Rodrigo Pessoa’s team of Shane Sweetnam, Bertram Allen, Denis Lynch and Cian O’Connor, produced an outstanding performance over three demanding days of jumping, to snatch the coveted gold medal yesterday from hosts Sweden who had been leading heading into the final day at the Ullevi arena.
Photo Therese Alhaug
As Hector had a fall the day before, Bertram choose not to compete yesterday, in which left the team with only three riders ahead of the final. Both Shane Sweetnam and David Lynch finished clear, and as poles began to fall for the other teams, Ireland moved into gold medal position.
Ireland’s anchor rider Cian O’Connor then entered the ring knowing a clear or one fence down would give Ireland gold, but with no discard score due to the fact that Bertram had to withdraw from the final round, anything more than one fence down would prove costly. But O’Connor showed his experience and produced a clear round as Ireland were crowned European Champions.
The hosts Sweden claimed the silver medal, while Switzerland took home the bronze.
Ireland’s gold medal win comes 16 years after they were last crowned European Champions at Arnhem (NED) in 2001. A thrilled Irish team manager Rodrigo Pessoa said:
- We had this goal since the beginning of the year and our road was a little bit bumpy. We had some things that happened during the year and this week too, but we stuck together, we said we win together or we lose together and they showed a lot of determination and strength today, and I’m really proud of them for sure!Bertram said:
- It was of course not the nicest way to win a medal, but it was absolutely amazing by the team to pull out three clears today - each one better than the other. I am delighted for everyone and really proud of everyone involved. READ MORE