Olympics 2012

Peternell fails to shine

2012-07-30 22:35
Alex Peternell (File)

London - South African three-day eventer Alex Peternell posted one of the slowest times at the Greenwich Park cross country circuit on Monday but was thrilled to have made it home safe and sound.

The 31-year-old, who only made it to London 2012 after an eleventh hour appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, had failed to shine in the dressage arena which left him languishing in 72nd place out of 74 going into the cross-country.

Now with two legs of the event gone he is placed 56 of the 59 riders still standing ahead of the concluding jumping session on Tuesday, but his sights are focused far in the horizon, on the Rio Games in 2016.

After dismounting from his horse Asih having succeeded to complete the tricky circuit unlike 15 of his rivals he said: "Fantastic!

"I have without a doubt been the slowest on the course. There was a lot resting on my shoulders because I did a bloody awful dressage.

"My main aim was to get home safe and sound so that other South Africans watching me can say, 'If he can do it so can I.'

"That is what I want - for Rio 2016 South Africa can give other Southern Hemisphere countries like Australia and New Zealand a run for their money."

He was initially overlooked in favour of his lower-ranked compatriot Paul Hart by South Africa's Equestrian Federation (SAEF) and Olympic committee.

But Peternell, who turned to eventing after initially training as a ballet dancer, was cleared to perform at the Games by CAS last week.

Read more on:    olympics 2012

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