“We Feel Inconsolable”: French Equestrian Forced to Withdraw From Tokyo Olympics 2020 Days Before the Event

Published 07/26/2021, 9:03 AM EDT


France’s equestrian medal hopes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020 have just taken a huge hit. Tom Carlile and his horse Birmane, who are part of France’s eventing team, will not take part in the Olympics despite being in Tokyo.

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Due to the horse showing signs of a slight injury in the pre-competition warm-ups, the pair have no choice but to withdraw from the Games.

French rider Tom Carlile forced to withdraw days ahead of Tokyo Olympics 2020

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Ranked #37 in the world, Carlile looked in fine fettle heading into Tokyo. In fact, the Frenchman came second with Birmane in the CCI-4* competition held in the French town of Saumur in April this year.

However, the mare showed signs of a possible niggle in his muscles, which could hurt the horse. Despite arriving in Tokyo, this injury forces Carlile out of the event, which will take place on August 2nd.

The 34-year-old took to Instagram to share a post announcing his withdrawal. In the post, he admitted that although his horse’s struggles weren’t a secret, he still felt extremely upset about the news.

He said“It’s no secret she has suffered from this muscle problem in the past, but for more than two seasons we’ve managed it perfectly to get her ready for the Olympics. We feel inconsolable to see the dream slip away from our fingertips.”

However, Carlile didn’t end his message in disappointment. He finished his message with the hope of returning to different podiums with Birmane in the future.

“She will come home healthy once her friends have taken part in the Games and we hope to see her at the top of the podium again soon,” said the 34-year-old.

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Karim Laghouag will replace Carlile in Tokyo

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Traveling alternate Karim Laghouag and his horse Triton Fontaine will replace Carlile and Birmane in the French eventing team.

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The 45-year-old ranked #66 in the world, won a gold medal in team eventing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He will partner Christopher Six with Totem de Bracy and Nicolas Touzaint with Absolut Gold HDC in Tokyo.

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Sanket Nair

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Sanket Nair is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. A Sports Management student, he is a huge fan of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo and hopes to see Red Bull break Mercedes' dominance and win the World Championship soon. Sanket has been hooked to the sport ever since he watched the battle for the 2010 World Championship go down to the wire at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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