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Team GB win gold in team eventing at Tokyo Olympics

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Team GB have won gold in team eventing at the Tokyo Olympics for the first time in nearly 50 years.

Laura Collett, Tom McEwen and Oliver Townend secured Great Britain’s 11th gold at this year’s Games – the team’s 33rd medal in total.

All three riders were making their Olympic debut, but delivered high-class displays to end a 49-year wait for team gold.

Laura Collett, riding London 52, competes during the equestrian eventing in Tokyo. Pic: AP
Image: Laura Collett, riding London 52, competes during the equestrian eventing in Tokyo. Pic: AP

Heading into the closing stages of the competition, the team led by 17.9 penalties following their outstanding cross-country rounds on Sunday.

Townend was the final British rider to go, but thanks to the impressive lead, he had the luxury of knowing he could knock four fences down and still secure the Olympic title.

McEwen went clear riding Toledo De Kerser, Collett had four faults aboard London 52 and Townend also collected four with Ballaghmor Class.

Britain finished on a score of 86.30, with Australia taking silver and France the bronze.

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It is the third equestrian medal in Tokyo for Team GB following Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester and Charlotte Fry winning dressage team bronze, and Dujardin also collecting an individual bronze.

It is Great Britain’s first Olympic team gold in eventing since Munich 1972 and is only GB’s third eventing gold in total.

Attention now switches to the individual final later today, with Townend starting the showjumping phase in the silver medal position behind Germany’s Julia Krajewski.

McEwen is in bronze position and Collett is in fifth, putting them all within reach of further medals.

Great Britain's Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class
Image: Great Britain’s Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class

Speaking to the BBC, Townend said: “It’s unreal, it’s still not sunk in. We have another round to jump so focus [is] on that but there will be a big celebration and I don’t think it will be with a cup of tea and a biscuit.”

Reflecting on his round, McEwen said: “My nerves were fine. They [Townend and Collett] are both brilliant riders, and I had no doubt they would pull it straight out of the bag quite easily and comfortably.”

And Collett, who dropped places individually after having one fence down, added: “He [London 52] was his normal self at the start, then I think there was a reflection off the water and he just spooked, basically.

“He got it back together. It’s a shame, but it could have been a whole lot worse in that situation. It was a very clever course.”

She said it was a “dream come true” to be at the Olympics and “to be lucky enough” to have a horse like London 52.