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Ireland show jumping team secure Tokyo 2020 Olympics spot

Darragh Kenny, Peter Moloney, Cian O’Connor and Paul O’Shea all played a part in the success.

Cian O'Connor helped secure Ireland's qualification.
Cian O'Connor helped secure Ireland's qualification.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

IRELAND’S SHOW JUMPERS have secured a spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics spot.

Darragh Kenny, Peter Moloney, Cian O’Connor and Paul O’Shea qualified the country for the Olympics for the first time since Athens 2004.

The quartet won’t necessarily be travelling to Tokyo themselves, with form closer to the event set to influence coach Rodrigo Pessoa’s decision on which individuals represent Ireland.

There was much pressure going into today’s Longines FEI Nations Cup final in Barcelona.

With just one Olympic place up for grabs, Pessoa’s men overcame competition from Italy and Colombia to earn the coveted spot in Japan.

It follows on from previous qualifications in eventing and dressage, with Ireland now set to compete in all three events at the Olympics for the first time ever.

“We had a very clear objective coming here, to get the ticket [to Tokyo] and the five riders that were here fought really hard,” Pessoa said afterwards.

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“It’s a lot of pressure. People don’t really realise the amount of pressure that is on these riders to bring this qualification home.

“The weight of the country is on their shoulders. It was a big ask for them today and to do it the way that they did, hats off to all five of them.”

“This was our goal all year to qualify for the Olympics,” Moloney added. “I am very lucky to have a very good horse in Chianti’s Champion and that makes it a little bit easier.

“We are very fortunate to have great backing from all the guys on the team and from Rodrigo and from Horse Sport Ireland and all the High Performance Committee.”

Murray Kinsella joins Sean Farrell and Gavan Casey from Japan to give his blunt assessment of Ireland’s performance against Russia

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