Zimbabwean rider at the Youth Olympic Games, Sophie Teede had a decent run in the individual jumping event on Day Seven of the Youth Olympic Games, finishing fourth on points, but because of ties ranked 16 out of the 30 riders in Nanjing, China.
Teede, who is a student at Hellenic Academy, went out ninth together with her adopted horse, Caesar and was penalised twice for jump faults, for which she amassed eight penalty points. A clear run in tomorrow’s Round Two will give the Zimbabwean a fighting chance for a spot on the podium. It will not be an easy fight for Teede as 9 of the 30 riders enjoyed clear runs this afternoon in Nanjing
Sophie Teede and Caesar in action during the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China
Should there be ties after Round 2, a jump-off will follow to break the ties. A likely jump-off means a number of the riders will perform more than once tomorrow
The international equestrian event at the Youth Olympic games is unlike any other in the sense that all horses were provided by the Organising Committee of the Youth Games in China. This uniqueness poses a great test for all riders as they have to forge a strong connection with a horse they’ve never seen in their lives and compete with it on the world stage.
Three riders were eliminated for falls and won’t be progressing to Round Two of the event, an indicator of how tough it can be to compete with a “stranger” of a horse that you picked through a draw.
The 490 metres long course in use during Round One had 12 obstacles ranging in height from 80 to 130cm and spread 100 to 170cm. The prescribed speed for the course was 350 metres per minute. Teede had no problems with that as she finished the course within the allocated time.
Teede has featured in various international competitions for Zimbabwe with the most prestigious probably being her appearance at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.
Team Zimbabwe is still to win a medal at this year’s Youth Olympic Games. Only Teede and Mary Joy Mudyiravanji still have chances to turn that around and give Zimbabwe more to celebrate.