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Equestrian jumping competition continues
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The equestrian jumping competition for team and individual medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games continued Sunday night at the Shatin Equestrian Venue.

Seventy-six riders, including seven Chinese riders, will negotiate the course.

Hong Kong rider Patrick Lam, 25, riding horse Urban, did an excellent job Friday night. He was among 13 to jump clear rounds in the initial stage.

Defending gold medalist the United States is considered as the favorite after three clear rounds in the first qualifier. The team has two of its Athens 2004 pairs, Beezie Madden riding Authentic and McLain Ward with Sapphire, competing.

Germany needs to put on a better performance to recapture the gold medal they lost at the Athens 2004 Games when Ludger Beerbaum and Goldfever were disqualified. The team starts only from 11th position.

Switzerland is banking on Christina Liebherr and Steve Guerdat, who qualified in the second spot along with Brazil and Canada.

Winner of the 2007 Pan American Games, Brazil is in good form, with only one time fault for defending individual gold medalist Rodrigo Pessoa riding Rufus in the qualifying round.

The Netherlands only has one original member of its world champion team riding: Gerco Schroder.

Canada, second to Brazil in the 2007 Pan American Games, had two clear rounds in the qualifier, including one from world No. 3 Eric Lamaze.

Jos Lansik from Belgium is a definite prospect for an individual medal after a steady round on Cumano. Sole Irish representative Denis Lynch is another contender for the individual medal. He and 10-year-old gelding Lantinus went clear in the qualifier.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2008)

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