Jerez de Frontera, Spain – September 12, 2002 – Devon Maitozo of Acton, CA vaulted his way into third place from tenth in the Individual Men’s Freestyle division of Vaulting on Thursday at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.
The U.S. team, Free Artists Creative Equestrians (FACE) of Moorpark, CA, moved up one place to fifth and into possible medal position.
“I am very happy with my Kur today,” said Maitozo. “I had a few problems with the compulsories, but today went great. I received a few tens, so that helped.”
Maitozo is now in contention for a medal going into the second round, but the 1998 World Champion has much to overcome for another Gold Medal.
“It would be very tough to get the Gold,” said Maitozo. “Matthias Lang (FRA) and Gero Meyer (GER) both did very well, I will need some luck, but hopefully I will get a medal.”
Maitozo also coaches and choreographed the difficult routine for the Team Freestyle competition which earned FACE their improved position.
“I was on the edge of my seat watching the team,” said Maitozo. “There were a few tense moments, but they did very well. They had so much energy.”
The top three stayed the same going into the second round - Germany is in the lead with a score of 8.226,
second place Switzerland has a score of 8.146 and Sweden’s third place score is 7.738.
Vaulting competition continues on Friday with Round B Team and Men’s Compulsories and Round A Women’s Freestyle competition.
For comprehensive coverage the 2002 World Equestrian Games, please visit the United States Equestrian Team’s website at www.uset.org.
The United States Equestrian Team is a non-profit organization that selects, trains, equips and finances equestrians of the highest possible standard to represent our country in major international competition, including the Olympic Games and the World Championships. To accomplish this, the USET seeks out and nurtures the development of talented athletes - riders, drivers, vaulters and horses - and provides the support and guidance they need to help them attain their fullest potential. For more information on the USET, please call (908) 234-1251, or visit USET ONLINE at www.uset.org