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Rio Olympics: Clare Abbott excels in eventing but no medal for Ireland

By Adam McKendry

Clare Abbott produced a clear round in the eventing team final yesterday, but it wasn't enough to grant Ireland a medal as they finished eighth in the overall standings.

Hillsborough's Abbott will be proud of her performance though as she entered the arena first and came away with Ireland's first clear round of the week.

It appeared that Ireland might be in for a run at the podium after they did well in Monday's difficult cross-country phase.

Rio Olympics 2016: Live blog, full events schedule and medals tables

Only three of the 65 competitors actually managed to record a time in the cross-country, making it one of the toughest ever tracks in modern Olympic history.

Abbott, riding Europrince, moved up two places in the individual standings courtesy of her performance yesterday, but Mark Kyle knocked down two fences, dropping Ireland down to eighth.

Given their fifth placed result at London four years ago, Ireland have underperformed in an event they hoped would yield a medal.

France took away the gold medal in the team event, followed by Germany in second and Australia in third. Team GB could only manage fifth place after they struggled in Monday's cross-country phase, despite William Fox-Pitt's clean run yesterday.

However, there was good news for Ireland as a near-flawless performance from Jonty Evans (left) gave him a place in the final of the individual eventing.

Evans, on board Cooley Rorkes Drift, wasn't even sure he would get to ride yesterday after the inspecting vets asked for his horse to trot up for a second time.

But the horse was deemed fit to compete and Evans completed a clean run to lift himself into 13th and give himself a chance of a top-10 finish.

Belfast Telegraph

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