RIO 2016: Aussie riders take bronze medal
EQUESTRIAN: Chris Burton said the Australian eventing team had "far and away" exceeded expectations after winning a bronze medal.
The team of Burton, Sydney gold medallist Stuart Tinney, Sam Griffiths and Shane Rose had gone into the showjumping on the final of the three days of competition in first place in the team and individual event, with Burton on top.
With Shane Rose eliminated from competition in yesterday's cross country phase, the three remaining Aussie riders had to be in top form as they entered the final day of show jumping in gold medal position.
But they faced an uphill battle after Tinney had four fences down, plus a one-point time penalty, for a heavy total of 17 penalty points which dropped Australia into bronze.
Griffiths had a clear round, but when the final three French and German riders did the same, Burton had to do the same.
Riding Santano II, Burton had two fences down but he did well to avoid a disaster at the last, where another penalty would have handed the bronze to New Zealand.
France won the gold on 169 penalty points, followed by Germany on 172.8 and Australia on 175.3.
The gold medal in the individual event went to reigning Olympic champion Germany's Michael Jung on 40.9 penalty points, the silver to Frenchman Astier Nicolas (48.0) and the bronze to Phil Dutton (51.8) who is Australian born and now competes for America.
Griffiths finished fourth on 53.1, Burton fifth on 53.6 and Tinney 84.6.
"I led the Olympic Games going into the showjumping and that's something I won't be forgetting in a hurry," Burton said.
"I can't say I did anything wrong. I would go back and do it (the same) again.
"I am relieved we've got our teammate Shane Rose on to the podium.
"He has been unbelievable, the anchor of our team."