London 2012 Olympics: Zara Phillips reflects on team eventing silver
Zara Phillips puts personal disappointments aside to share in team glory as she sealed a silver medal for GB’s eventing team
Zara Phillips put personal disappointments aside on Tuesday to share in team glory as her Olympic debut brought a silver medal for Great Britain’s eventing team.
The showjumping phase at Greenwich Park saw Team GB do enough to hold on to their second place and gain ground on the peerless Germans, who took gold.
And a decent – if not perfect – round for Phillips carried her through to the individual jumping final, where she and High Kingdom put on a faultless display for the watching thousands and threatened to challenge for another medal.
That clear round proved to be in vain as she, Mary King and Tina Cook finished eighth, fifth and sixth respectively, yet very much on the podium in the team standings along with Nicola Wilson and William Fox-Pitt.
Phillips had put one fence down and had three time penalties in that first run.
Nonetheless, her score of 53.10 was enough for her to be one of the three of five that make up the team total.
Britain recorded 138.20 while the Germans were out on their own on 133.70, led by Michael Jung, on Sam, who claimed individual gold.
Of her ride in the victorious team effort, Phillips said: “I messed up at the start but I told myself I just had to get on with it. I’m very disappointed for the team and hope I haven’t let them down.”
But all was well and after her perfect individual round Phillips, 31, was able to reflect that she already had a medal in the bag.
“It’s disappointing,” Phillips said. “But at the end of the day we’ve got a team silver medal and we have to be pleased with that.
“It’s a real honour to be part of this and I’ve been able to cheer on the others in the team as well in their individual phase. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster.”
Phillips was denied the chance to grace the Games with Toytown in Athens and Beijing, but felt that High Kingdom had more than done himself justice.
She said: “He’s done ever so well, and I’m really proud of how he went. It was better than I could have expected of him – considering the crowd, the turns and the hills – there was a lot to take on physically and mentally.
“It was a big ask and he gave it everything he had. The crowd were more hushed for the jumping although it just made the sound of the falling poles feel even louder.
“But every time he’s come up against something, like the atmosphere, he’s come up with the goods.”
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