Awad Mohammed Al Qahtani, Rashid Faraj Alat Al Marri, Ali Mohammed Ali Al Marri and Abdulla Ali Abdulla Al Ejail totalled 182.30 points over three days of dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Japan claimed the silver on 204.10 and Indonesia the bronze with a total of 230.20.
The success was Qatar’s 15th gold medal in Asian Games history, dating back to 1986 when Talal Mansoor won the men’s 100m athletics. It was also their first ever equestrian gold.
Al Ejail led the way with a clear round in the show jumping to add to his perfect display in the cross-country. A combined team effort of only three fences knocked down and minor time penalties kept Qatar clear of Japan overall.
“The team did their best. We came to this competition to win the gold medal and it’s a huge achievement,” said Al Ejail, whose display on horse Quinten was enough for him to claim individual silver.
“It was a very strong competition. The determination of the team was what got us the gold medal. I was the last Qatari rider to compete for my team, which is why I was extremely nervous. Before I entered the [show jumping] arena I took all the pressure away, went calmly and just gave my best.”
Gold in the individual event went to Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa on Khanjer Black while Jeremiah Husref Malek took bronze for Malaysia.
"The pressure was harder today because it was the first time to ride for a team and it was the first time to come out as the last rider,” said Oiwa, whose one mistake in the show jumping did not prove costly. Oiwa’s coach Andrew Hoy, a multiple Olympic medallist, added: “I am so relieved. It was worse watching than riding.”