Dressage: Dujardin puts GB in gold position
Saturday 04 August 2012
Charlotte Dujardin continued her remarkable rise to the top of world dressage yesterday by putting Great Britain in team gold medal position and smashing an Olympic record.
The 26-year-old's breathtaking Olympic debut with Valegro gained a standing ovation from a capacity 23,000 crowd at Greenwich Park.
Dujardin's grand prix score of 83.66 per cent was more than four points better than the previous Olympic best of Germany's Kristina Sprehe, which stood for just two hours.
The team competition resumes next Tuesday with the grand prix special test, in which Dujardin is the world record holder. Great Britain have never won an Olympic dressage medal.
Their team score stands at 79.40 per cent, the average mark of Dujardin and her team-mates Carl Hester and Laura Bechtolsheimer. It is 0.56 above Germany, with the Netherlands (76.80) third.
Dujardin, who took up competition less than two years ago, said: "It is an amazing opportunity to ride here, and I wanted to enjoy it.
"I would hate to have gone in there, put too much pressure on myself and made mistakes. I just wanted to go in and do what I do normally and have fun. Having the crowd behind me like that was amazing.
"I was hoping for an 80 per cent score, so to smash that is a little bit crazy, but I had such fun. It was such a buzz, I can't tell you. I just wanted to get in there and do my piece."
Phil Neville and his fellow Match of the Day pundits given warning by the BBC after 'smash them' comment
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Mario Balotelli's agent speaks as Brendan Rodgers swoops for German duo
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia