Will Michael Jung make it three individual Olympic gold medals in a row in Tokyo?
The eventing kicks off with the first horse inspection today (Thursday, 29 July) and the 38-year-old German rider will campaign Chipmunk.
Michael is the first event rider to ever hold the European, Olympic, and World Championship titles at the same time. If he takes gold in Tokyo, he will also set a new Olympic record.
When taking his second successive individual Olympic gold in Rio, he matched a feat achieved by only two riders before him: the Netherlands’ Charles Pahud de Mortanges — who triumphed at the Amsterdam Games in 1928 and four years later in Los Angeles — and New Zealand’s Mark Todd, who took gold in Los Angeles in 1984 and again in Seoul in 1988.
Both riders partnered the same horse on each occasion: Charles on Marcroix and Mark aboard Charisma. Michael won both of his Olympic titles on La Biosthetique Sam FBW. No one has won individual eventing gold three times in a row — yet.
Check out the full Olympic equestrian timetable here.
There are further Olympic records hanging in the balance. Australia’s Andrew Hoy, Shane Rose and Stuart Tinney have 166 years of life-experience and eight Olympic medals between them.
Andrew, 62, could make Olympic history by becoming the first athlete to win gold medals an incredible 29 years apart. He won his first team gold in Barcelona in 1992 and if he could do it again he’d break the all-time record set by Hungarian fencer Aladár Gerevich, who triumphed in 1932 and 1960.
Andrew went on to win two more team golds — at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000 — and just by turning up in Tokyo he will set an Australian record with his eighth Olympic appearance since his debut in Los Angeles in 1984 at the age of 25.
Key facts and figures
- 29 countries
- 15 teams
- 65 horse/athlete combinations
- 14 countries represented by individuals
- Australia, Germany and USA share the biggest number of team victories in Olympic eventing history with four each
- Australia, victors in Rome in 1960, has the unique record of winning three team titles in a row — at Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and on home ground in Sydney in 2000
- Team France are the defending Olympic champions
- The French have twice claimed the team title: in Athens 2004 and Rio 2016
- Germany’s Michael Jung is the defending double-champion having won the individual title at London 2012 and again in Rio
- Germany has won the Olympic eventing individual title on three occasions, but Sweden holds the record for most wins with a total of four, the last recorded on home soil in Stockholm in 1956 by Petrus Kastenman riding Illuster
- When the Olympic Games were last staged in Tokyo in 1964, the eventing was held in Karuizawa, 150km north-west of Tokyo
- History was made when a woman competed in an Olympic three-day event for the very first time that year. The USA’s Lana du Pont, who 27 years later as Mrs Wright won team gold at the World Driving Championships in Paris (FRA), finished 33rd of the 34 combinations that completed
- At Tokyo in 1964, Italy claimed team gold and the individual title went to team member Mauro Checcoli riding Surbean.
Pictured (top): Michael Jung and Chipmunk at the 2019 Europeans in Luhmuhlen, Germany. CreditL FEI/ Oliver Hardt/Getty Images