IRELAND’S AOIFE CLARK came within touching distance of Olympic glory before finishing seventh on the final day of the four-day eventing competition.
After helping Ireland to a fifth-place finish in this morning’s team event in Greenwich Park, Clark started the individual final in 12th place before a double clear round on Master Crusoe launched her to the top of leaderboard.
With a final total of 52.50, Clark still clung on to first place with only the top six riders left to jump.
Unfortunately, the required miracle never materialised and she was gradually edged out of the medal positions and into fourth place with just three riders remaining.
Clark finished in seventh as Germany’s Michael Jung (40.60) made history by taking home gold ahead of Sara Algotsson Ostholt of Sweden (43.30) and his team-mate Sandra Auffarth (44.80).
Jung now becomes the first person ever to hold the European, World and Olympic titles simultaneously.
“Absolutely amazing,” Clark told TheScore.ie afterwards. “For my first Olympics and first championships actually, absolutely brilliant.”
“The horse was amazing today, two super rounds and moved up 13 places. I wasn’t too far off a medal but I was delighted with him.”
Ireland’s other performers can also hold their heads high. Joseph Murphy put in his second double clear round of the day on Electric Cruise to finish in 14th place on 60.40.
Mark Kyle finished 21st with 75.90 penalties after taking four faults in his final round on Coolio.
“It was very special to be here this week with the crowd and the atmosphere,” Murphy told Will Downing.
“We had five super riders coming here this week and we’d a bit of bad luck with a couple of them yesterday but they’re still here cheering us on. We’re delighted that we had three, six good rounds to make them proud.”