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Battle for Equestrian Jumping Team gold begins
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The United States and Switzerland which are tied in top position started their race for an Olympic Jumping Team gold in the team final competition Monday night at the Shatin Equestrian Venue.

Defending gold medallists the United States and Switzerland are tied for first place on 12 penalties in the first round of the Jumping Team competition.

Third-ranked Sweden are only one time penalty behind the leaders. Great Britain and Canada are tied on fourth place on 16 points, Netherlands and Norway are one point behind, tied on sixth place.

Favorite Germany and Australia are both tied on 20 penalties, as nine teams move into the second round of the team final. The competition also serves as the third qualifier for places in the Individual final.

Mclain Ward of the United States and Eric Lamaze of Canada are tied for first place with zero penalties. Defending gold medalist from Athens 2004 Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil is ranked third. Fifty qualified riders move into the third round, including Patrick Lam of Hong Kong, China. Lam placed 22.

(Xinhua News Agency August 18, 2008)

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