Three runs they did at Baggy Queen and not a single hitch fell during All N, Indiana and King Edward.
The message that followed the show in the qualifiers the contestants could not miss: Sweden is the team to beat for whoever wants to leave Tokyo with a gold medal in the jump in his pocket.
But in the end, the old advantages, albeit new, are worth nothing. The Olympic format is brand new – not like it usually is in the major tournaments where every round is included in the final score.
Like status – not form
Had this been the World Cup or the European Championship, Sweden would have been top in the team competition without fouls with Belgium and Germany behind only four errors and Switzerland with four out of ten.
Now all 10 qualifying teams start from scratch in the final.
The Swedish riders obviously don’t take pleasure in the IOC’s opinion of how to define a group competition now, but no one wants to question or criticize publicly. They love the situation.
– We went here and knew there were new rules. It’s a sport and you have to abide by the rules in place. We know about it and prepare for it. We’ll try to win by the rules that apply,” Fredrickson says.
It’s all about sticking to another day, the most important one.
– We have three riders who can really ride, on all kinds of horses, and they are world-class jockeys – at least the other two (laughs) – and we have three really good horses. It’s a massive force in a form where every round counts.
Focus on recovery
– But it’s a whole new day tomorrow, we can only hope the format continues. You can go for a ride, keep your plane, and see where it lands, says Fredrickson.
The silver medal in the individual jump on Wednesday was his third among his divisions in the course of the Olympics. In the team he was in 2004 – with Baryard Johnson – and took second place in Athens.
With a day left, the focus is on recovering properly – something that applies to both jockeys and horses.
The horses are very well taken care of. We have professional grooms, vets and ‘physicists’. Horses have everything you need, live in a five star hotel there in the boxes. They can go out, graze and roll. They have all the basic requirements to recover as much as possible.
For us cyclists, it’s above all about making sure we sleep properly and recharge. And it doesn’t turn on too soon, Fredrickson says.
The last to get out of the Swedish crew, it was the same safety again. By that time, von Ackermann and Baryard Johnson had laid the foundation for one last place.
– It felt like jumping with him in the warm-up period. Von Eckermann says he knew exactly what he was going to do.
“A wonderful feeling”
“He” is King Edward and the eunuch was really the king on the difficult path.
– Everything was as I wanted. Then it feels great to be on the right track. Then you enjoy it. It was a perfect tour. It was important to me. I had a day when I had to swallow one’s disappointment.
Trinidad and Tobago: How do you feel about going out first?
– We are a collaborative team, we’ve been together for a long time. I finally did it. I know how to ride when I go. I have to check time to see how fast I should be driving, but other than that I know something and trust myself and what I’m doing.
Baryard Johnson rode steadily in Indiana.
– I never know how it will be. It’s a little difficult with her. She usually gets messy after walking as fast as she did the other day. She was absolutely perfect today, completely relaxed.
The teams that Sweden will play against in the final (Saturday 12.00 Swedish time): Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, the United States, France, Britain, Brazil, the Netherlands and Argentina.
Facts: Swedish Olympic medals in equestrian sports
Equestrianism has been and remains a trusted supplier of Swedish medals at the Olympic Games.
They’ve been taken here in the last five games:
Silver Medal, Individual, Jump: Peder Fredrickson.
Silver, Single, Jump: Fredrickson.
Silver, individual and field competition: Sarah Algotsson-Ostholt.
Silver, Single, Jump: Rolf-Goran Bengtsson.
Silver, team, jump: Fredrickson, Bengtson, Peter Erickson, Malin Baryard Johnson.
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