Vaulting into the Zenith
Tuesday morning will see the start of the Vaulting competition in Caen’s Zenith arena where the athletes will present their first routines for the first time. The competition will include men’s, women’s and team competitions. Vaulting is considered one of the most artistic equestrian events. The French are particularly strong in the discipline with top hopes including the men’s world champion in 2012, Nicolas Andréani, and the 2013 European champion in Jacques Ferrari. The horses and riders arrived in Caen on Sunday and discovered the arena they will be competing in. According to Davy Delaire, the French national coach: “We are really spoiled to have such a nice arena. The organisers really went all out to make the Zenith exactly as we need it. The athletes and the horses are settling in perfectly. For now, everything is spot on. We are in a great mindset after an excellent training camp to prepare the Games. I don’t think anyone is having any second thoughts. Nicolas and Jacques have earned medals at major championships and know how to approach events like this one, although we expect five or six athletes to be in the running for a medal. In the team competition, Germany and Austria will be tough and Great Britain in the women’s competition. We are not feeling any pressure for now; we are in the best possible shape.”
The French will have to be consistent if they are going to shake up the global hierarchy, dominated by Germany: Erik Oese (#1), Viktor (3) and Thomas Brusewitz (4) and Julian Wilfling (5). On the women’s side, Anne-Sophie Musset-Agnus, of France, will be under the spotlight as her country’s best chance for a medal. In the team event, the Cigogne stables will be vying for a spot on the podium.
On Tuesday, spectators will be watching the women, men and teams complete their first routine and on Wednesday the free programme will take place.
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