Maher shuts down dominant Swedes to win individual show jumping gold

Posted at 8:06 AM, Aug 04, 2021

Ben Maher and Explosion W (GBR) leapt past a fierce Swedish contingent to capture gold in the individual show jumping final after a thrilling jump-off. 

Maher topped qualifying the day before with a clean round and the fastest time of the day. This is Maher's fourth-straight Olympic appearance with the British jumping squad. He won team gold on home soil at the 2012 London Games aboard Triple X III.

SEE MORE: Maher soars to fastest individual jumping qualifier time

Peder Fredricson and All In (SWE) won their second-straight Olympic silver medal, and Maikel van der Vleuten and Beauville Z of the Netherlands closed out the jump-off with a bronze medal-worthy run. 

Daisuke Fukushima of host nation Japan entered the individual competition ranked 600th in the world but jumped clean over both courses in the final for a sixth-place finish. 

Santiago Varela's intense show jumping course of daunting spreads and punishing distances pushed horses and riders to the limit within the tight 88-second time limit. Only eight riders of 30 jumped clean and six went clear without any time faults to advance to the final jump-off. 

World No. 1 Daniel Deusser had eight faults and didn't make the jump-off. 

This was the first time since 1980, when the U.S. boycotted the Games, that an American didn't ride in the final individual show jumping round. 

SEE MORE: Maher tops individual show jumping qualifying as Americans fall short of final

All three Americans—Jessica Springsteen, Kent Farrington and Laura Kraut—hit the same rail during qualifying, which knocked them out of contention for the 30-horse final. 

After a day off on Thursday, the U.S. will get back on the horse for the team show jumping qualifier, an event they're expected to be very competitive in. 

The Swedish jumping team will give them a run for their money after a strong showing in the individual event from Fredricson, as well as Henrik von Eckermann in fourth and Malin Baryard-Johnsson in fifth. 

SEE MORE: Jessica Springsteen makes Olympic show jumping debut