Tokyo Olympics: Equestrians eye another chapter, more medals in NZ Games tradition

For the first time in almost 40 years, New Zealand doesn't have Mark Todd or Blyth Tait spearheading its equestrian eventing campaign - but that doesn't seem to have fazed the riders left behind.

After two of their three disciplines, the Kiwis sit on the medal bubble at Tokyo, with Tim Price lurking at fifth on individual standings and the team sitting fourth collectively.

But don't expect Price to sweat on the permutations on offer through the final showjumping test.

"Someone else's job," he told Sky Sport, soon after guiding mount Vitali around a daunting cross country course. "I'll just quietly tick the boxes we have to do and hope for the best."

Price, 42, was the most efficient of the Kiwis around the 6km/40-obstacle journey, incurring just 1.60 penalty points for finishing marginally over the 7m 45s time limit.

"There's something about an Olympic Games," he said. "Even though it's not the biggest course we have to contend with on the world stage, but man, it was tough.

"There were some really difficult moments - there were definitely two or three places where I went away from my plan, and I had to be just a good cross country rider.

"Vitali was just fantastic - he has this great gallop on him. For a young horse, I couldn't be more happy for him."

With temperatures soaring, the Kiwis have worn cooling vests, although Price had to be persuaded into his, preferring to just deal with conditions himself.

But before the show jumping begins, horses will undergo inspection and some may not be deemed healthy enough to continue, after their rigorous cross country efforts.

"They get left alone as soon as possible to rest and recover," said Price. "Anything that's niggling or a little bit sore, we'll address that.

"They've all pulled up pretty well, so we're quietly confident they should come through the night well."

Wife Jonelle Price is the next best placed of the Kiwis in 12th, with just 2.00 penalty points in cross country, while Jesse Campbell's 14.40 proved costly, dropping him to 27th overall and New Zealand out of the top three teams.

Coming Monday...

Today, Peter Burling and Blair Tuke lead into the medal race of their 49er sailing competition, intent on repeating their Rio 2016 gold. Our equestrian riders also chase medals over the final discipline of three-day eventing - showjumping.

Laurel Hubbard takes the world spotlight, as she competes as the first transgender athlete at the Olympics, while two-time canoe champion Lisa Carrington makes her first appearance at Tokyo. 

The Black Sticks battle for their hockey survival, when they take on world No.1 Netherlands in the women's quarter-finals.


Women's K1 200 heats & quarter-finals - Lisa Carrington 12:58pm NZ & 3pm NZ

Women's K2 500 heats - Teneale Hatton/Alicia Hoskin 2:15pm NZ & Lisa Carrington/Caitlin Regal 2:29pm NZ

Women's K2 500 quarter-finals - Teneale Hatton/Alicia Hoskin & Lisa Carrington/Caitlin Regal 4:08pm NZ


Women's team pursuit qualifying - Bryony Botha, Rushlee Buchanan, Holly Edmondston & Jamie Nielsen 6:54pm NZ

Men's team pursuit qualifying - Aaron Gate, Regan Gough, Jordan Kerby, Campbell Stewart & Corbin Strong 8:02pm NZ


Men's 3m springboard preliminary - Anton Down-Jenkins 6pm NZ


Eventing jumping - Jesse Campbell, Jonelle Price & Tim Price 8pm NZ


Women's quarter-finals - Black Sticks v Netherlands 9:30pm NZ


Men's 470, Races 9 & 10 - Paul Snow-Hansen & Daniel Willcox 3pm NZ

Men's 49er medal race, medal race - Peter Burling & Blair Tuke 6:33pm NZ


Women's 87kg - Kanah Andrews-Nahu 6:50pm NZ

Women's +87kg - Laurel Hubbard 10:50pm NZ