Equestrian Life
Italy makes Vaulting history at WEG

Italy’s Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini - © FEI /Christophe Taniere

Italy’s Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini.

© FEI /Christophe Taniere

 

An historic day for Italy at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon in the Christie's International Real Estate arena, as pioneers Silvia Stopazzini and Lorenzo Lupacchini take the gold medal in the highly competitive, action packed pas de deux class.

They performed a masterful rendition of their Salsa routine, with flawless execution, to secure the top step on the podium. Alongside their noble steed Rosentolz 99 and lunger Laura Carnabuci, their names will go down in the history books for Italy as the first Italian vaulters to win a gold medal at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ (9.027).

The pair were astonishing, holding their nerve and asserting their dominance in amongst the highly competitive field. Thriving under the pressure, their delight was clear to see as they dismounted from Rosenstolz, concluding their breath-taking routine.

The pairing who are both competing in all three classes here at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ still had energy to fully commit to their unforgettable performance, to great ovation from the Tryon crowd.

Lorenzo suffered a broken foot, throughout the winter months resulting in them having to pull out of the FEI World Cup™ 2018 season.
Lorenzo Lupacchini: “At the end of last year I broke my foot and we missed out on the FEI World Cup™.  It was then we decided that we would come back even better than before.  Therefore we trained and trained and repeated the freestyle and we could not be more pleased with the result.”

An imperative factor in their success – friendship.

Silvia Stopazzini: “I think first of all we are friends, for me Lorenzo is really special because without him I wouldn’t be the same person that I am today. So I want to say thank you to him. We have a truly unique relationship.”

“It is a beautiful emotion, we didn’t expect to win the FEI World Equestrian Games™.”

Unlike four years ago where only one pairing scored over the nine mark – 2014 gold medallists Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha (AUT). This year both first and second place scored in excess of nine – testament to the quality of the competition.

Pas de Deux legends Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha who achieved five years of dominance in the sport - from 2012-2016 - were unable to defend their title last year after Lukas suffered an injury. In that time new contenders emerged, including the Italian pairing and the vaulting world looked to these games with eager anticipation to see who would emerge victorious.

Leaders after day one, the pressure was on the defending champions. On-board Dr Doolittle with long time lunger Klaus Haidacher at the helm, the routine started with miss timing in the mount by Jasmin. The pair kept their composure to perform with astonishing artistic impression.  However, it wasn’t enough to fend off the Italians, finishing on a combined total of 9.013.

The bronze medal was awarded to Johannes Kay and Janika Derks (GER) on Dark Beluga lunged by Barbara Rosiny. After the first round they narrowly sat 0.001 behind the Italians.

Whilst the routine didn’t quite match the finesse of day one, their second round still proved breath-taking with their signature gravity defying final sequence leaving the crowd in awe (8.872).  Germany’s Torben Jacobs and Theresa-Sophie Bresch finished 4th (8.707) with Austria’s Stefan Csandl and Theresa Thiel in 5th (8.409).

The day got off to a flying start as the remaining three squads, who did not participate in the inaugural National Team Championship, performed their first round freestyles. Team Brazil finished on a combined score of 6.519 ahead of Team Argentina (5.710) and Team Russia (5.401). They slot into the Squad leader board in 9th, 11th and 12th respectively.

The jaw-dropping conclusion of the Squad competition will take place on Saturday when the class will resume as normal.  With only 0.001 separating current leaders Team Germany and 2nd place Team Switzerland - it is assured to be a jaw-dropping final.

Bringing back together both nations and non-nations individuals for the final two rounds, the top fifteen individual female and male athletes lined up to tackle the tricky technical test portion of the competition.  A crucial round, famed for shaking-up the leader board.

Once again it didn’t disappoint.

After three rounds Germany’s Kristina Boe remains in the lead by the narrowest of margins.  After her emphatic gold medal win last night as part of Team Germany, she put on an assured, character driven interpretation of her Shark technical test.  Whilst she scored an impressive 7.986, it was the second highest female technical score of the day.

 

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It was the unprecedented control and tenacity of Boe’s fellow compatriot Janika Derks, which resulted in her leading the technical test round (8.077).  On Carousso Hit with renowned Jessica Lichtenberg on the lunge, this vital performance sees her ascend the leader board to currently occupy the bronze medal position (8.228). In the overall standings after three rounds, Lisa Wild (AUT) maintains her 2nd place standing (8.229).

In the male category Lambert Leclezio (FRA) was in a league of his own, once again pushing the limits and breaking the mould of the sport.  Emotional, lyrical and breath-taking - he was outstanding (8.572).

Throughout the class there were strong performances across the board, highlighting the sheer quality of vaulting we are witnessing in Tryon. After three rounds Jannik Heiland (GER) maintains his silver medal position on the competitive score of 8.483 after a harmonious display of his war horse technical test.

Jannis Drewell (GER) currently rounds out the podium (8.441), whilst Thomas Brusewitz drops from the gold medal position down to fourth place after technical test (8.421)

A historic day that will live long in the memory of vaulting fans around the world, but a day that belongs to Italy.

Source: FEI press release

 

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© copyright. Equestrian Life. Monday, 20 May 2019
http://www.equestrianlife.com.au/articles/Italy-makes-Vaulting-history-at-WEG_