Latest Olympic Qualifying Rankings With 18 Competitions Over Next Month To Go
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Feb. 5, 2016
By KENNETH J. BRADDICK
With 18 qualifying competitions around the world over the next month remaining to win a start at the summer Olympic Games, Belgium is battling to join Denmark in qualifying enough riders to put together a team while individuals from Ireland and Portugal are well positioned for a chance to go to Rio de Janeiro.
Although Canada will almost definitely pick up a second individual place to go with the one earned at the Pan American Games last summer, a strategic error by the Canadian federation will likely deprive the nation of gaining a third place through the open rankings. That could have enabled the country to field a composite team as Denmark seems certain to do.
The latest Olympic standings were released Friday with qualification to fill all 60 places in dressage to end Mar. 6.
Five competitions remain in the United States, four at the Adequan Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, Florida and one in Burbank, California. There are 11 in Europe from France to Moscow; one at Hastings, New Zealand and one in Doha. Qatar.
Nations directly qualified in addition to Brazil as the host, are Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United States with up to four horses and riders for each team.
Canada, South Korea, Mexico and South Africa have qualified individuals.
As of this date, Denmark seems almost certain to qualify four combinations–two through their Olympic geographic group and two of the six available on the world open rankings.
Victoria Max-Theurer, with three Olympics already on her resume at the age 30, is at the top of her geographic group with Blind Date. Italy’s Valentina Truppa on Eremo del Castegna is ranked second in the group with Switzerland’s Marcela Krinke Susmelj not far behind in third place.
Russia’s Inessa Merkulova on the flamboyant Mister X remains at the top of her group, as she has been for many months, while Poland’s Beate Stremler on Rubicon D is ahead of Ukraine’s Inna Legutenkova for the second place.
In the group primarily for North America, Megan Lane on Caravella is at the top of a list of 27 combinations from Canada for the sole spot. A single Bermuda pair are in the same group. On the open rankings, Karen Pavicic on Don Daiquiri is the next ranked Canadian–in the 31st place when only the top six will qualify after the group placings.
Canada’s top ranking combination of Belinda Trussell on Anton qualified at the Pan Ams and is now prevented from competing for an individual place. Canada will almost definitely capture a second place through the geographic group.
Canada would likely have won the Pan Am slot with a lower ranked combination, as it would most likely have captured a second place available through its geographic group.
Belinda and Anton are ranked No. 41 in the world. By not counting combinations from nations with teams already qualified and pairs that are most likely to take places in their geographic groups, the Canadian duo would likely have finished in the top six of worldwide rankings–enough for a team of three.
Yvonne Losos de Muñiz on Foco Loco W remains atop the group that embraces South America, ahead of Argentina’s Tyara while Christian Zimmermann representing Palestine on Cinco de Mayo is in Wellington seeking to consolidate his standing atop the group that covers the Middle East and Africa.
New Zealand’s Julie Brougham on Vom Feinsten has a substantial lead in the group of Southeast Asia and Oceania, though the Philippines’ Ellesse Tzinberg on Pavarotti is also in Wellington trying to bridge a gap of almost 200 points.
On the six places available through the world rankings, two will likely go to Danish combinations leaving four spots available. Next in line are Marcela Krinke Susmelj of Switzerland on Smeyers Molberg, Fanny Verliefden of Belgium on Annarico, Judy Reynolds of Ireland on Vancouver K, Jeroen Devroe of Belgium on Eres DL, and Gonçalo Carvalho of Portugal on Batuta.
Three of the 11 remaining qualifying competitions in Europe are in Lier, Belgium.