Rider Julia Krajewski won eventing gold at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The 32-year-old from Warendorf did not drop in the final jumping with the mare Amande and secured Germany the fourth single gold in a row after Hinrich Romeike in 2008 and Michael Jung in 2012 and 2016.
Krajewski had already been in first place before the second round after she had shown a flawless performance in jumping as well as in dressage and in the cross-country. In the last lap she prevailed ahead of the Briton Tom McEwen on Toledo de Kerser (29.30) and the Australian Andrew Hoy with Vassiliy de Lassos (29.60).
As the last starter, Krajewski went into the finals under a lot of pressure. She could not afford a drop for gold. The Warendorferin withstood the pressure, remained flawless and raised her fist for joy.
In the team competition, the national coach speaks of “damage limitation”
For the rider, her victory is the “stuff films are made of” after a year that Krajewski had everything ready, “what ups and downs can be experienced”, as she herself said. Krajewski’s father died at the beginning of the year, and she also had to retire her top horse Samourai du Thot. The subject of Tokyo has “almost been shelved”. But hope returned when the eleven-year-old mare Amande suddenly “struck and delivered” after “Sam retired.”
One of the first to congratulate was Krajewski’s predecessor Michael Jung, who ended up in eighth place with Chipmunk. “That was really picture-perfect,” said the three-time Olympic champion: “She did a wonderful job, a deserved victory.”
However, Krajewski missed a medal with the German eventing team. In the final competition, however, the team of national coach Hans Melzer improved from sixth to fourth place. Krajewski with Amande, Sandra Auffarth with Viamant and Michael Jung with Chipmunk had better placed in dressage and especially in cross-country riding.
The national coach spoke of “damage limitation” after the end of the team competition. Melzer said: “We finished fourth, so we can be satisfied with that too. We moved a little forward.” Gold went to the trio from Great Britain, followed by Australia and France.