Runners-up in Los Angeles and Seoul, and again in the 1990 world championships, they were boosted by an overwhelming victory in the European Championships in Punchestown last year, taking a team gold and all three individual medals.
The loss of Leng, who pulled out after her horse Master Craftsman sustained an injury, is a setback as she had an outstanding chance of individual gold. However, the team has strength in depth, with Mary Thomson another of the favourites for the individual prize.
Thomson, a comparative newcomer to the team, is rated the world's top three-day eventer. This year she won Badminton for the first time with King William, her horse for Barcelona, and her subsequent victory at Windsor gave her an unprecedented fifth successive three-day event win.
The other members of the team are Ian Stark, Richard Walker and Karen Dixon. Stark, the European champion, will choose between Glenburnie, his partner at Punchestown, and another grey, Murphy Himself, and must also have a good chance of individual success.
Walker, who will ride Jacana, was the brilliant path- finder when European runner-up to Stark, while the strength of the team is such that Dixon, Leng's replacement, is a potential medallist on Get Smart.
There are two days of dressage, today and tomorrow, the cross-country on Wednesday and the show jumping on Thursday.
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