada, the British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten and Dominica; the Dominican Republic, who topped a group on home soil including St. Lucia, Belize, Anguilla, and Saint Martin; Puerto Rico, who topped a group with St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Bermuda, and Barbados; and finally Nicaragua, who overcame a group with the Cayman Islands, Guyana, and the US Virgin Islands. There will be four groups, with Groups E and G being based in the Estadio Nacional in Tegucigalpa and Groups F and H being based in Estadio Morazán in San Pedro Sula. The groups are as follows: Group E: United States, Cuba, Canada, St. Kitts and Nevis Group F: Mexico, Haiti, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname Group G: Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala, Aruba Group H: Honduras, Jamaica, Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbuda The top three teams will join the four qualifiers in the Round of 16, with all action from the Quarterfinals onwards taking place in San Pedro Sula's 37,000-seater Estadio Olímpico, the home of the Honduras senior national team. Both finalists will reach the Olympic Games, and all four semi-finalists will also qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia. Players have to be born in 2003 or later, with no overage players. For these young athletes, this is a huge opportunity. Since 1964 there has been a specific CONCACAF qualification tournament, but now this competition carries that torch instead, and there is a chance to become a hero. In the last Games, Mexico and Honduras qualified from this region, and they will be hoping to repeat that feat. The United States are defending champions from 2018 after the 2020 edition was cancelled. With an extra incentive this time, it promises to be an exciting tournament, where names once unknown can be thrust into the spotlight in the most famous and lucrative sport of all. Patrick Green Writer, Totallympics News
The UIPM has recently announced the introduction of the New Olympic Pentathlon, which aims to shorten the time of the competition and make it more attractive to the audience. The approval of the format by the Executive Board caused a mostly negative reaction, from the athletes, whom the changes will affect the most. The following is an interview with Shiny Fang, UIPM Secretary General, in which she tries to explain the biggest doubts about the changes. The first question is, what is on the mind of the Pentathlon community – what is the reason for those changes? To aim for the future, to embrace the youth, and to widen the sport’s audience with a more compact and understandable sport product for media, also to demonstrate our most complete athletes in a shorter time without losing audience in between parts of the longer competition. Modern pentathlon’s place in the Olympic programme is a crucial thing for the sport, which is also a legacy of being founded by Baron Pierre de Coubertin himself. Was the proposal consulted with the IOC representatives as they should be the ones to know better, in which direction the changes should go? Certainly UIPM as the world governing body of the sport knows better how we can improve the sport and its product/format. However, if we are talking about Pentathlon in the Olympic Games, we first need to understand what is the IOC’s vision for future Games, and what would be the most valuable things to evaluate the sport’s impact in the Games. Therefore, it is a collective effort by all involved or responsible parties in the Games, including valuable advice from OBS, Olympic Channel and Paris 2024. Modern pentathlon has been changing for some time, but this is a true revolution. Doesn’t it bring confusion to new pentathlon fans to learn the sport from the beginning? Well, what we are changing or innovating is about our sports product, to smoothly shape it to a fan-friendly and media-friendly format so that audience can see a compact and complete sport within a shorter time. As you might know well, the sport has come from 5 days, to 1 day, to 5 hours, and now to 90min. However, what we haven’t changed is the core essence of the sport created by Coubertin – that is, the historical elements/disciplines are still the same since the sport was born. The proposed changes apply for only the Olympic Games (and the Olympic qualifiers, as far as I understand). Would it not be harder for fans to learn one format for the Olympics and another for all other competitions? We do have EB approved Olympic format and qualification events format, and those Olympic qualification events will be major UIPM competitions. Therefore, in terms of the format for UIPM major competitions, we will keep the same direction as the Olympic format, but with certain flexibility, such as number of athletes in final group, length of the breaks between each disciplines, etc. For UIPM competitions, we will have relatively more time to test and to fix more details, since the qualification events will only start from 2023. But for the Olympic format, we must be in line with the timeline of the IOC and Paris 2024, to give organisers enough time. By the way, it is quite normal that some other sports also have an Olympic format and a different IF format, so nothing unusual. The athletes are openly against it, and primarily because of the increased injury risks caused by a shortened warm-up time. Was the new format consulted with them? Actually the athletes are not against innovations, they are open-minded and intelligent, also sometimes they give us a lot of good ideas. For the new format, due to a series of processes which we also want to keep low profile with mainly athletes representatives in each working group and committees, it is normal that a lot of athletes who haven’t joined in athletes meetings at earlier stage, haven’t been well informed. Clearly, the communication with athletes is the key, and during the athletes call on November 11, a lot of their questions and doubts were addressed. But it is not enough, we will certainly engage more with them during the rest of the process. There were also very few test events with the new format – just the two in Budapest and Cairo, where the participation of athletes from all around the world was limited due to Covid-19 pandemic. Has the UIPM tried to conduct more test events, for example during the national competitions that were held in different countries, for example Russia, Belarus or Poland? Actually, we felt fortunate that we were able to manage two decent tests during this pandemic time with full support of our organizers, and yes, we will have more tests in 2021 before and/or after the Tokyo Olympics. More details will be fixed early in 2021. The changes were to be introduced this year, but because of the pandemic the Congress will be held in 2021. Were there ideas to postpone it to the 2024-2028 Olympic cycle, as the pre-Paris one is a shortened one after? No we won’t postpone, innovation has been a continuous process for decades in UIPM, Paris is a milestone that we cannot miss, and it will demonstrate more possibilities for LA 2028 as well. In Polish По-русски (Трансляция: Себастьян Стасяк)