Swiss end 88-year wait for show jumping gold


Steve Guerdat, riding Nino des Buissonnets, won the Olympic Games individual show jumping gold at Greenwich Park on Wednesday for Switzerland’s first title in the event in 88 years.
Ireland’s Cian O’Connor and Dutch rider Gerco Schroder faced a jump off to determine the silver and bronze medals after finishing tied with one time fault apiece. Schroder took second place, posting a clear round with O’Connor, claiming his country’s first medal at London 2012, finishing third after his mount, Blue Loyd 12, knocked a pole off the last fence.
The 30-year-old Guerdat, bronze team medallist in Beijing four years ago, took the title as the only rider to register two faultless rounds. This was the first time individual jumping gold had been won by a Swiss rider since the 1924 Paris Olympics. “I knew I had a horse that could jump everything and that if I rode clear I could be Olympic champion,” said Guerdat, who cited Swiss tennis great Roger Federer as an inspiration. He added: “I love what I do, I don’t do it for this, I just love riding, but this (winning gold) becomes part of it if I do a good job.”
O’Connor had won gold in Athens in 2004 only to be subsequently disqualified when his horse tested positive for a banned substance. A late call up to the Irish team, he only got in to Wednesday’s final after Swedish world number one Rolf-Goran Bengtsson withdrew as his horse Cassall was deemed unfit to compete.