New Zealand and China celebrate their qualification for Tokyo 2020. (Photo: FEI/Libby Law Photography)Olympic Games News
Date : 14 Aug 2019
Beijing, China, August 13, 2019: China's show jumping team qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games equestrian competition after finishing second at the Olympic Group G team jumping qualifier in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands, on Tuesday, reports Xinhua News.
China's Li Yaofeng, Zhang You, Li Zhenqiang and Liu Tongyan totalled 47 faults for second place behind New Zealand, who had 17 faults.
Six nations were competing for the two slots in Tokyo. Hong Kong, China finished third with 58 faults and Chinese Taipei was fourth on 62 faults. The Philippines and Korea could not complete the competition.
"The Chinese team is going to the Olympics again as a team; it means we have improved a lot in the last 10 years and we will keep improving. I think this will motivate more and more people to join this amazing sport. We've been preparing for this for over a year," Li Yaofeng said.
The 21-year-old Li finished individually seventh for the host nation at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China in 2014.
Yaofeng's 51-year-old father Zhenqiang, who posted just six faults over the day's two rounds to help seal that second Olympic slot, added: "For a dozen years my son and I have trained together, competed together and now it has proved to be a worthwhile trip - I am very excited.
"Beijing 2008 was the first Olympic Games for myself and the Chinese riders, so it is a lifelong memory for me. And it is even more meaningful because the last time we got through as host country but this time we competed against five other teams in Group G and earned the qualification. It proves that equestrian in China has developed dramatically in recent years," he added.
Team China captain and anchorman Liu Tongyan, also 51, congratulated his side. "This is only the first step in a long journey - there is still a gap between us and the world's best riders but I hope the young Chinese riders will go further, and be even better."
One of those young hopefuls is 18-year-old Zhang You who steered his 10-year-old gelding Caesar through two eight-fault rounds.
"I feel great to achieve this result with my team. It's the first time that China has been properly qualified as a team so I feel happy for myself and the Chinese team. I'm very excited about going to Tokyo, really looking forward to it and we will try to do good over there," Zhang said.
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