Sport In Brief: Only Townend can challenge Nicholson

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The Independent Online

Andrew Nicholson dominated strong international opposition to take both Advanced classes in the Festival of British Eventing, writes Mary Gordon Watson at Gatcombe Park.

The extraordinary New Zealander, now 50, has nine horses to compete over the weekend. He almost added the Novice Championship title too, riding Omeya, but finished second to Oliver Townend with Brucester Rooster, whose better dressage score proved decisive as neither rider added jumping or time penalties.

Nicholson took Advanced One with Calico Joe, owned by Twenty Twelve in Mind, by a clear eight-point margin from Australian Chris Burton on Jaybee Calypso, who were the only ones to finish inside the time in either section. Their 12 showjumping faults cost them victory. Nicholson was equally impressive on Mrs Sellar's Quimbo in Section Two, fending off William Fox-Pitt, who has so often been the winner here. His three rides in this class, Macchiato, Gaucho and Neuf des Coeurs, finished second, third and fourth yesterday. For those younger Kiwis who were expecting Nicholson and this year's Badminton hero Mark Todd would be fading stars by now, the message is clear. Their places in the next Olympic team are not available yet.

Jenkins ready for 2012

Helen Jenkins broke clear of the pack in style to win the women's Hyde Park triathlon and meet GB's selection criteria for the 2012 Olympics. The Welsh 27-year-old struck out for the front in the run and finished seven seconds clear of Gwen Jorgensen of the United States. "That hurt so much. I just kept running and running," she said.