ZHANGJIAKOU (Nettavisen): The Norwegian team had no chance of a podium place when the results of Strøm and Opseth were knocked out in the second round.
According to the inspector, the two jumped with a suit that was too big and Norway therefore found that the two women were disqualified – like the jumpers from Japan, Austria and Germany.
The numerous disqualifications led to a very unexpected list of results.
Slovenia certainly won a somewhat expected victory, but afterwards they followed both Russia and Canada.
Strøm and Opseth tell Nettavisen that they did not find that the suit check was done the same way as before.
– I’m actually a pretty big question mark right now. I actually don’t understand anything. I jumped with exactly the same combination today as in the individual competition. Then I was in control and gave a thumbs up. I didn’t understand that today. I don’t understand anything, Opseth told Nettavisen.
She explains that she was told the suit was a bit too big.
– I don’t know exactly why. I am the same and the costume is the same. I was told to stand in a new way today than I have before. I think it’s a bit strange that they change the procedures in the middle of a championship, says Opseth.
Canada: – Exactly the same
The Canadian team was perhaps the biggest surprise in Zhangjiakou on Monday night.
Alexandria Loutitt, Abigail Strate, Matthew Soukup and Mackenzie Boyd-Clowes were all very happy as they posed at the press conference in the show jumping facility after winning the country’s first Olympic medal in show jumping .
When asked by Nettavisen if they noticed a difference in the costume checks on Monday night, like the Norwegians did, they replied as follows:
– It was the same for me as it always was, said Strate.
– I was checked after the first round and it was quite similar to how I was checked before, but you never know what happens behind closed doors, says Loutitt.
Several of the so-called top show jumping nations experienced athletes being disqualified on Monday, but Canadian jumpers believe it is not unusual for disqualifications to appear in jumping.
– The material is very important and disqualifications occur. It’s very common in ski jumping and the fact that it happened at the Olympics only shows that they take the rules seriously, that it’s the highest level in the sport, says Strate.
She before the support of her teammate Loutitt.
– The same thing happened to me earlier here when I was disqualified. There are no exceptions, says the bronze medalist.
Inspector: – The rules are clear and not new
It was Poland’s Aga Baczkowska who carried out the control of the women’s outfits during the Olympic race on Monday.
She thinks the rules are quite clear and not new.
– It’s up to the athletes and teams to follow the rules, and our job for the FIS is to make sure they are followed, Baczkowska tells NRK.
The inspector thought it was uncomfortable to disqualify so many jumpers.
“But the rules are rules for everyone, and if you don’t follow them, you have to prepare for them to get that result,” she said.
– Been through a lot
One thing is certain, the Canadian team can’t do much if the other nations are pushed aside.
Strate also makes it very clear that the medal doesn’t taste worse for this reason in any way.
– I don’t think it’s a bittersweet medal at all, it’s as delicious a medal as it gets, says one becomes a Canadian jumper.
Unlike most other show jumping nations, Canadian jumpers do not have good facilities to train in their home country.
This is why the team is based in Europe for part of the year.
– This team has been through a lot. We still have to work despite the many setbacks and we are there, says Boyd-Clowes.
– Abi and I have been living at home since we were both 13 years old. It shows that even though our sport has struggled, we have followed our passion,” says Loutitt.
On Monday evening, they received a reward for what they sacrificed. For the first time in history, Canada was able to applaud the Olympic medal in show jumping.
– One of the darkest days
There was no jubilation in the Norwegian camp.
Sporting director Clas Brede Bråthen thinks Monday’s show jumping race was a tough day for the sport of show jumping.
“Unfortunately, we are helping to create one of the darkest days by receiving disqualifications,” Bråthen told Nettavisen.
However, he wonders why so many disqualifications are currently appearing on very experienced jumpers.
– If there is something we have not understood, I think it is wrong to use an Olympic championship to correct it. Then I was not allowed to talk to the inspectors. The disqualifications are probably clear, but then I hear the girls say there are different ways to stand. It’s a bit strange that there are five girls who are eliminated in such a competition, Bråthen told Nettavisen.
– It was supposed to be a happy day for the sport of show jumping, it didn’t happen. I can’t say anything other than that I suffer terribly on behalf of individual practitioners from Norway and other countries who have experienced the worst possible scenario. I also have pains in the name of the sport of show jumping. It wasn’t how it was supposed to be, said the sporting director.
He feels it is essential that this be cleaned up.
– We will have to spend time and energy in the future to find out how we will ensure that this never happens again, says Bråthen.
Later Monday evening, Bråthen wrote in a message that not all nations involved understand that such a thing could happen in such an important race.
– This is extremely hard for some practitioners, whose dreams have been shattered. It also hurts the conscientious people in our support apparatus, but in the end it’s the sport that I love so much that is the big loser.
– The leadership of international women’s jumps today manipulated the showcase that the Olympics are in the worst possible way, believes Bråthen.
The Olympics are now over for female jumpers who don’t have a lot of ground on the Olympic program. The men now head to the Zhangjiakou Grand Ski Jump, where both individual races and team competitions will take place.
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