Andrew Nicholson and Mark Todd led the New Zealand three-day eventing team to a bronze medal at Greenwich Park today. It was New Zealand's first medal of the 2012 Olympics. The two veterans, both competing at their seventh Olympic Games, have now won eight Olympic medals between them. Todds medal today was his fifth at the Olympics, which equals Ian Fergusons New Zealand record. Nicholson has won three team medals. The other members of the New Zealand team were Jock Paget, Caroline Powell and Jonelle Richards. Going into todays teams showjumping phase, New Zealand were in fourth place, behind Germany, Great Britain and Sweden. Nicholson, 51, riding Nereo, was superb, riding clear and incurring no time penalties. Powell and Paget knocked down one rail each and Richards went clear, but incurred nine time penalties. Germany and Great Britain, whose ranks included Princess Annes daughter, Zara, sealed the gold and silver medals. But Sweden faltered and New Zealand found themselves with the chance of the bronze medal. So it came down to Todd, 56, riding Campino. He could afford one rail and still hold on to the bronze. Riding masterfully, Todd coaxed his young horse around the showjumping course. There was one rail down, but only one, and the bronze went to New Zealand. In the end, Paget, Nicholson and Todds horses were the three counted towards the team score. Germany won with 133.70 points. Great Britain were second with 138.20 and New Zealand were third on 144.4. Sweden were the only other team contending for a medal near the end, and finished fourth on 148.4. Nicholson emerged as New Zealands leading points-scorer at the end of the teams event. He had 45 points, Todd 46.50 and Paget 52.90. Powell finished with 57.80 and Richards 71.70. He [Campino] was tired after the cross-country yesterday, Todd said. I had to push him a bit, but he got there. Todd won the three-day individual gold medals in 1984 and 1988, plus the bronze in 2000. He was part of the team that won the bronze medal in 1988 as well. Under todays rules he would have won a medal in 1992 as well. The New Zealand team won silver that year, but Todds horse withdrew during the competition and he did not then qualify for a medal.
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