The medal chances of the Swedish eventing team were dashed a few hours ago when Ludwig Svennerstal was forced to withdraw his horse Balham Mist from the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The Swedish team were lying in second place after the Dressage phase but incurred a 20 penalty addition to that score for using their substitute rider.
Svennerstal made the announcement on his social media page:
“I am heartbroken to withdraw Balham Mist from the remainder of the Olympics. He did a good test today and after transferring to the overnight stables by the cross country we noticed that he wasn’t feeling 100%. To compete at the Olympics is my biggest dream since childhood and we’ve been preparing for this for the last 5 years. I was incredibly excited about the cross country tomorrow, which is Misty’s forte and this tough track seemed as if it was built for him. It’s gutting to let the team down and to not continue but Misty means the world to me. I will continue to cheer on and support the Swedish team and Misty is getting world class care to make sure he has a safe trip home next week.”
Their medal hopes went from bad to worse on cross country. Sara Algottsson Ostholt was to start in Svennerstal’s place, but was pulled from the lineup before they entered the starting gate after their first rider, Therese Viklund, was eliminated for a rider fall and their second rider had jumping faults.
Sweden’s Olympic bid in eventing has officially come to an end.