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2ND LEAD Germany's Jung confirms equestrian dominance with new Olympic gold By Albert Otti, dpa

Europe
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Rio de Janeiro (dpa) - German horseman Michael Jung proved once again that he is currently the world‘s best rider when he won a second consecutive Olympic gold in individual eventing Tuesday.

"Incredible, incredible! Sam was going like clockwork," the 34-year-old said about his horse, with which he executed his two final runs through the Rio de Janeiro show-jumping course in perfect time and clean riding.

Silver went to France‘s Astier Nicolas on a wound-up Piaf de B‘neville, knocking down an obstacle in the last run. US rider Phillip Dutton won bronze.

Jung‘s win came only hours after he and his team won the first medal for Germany in the Games, clinching silver in the eventing team event, while Nicolas‘ French team rode to victory and bronze went to Australia.

Germany had won the team event in the 2012 London Games.

German athletes in Rio had been under intense pressure from the public back home to end the medal drought after the first three days of the Games.

The world‘s top-ranked rider has now four Olympic medals under his belt, in addition to two world and four European titles.

While his team-mates Ingrid Klimke and Sandra Auffahrth had looked relieved after winning silver, Jung seemed unfazed as he was focusing on repeating his 2012 London individual gold.

"I‘m still very relaxed," Jung said without displaying any emotion.

While the Germans came to Rio with experience from previous Games, the French who rode to gold in team event were all Olympic debutantes.

The French had stood third in the rankings after the tournament‘s dressage and cross country disciplines.

But they secured their win in the final jumping event, as Nicolas and Thibaut Vallette on Qing du Briot executed flawless rides, while Mathieu Lemoine on Bart L added eight penalty points.

Nicolas said his team-mates were ecstatic when they realized that they had won the event for only the second time overall, the first being in 2004.

"They are even crazier than me. That was not hugging, that was hitting each other," he said.

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