CIAN O’CONNOR NEEDED a timely stroke of good fortune to make it to the start line of the Olympic showjumping final on Wednesday afternoon.
Once there the Meath-based rider took full advantage, riding a clear round on Blue Loyd to guarantee his place in this afternoon’s medal decider.
O’Connor sat just outside the automatic qualification places after three qualifying rounds earlier this week but as first reserve, he got the call to compete when Sweden’s Rolf-Goran Bengtsson was forced to withdraw his horse Casall from the final.
All of the riders’ totals were reset to zero penalty points, with today’s two jumps deciding the medal placings.
Jumping second O’Connor put in a faultless round, dipping just inside the allowed time to ensure automatic qualification for this afternoon’s all-important second jump.
Round B begins in Greenwich Park at 2.55pm.