Aachen (GER)- The team from Neuss is currently heading the rankings with a score of 7.701 after the first of in total three competitions. They are closely followed by the Swiss team in second place with a score of 7,696. A head-to-head race among the group vaulters in Aachen!
For the group vaulters, the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015 comprises of three competitions: The compulsory test, and two freestyle rounds. The scores of all three competitions are added to together and the average score is determined to decide which teams ultimately claim the medals. "I am totally happy. It is always a bit different competing in the Aachen stadium, we were all rather nervous," beamed the trainer of the group from Neuss, Jessica Lichtenberg. "It was very strenuous in the arena. It wasn't an easy task. It was hard work. But we fought hard – the team, the horse and myself."
The vaulting group from RSV Neuss-Grimlinghausen has already won gold five times at World and European Championships and were the German Champions nine times in succession. For Jessica Lichtenberg everything comes full circle in Aachen: In 2006, she took part in her first Championships as a trainer during the FEI World Equestrian Games. The freestyle of the group vaulters is on the agenda tomorrow, on Friday, starting at 5 p.m. "We want to get the hall rocking in the freestyle competition and really perform a spectacular freestyle," explained Lichtenberg full of sweet anticipation.
At the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015, in the individual classification the ladies and men have to qualify themselves in the first competition to go through to the second round. The first round is a compulsory test, which took place today, and a freestyle, which is on tomorrow's schedule. In the second round, comprising of a technical test and a freestyle, the top 15 vaulters among the men and ladies respectively, battle it out for the medals. In the end, the scores from all four competitions are added together to decide the European Championships rankings.
After the compulsory test, in the Ladies competition, the 22-year-old vaulter from Cologne, Corinna Knauf, is currently heading the field. She was awarded a score of 8.333 with Fabiola, with whom she already competed at the European Championships in 2013 and at the World Equestrian Games in 2014. The two-time German Champion is lunged by her sister, Alexandra Knauf. She is followed by the Swiss vaulter, Simone Jäiser in second place on a score of 8.221. The 28-year-old is trained and lunged by her mother Rita Blieske and is competing in Aachen with her horse Luk. Jäiser claimed the bronze medal at the World Equestrian Games in Normandy last year, which was her biggest achievement to-date. Place three in the compulsory test went to the Austrian vaulter, Katharina Luschin.
In total, 24 vaulters are taking part in the Ladies competition at the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015. For the male vaulters in Germany, today has been a total success. After the compulsory test, the first of the four competitions, they are occupying all three top rankings. The Brüsewitz brothers Viktor and Thomas from Garbsen lie in first and second place with 8.496 and 8.363 respectively. Followed by Jannis Drewell in third place on a score of 8.270. The elder Brüsewitz brother, the 25-year-old Viktor, was already a member of the Ingelsberg team that won silver in 2010 at the World Championships in Kentucky. The 21-year-old Thomas was very successful at the World Equestrian Games in Caen last year, where he came fourth. The sports soldier, Jannis Drewell's (24), celebrated his Championships debut here in Aachen.
17 vaulters are competing in the men's individual classification at the FEI European Championships Aachen 2015. As with the Ladies competition, only the best 15 from round one comprising of the compulsory test and freestyle go through to the second round, which is the decider for the European Championships medals.
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