Tokyo Olympics equestrian: GB's eventing team wins gold after dominant display in showjumping final

ITV News Reporter Hannah Miller has been meeting the young riders, inspired by Team GB's success

Great Britain’s eventing team has won gold after a dominant display in the showjumping final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Laura Collett, Tom McEwen and Oliver Townend led by 17.9 penalties following an outstanding performance in the cross-country rounds on Sunday.

Such was the team's dominance that the victory came despite final British rider Townend knocking one fence down.

It is Team GB's first Olympic team gold in eventing since Munich 1972, while Australia took silver and France bronze.

Great Britain's Laura Collett riding London 52 during the Eventing Jumping Team Final and Individual Qualifier at Equestrian Park Credit: PA

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

And the success continued with McEwen taking silver in the individual competition on Toledo De Kerser.

Eventing is an equestrian sport in which competitors take part in several contests, usually cross-country, dressage, and showjumping.

Reflecting on his round, McEwen said: “He is a class horse and a great jumper, so it was just up to me on top.

In a post-victory press conference, Laura Collett says the win hasn't sunk in yet

“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.”

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.”

Tom McEwen explains how youngsters inspired by the win can break into eventing

Collett’s success comes eight years after she was left with multiple fractures and put in a coma following a horrific fall while competing in Hampshire.

She had a punctured lung, lacerated liver, a fractured shoulder and two broken ribs, and she was left blind in one eye.

She told the BBC: “Just to be here was more than a dream come true, and to be stood here, with a gold medal, I look back where I was eight years ago – I knew I was lucky to be alive, yet alone do the job I love.”

Townend added: “I didn’t know how much we had in hand, so I put myself under a bit of pressure, but these guys made it very easy for me.

Great Britain's Oliver Townend riding Ballaghmor Class during the Eventing Jumping Team Final and Individual Qualifier

“It has not sunk in. We have got another round to jump, so we focus 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.

“Let’s hope we can inspire the next generation of kids. We are all from pretty normal backgrounds. It shows that hard work and dedication pays off.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulated the team on their historic win. He tweeted: "Congratulations to @TeamGB on winning their first gold medal in team eventing since 1972, and well done to @TomMcEwen1 and Toledo de Kerser for taking silver in the individual eventing."

The latest eventing gold is Great Britain's 11th gold medal of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

On Sunday, former cook Charlotte Worthington served up a gold medal for Team GB in the BMX freestyle and Max Whitlock won GB's tenth gold as he defended his Olympic pommel title at the Ariake Arena.

In a jam-packed day of action on Monday, Laura Muir qualified for the 1,500m semi-finals, while twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova finished sixth and seventh in the gymnastics floor final.