India’s Fouaad Mirza made an impressive debut in the Olympics, finishing 23rd overall in the individual eventing discipline of equestrian competitions at Tokyo on Monday.

Mirza, riding his favourite horse Seigneur Medicott on whom he had won two silver medals in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, finished 23rd among 63 competitors with 59.60 penalties at the end of the three disciplines — dressage, cross country, and jumping — that comprise eventing competition.

The 29-year-old Mirza, who was based in Germany for training and competition during the pandemic, made an impressive start as he was placed ninth after the dressage section with a 28.00 penalty.

He slipped to 22 after the cross country round when he incurred a heavy time penalty (11.20).

On Monday, he earned an 8.0 penalty in the qualifying round of jumping and managed to squeeze into the final as the 25th and last competitor. He completed his finals attempt with a 12.40 penalty and finished with 59.60 penalty points and ended 23rd overall.

In eventing, the rider with the fewest penalties wins.

Germany’s Julia Krajewski, riding Amande De B’Neville, became the first female Olympic gold medallist in eventing with a score of 26.00.

Great Britain’s Tom McEven (Toledo De Kerser) and Australian Andrew Hoy (Vassily De Lassos) bagged silver and bronze, respectively. It was a close race for silver and bronze as McEven finished with 29.30 penalty points while Hoy had 29.60.

–IANS

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