Rio 2016, Janika Sprunger’s final disappointment
Janika Sprunger’s adventure in Rio de Janeiro has ended with a bitter taste. She has fallen victim to a rule (debatable, as many others contained in the Olympic Regulations) by which you cannot have more than three representatives in the individual final for one single nation, even if all have qualified regularly.
We know that riding is often a cruel sport, but in this case the cruelty comes from an Olympic regulation that does not reward the merit of a team able to gain access to the individual final for all its representative, obliged to omit one due to the regulations.
Another point of unsportsmanlike regulations, and harshly criticized by fans of this sport, is the complete disappearance of the accumulated penalties for all finalists: that is to say that anyone who has had a consistently high performance throughout the entire qualifying session, perhaps with all clear runs, set off on par with those who have qualified by the skin of their teeth (collecting many penalties along the way).
Both Switzerland and Germany are in the same situation, having shown great cohesion and great preparation with all four athletes qualifying for the individual final, but forced to exclude one each.
The difference between these two situations is that for Germany Ludger Beerbaum by his own request has asked to be dropped. Now we will not see the kaiser at work, a shame given that every outing is a show. Evidently Ludger, who has already won Olympic golds in abundance, given his imminent farewell to the German national team in official events (a decision already matured over time), deemed it wiser to let the other three pairings Christian Ahlmann on Taloubet Z, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum with Fibonacci and Daniel Deusser on First Class, vie for the medals.
A different discourse for Switzerland: Janika Sprunger wanted to be present, but the coach of the Swiss had to make a difficult decision that would have displeased someone, not to mention the great responsibility and controversy if no medals are won by the trio fielded: impossible to exclude Steve Guerdat and Nino des Buissonnets being the reigning Olympic champions, then to select one from Martin Fuchs with Clooney, Romain Duguet riding Quorida de Treho and indeed, Janika Sprunger with Bonne Chance .
The coach chose the latter, forcing Janika to follow the final from the stands, with a bitter taste.