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Dublin: 10 °C Tuesday 23 October, 2018
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Disappointment for Ireland as they miss out on chance to seal Tokyo 2020 Olympics spot

With 10 teams competing in today’s event, a top-six finish would have been enough.

Cian O'Connor aboard Good Luck (file pic).
Cian O'Connor aboard Good Luck (file pic).
Image: Lynn Hey

THERE WAS DISAPPOINTMENT for Ireland on Friday as they narrowly missed out on sealing a Tokyo 2020 Olympics spot at the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina.

The outlook was promising after they came sixth to qualify for the final on Thursday.

With 10 teams competing in today’s event, a top-six finish would be enough to secure an Olympic spot.

However, it was a frustrating day for Rodrigo Pessoa’s team, as they narrowly missed out with a seventh place finish.

First up was Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z, who finished with nine faults.  Shane Breen and Ipswich Van De Wolfsakker followed that up with just four faults as Ireland remained in sixth at the final’s midway point.

Paul O’Shea and Skara Glen’s Machu Picchu then finished with four faults, which saw the Irish team slip to eighth overall.

Cian O’Connor and Good Deal, who had rescued the team with an impressive display on Thursday, could not replicate that feat, as their finish of one fence down and four faults was only good enough to secure seventh spot with an overall score of 39.12.

Despite this setback, Ireland still have two further chances to qualify for the 2020 Olympics — at European Championships and the FEI Nations Cup final, which both take place next year.

USA claimed gold on Friday, with Sweden and Germany taking silver and bronze respectively.

Meanwhile, Cian O’Connor is still in with a chance of claiming an individual World Championship medal. Along with Good Luck, he is currently sixth on a score of 6.69 ahead of Sunday’s climax.

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