Qatar clinched the show jumping team gold at the Asian Games here on Sunday. The Qatari quartet of Nasser Ghazali, Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani, Khalid Mohammed Al Emadi and Basem Mohammed displayed tremendous speed and control, and cleared obstacles with ease without accumulating a single penalty point.
Second place went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with 2010 World Equestrian Games Individual Silver medalist Abdullah Sharbatly and HH Prince Faisal Al Shalan as the experienced team members. Japan earned Bronze with experienced team rider Taizo Sugitani amongst those to earn the cherished third place.
The Qatari team victory was clean and clear-cut as they completed on a zero score to leave the result beyond doubt. Saudi Arabia had to settle for silver with a total of just four faults while Japan slotted into bronze medal position on a total of 12. Time faults proved costly for Team UAE who finished just off the podium in fourth place.
It was double-clear performances from three of the four Qatari team members that put gold in their grasp. Nasser Ghazallijahromi (Delloren), Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani (Vienna Olympic) and Khalid Mohammed Al Emadi (Tamira) were all foot-perfect, while Bassem Hassan Mohammed (Anyway) collected only 3 time faults for the discount score.
This is a team full of promise because Sheikh Al Thani, who celebrates his 32nd birthday tomorrow, was the oldest member of the side. Bassem Mohammed is 27, Al Emadi is 19 and Ghazallijahromi is the youngest at just 18 years. Keeping calm and concentrating on the task at hand was key to their success as Sheikh Ali said in the aftermath.
Saudi Arabia shared the lead with Qatar at the halfway stage when each team had nothing to add to their scorelines. Faisal Al Shalan (Talan), Salman Hamed Almazadi (Senorita) and Abdulrahman Bader Alrajhi (New Orleans) all kept a clean sheet for the Saudi side, with Al Sharbatly picking up just one time fault. But the man who would go on to win the individual honours had a fence down at his second attempt, and when Alrajhi racked up a 12-fault score then Al Sharbatly’s result had to be counted despite two more clears from their team-mates.
The Philippines made a fantastic start when lying third with just two faults on the board as the second round began, following a clear from Joker Arroya (Didi De Goedersede) and only single time faults from both Marie Leviste (Maximillian) and Martin Diego Lorenzo (Contino). But it all fell apart for them in round two with the addition of 15 faults.
Japan meanwhile finished the first round with just four faults on the board after clears from pathfinder Satoshi Hirao (Ulan) and achorman Taizo Sugitani (Avenzio), and single errors from both Takashi Utsunomiya (Touche Pas a Riversuite) and Tadahiro Hayashi (Loretto Classic). Only Sugitani managed to leave all the poles in place second time out however, but, even with eight more to add, their final tally came to 12 and that proved plenty good enough to clinch the bronze.
The United Arab Emirates’ total of 14 left them tantalisingly close to a medal-placing. On nine faults after the first round they had to add five more despite second-round clears from Abdulla Mohammed Almarri (Sierra Antika Joter) and Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum (Peanuts de Beaufour).
“This is a glorious moment for us as a team and obviously a dream come true as the Asian Games is a big stage where the competition is of the highest calibre,” said Sheikh Khalid. “We always knew we were capable and our training was such that we knew if we stuck to the basics, didn’t rush things and committed errors, we would do well,” he added.
Qatar Equestrian Federation President Hamad bin Abdulrahman Al Attiyah praised the team. “This is hopefully the first of many more titles to come. The gold medal at Incheon will motivate us to target medals at the Olympics and world-level events. I thank the Emir HH Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani for all the support,” he said.
Qatar Olympic Committee Secretary General Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al Thani too congratulated the team. “It’s a historic occasion for Qatar. The victory shows we’re right up there with the best in Asia and for sure we’ll aim to be among the best at the world level too,” said Sheikh Saoud.
Source: Doha Stadium Plus/FEI
Jumping Team Competition:
Gold – Qatar 0 faults: Delloren (Nasser Ghazalliahromi) 0/0, Vienna Olympic (Sheikh Ali bin Khalid Al Thani) 0/0, Tamira (Khalid Mohammed Al Rmadi) 0/0, Anyway (Bassem Hassan Mohammed) 1/2
Silver – Saudi Arabia 4 faults: Talan (Faisal Al Shalan) 0/0, New Orleans (Abdulrahman Bader Alrajhi) 0/12, Senorita (Salman Hamad Almaqadi) 0/0, Callahan (Abdullah Al Sharbatly) 1/4
Bronze – Japan 12 faults: Ulano (Satoshi Hirao) 0/4, Touche Pas a Riversuite (Takashi Utsunomiya) 4/8, Loretto Classic (Tadahiro Hayashi) 4/4, Avenzio (Taizo Sugitani) 0/0.