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India At Paris Olympic Games 2024: Equestrian Anush Agarwalla Pips Shruti Vora, To Represent Country In Dressage Event

Asian Games medallist Anush Agarwalla will represent the country in the dressage event of the Paris Olympics after pipping close contender Shruti Vora on better average, the Equestrian Federation of India

SAI
Indian equestrian Anush Agarwalla (left) Photo: SAI
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Asian Games medallist Anush Agarwalla will represent the country in the dressage event of the Paris Olympics after pipping close contender Shruti Vora on better average, the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) said on Tuesday. (More Sports News)

Agarwalla, who bagged gold in team dressage and bronze in individual dressage events at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games, was picked ahead of Vora after a careful evaluation of the recent performances of the two contenders.

It will be India's first ever entry at the dressage event of the Olympics as largely riders in past editions competed in eventing categories only.

Agarwalla (with his horse Sir Caramello Old) has been consistent since the qualification period began last year and achieved Minimum Eligibility Requirement four times, while veteran Vora earned the required two MERs this month.

When an average was taken out of the contenders in the assessment, Agarwalla emerged winner. He had an average score of 67.695 per cent which was better than Vora's 67.163 per cent.

As per the criteria set by EFI, a rider-horse combination is required to achieve a minimum of 67 per cent twice between January 1, 2023 and June 24, 2024 to be eligible for the Paris Games qualification.

According to EFI selection criteria, if more than one athlete is eligible then the athlete with the highest average in Grand Prix out of the best four events in the past one year shall be chosen to participate.

Vora (with horse Magnanimous) had earned her second MER of the year with her second-place finish at the Brno Grand Prix in Czech Republic, where she scored 68.174 in the dressage event, there by becoming eligible for Olympic qualification.

Vora had earned her first MER early this month when she became the first Indian rider to win a three-star Grand Prix event Dressage World Cup, held in Lipica, Sloevania with 67.761.

Her other two GP performances had scores of 66.543 per cent and 66.174 per cent which were below MER level.

Agarwalla achieved MERs four times -- 67.936 per cent (Wiesbaden, May 2024), 68.261 per cent (December 2023 in Mechelen), 67.152 per cent (December 2023 in Frankfurt), and 67.804 per cent (October 2023 in Wroclaw).

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