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05 Aug 2012
London 2012 , IOC News , Equestrian

Saudis are the team to beat - London 2012 - Equestrian

The Saudi Arabia team of Prince Abdullah Al Saud, Kamal Bahamdan, Ramzy Al Duhami and Abdullah Al Sharbatly are the quartet everyone has to catch after the first day of Equestrian Team Jumping action.

Team medals will be decided tomorrow, and the Saudis are the surprise leaders, ahead of Great Britain, Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands on four faults.

Eight teams move into the second and decisive stage tomorrow, but strongly-fancied France and Belgium are already out.

And the German quartet of Marcus Ehning, Janne Friederike Meyer, Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Christian Ahlmann also exited as Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Canada, the USA and Brazil went through.

London's most famous landmarks were reflected in British designer Bob Ellis' course, which featured scaled down reproductions of Tower Bridge, Big Ben, 10 Downing Street and a London double-decker bus.

And Prince Abdullah said: 'What with the weather, the London bus and Tower Bridge, I felt like I was sight-seeing today. I cannot describe my feelings, I am so happy.'

However, Ellis' course was too much for some, with the latest batch of riders knocked out of the Individual competition including Ireland's Billy Twomey, French star Penelope Leprevost and USA teenager Reed Kessler.

'Eight faults is never good enough,' Twomey said after his round. 'I am very disappointed, and I can't lay the blame anywhere other than with myself.'

Twomey's fellow Irishman Cian O'Connor is still in the Individual hunt, though, with the current field of 46 whittled down by another 11 after tomorrow's action.

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