Excited fans at the opening qualifier of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 in Munich’s iconic Olympic Hall were treated to a double Austrian victory today from Lisa Wild and pas-de-deux dynamo Stefanie Millinger and Evelyn Freund, with Viktor Brüsewitz scoring the home win for Germany.
The Salzburg-based Millinger and Freund, who came sixth at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014, stole the show with a near-perfect African-themed routine, pushing their compatriots Jasmin Lindner and Lukas Wacha - the pas-de-deux world and FEI World Cup™ champions - into second place.
“We can't believe it. It is our first World Cup victory, and it feels so good”, said Freund, standing with Millinger, both with tears in their eyes.
“We were counting on being in the top three, but this result is just amazing”, added their coaches Marissa Jöbstl and Roswita Haigermoser. And they had even more reason to be happy - another star from their club UVT Salzburg Wals-Schullergut secured the best result in the female individual competition.
Beyond The Backflip
Lisa Wild had spectators on the edge of their seats with her backflip off her horse Robin, lunged by Nina Rossin.
She stunned judges and fans when she first revealed a backflip landing back on her horse at the FEI World Vaulting Championships 2012 in Le Mans.
She left the Munich spectators in awe again at her talents, and with her clean performance in the Olympic Hall, she proudly claimed her top spot.
“This is a really great day for me!”, said Wild, who unfortunately did not qualify for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™ 2014 in Normandy this summer.
“I'm so happy for her, because she has shown a lot of self-confidence here in Munich after a difficult season”, said her coach Jöbstl. "Now she has proved she is back at the top level of the sport."
Savouring The Seconds
The recent rule change to extend the one-minute routines for individual vaulters by 20 seconds was welcomed by Viktor Brüsewitz, world number three, who was ectstatic with his first FEI World Cup™ Vaulting qualifier win in Munich.
Vaulting on Adlon with lunger Alexander Hartl (GER), he said: “I will never forget Munich, because this is my very first World Cup victory, and thanks to the rule change I had more time to enjoy it!”
Live In Paris
A total of 18 vaulters, including world champion Joanne Eccles (GBR), will head to the second qualifier of the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 at the famous Salon du Cheval de Paris (FRA), where FEI TV (www.feitv.org) live coverage will continue:
28 November - 14.30 (local time) & 29 November - 17.45
FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 sees the world’s best 30 vaulters from nine nations battle for points across a four-leg European city tour, before the Final in March 2015. The athletes from Austria, Czech Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Netherlands and Switzerland competing in this challenging series are listed here. The top six female and male vaulters, and top four pas-de-deux, based on their best two results in the series, will come together at the FEI World Cup™ Vaulting 2014/15 Final in March 2015, where they will start from scratch.
Male individual: 1. Viktor Brüsewitz (GER), 8,537; 2. Julian Wilfling (GER), 8,346; 3. Jannik Heiland (GER), 8,231
Female individual: 1. Lisa Wild (AUT), 8,641; 2. Simone Jäiser (SUI), 8,372; 3. Kristina Boe (GER), 8,159
Pas-de-deux: 1. Evely Freund/Steffanie Millinger (AUT), 8,714; 2. Jasmin Lindner/Lukas Wacha (AUT), 8,593; 3. Pia Engelberty/Torben Jacobs (GER), 8,588