Paralympics: Laurentia Tan 6th in equestrian freestyle 1a event, 1st Games without a medal

Laurentia Tan in the arena.
Laurentia Tan in the arena.PHOTO: JOAN CHEW
Laurentia Tan in the arena.
Laurentia Tan in the arena.PHOTO: JOAN CHEW
Singapore supporters before Laurentia Tan, 37, goes into the arena.
Singapore supporters before Laurentia Tan, 37, goes into the arena.PHOTO: JOAN CHEW
Brazil's Sergio Oliva rejoices after seeing Laurentia's score on the scoreboard.
Brazil's Sergio Oliva rejoices after seeing Laurentia's score on the scoreboard.PHOTO: JOAN CHEW

RIO DE JANEIRO - Equestrian rider Laurentia Tan missed her second chance at a medal at the Rio Paralympics on Sept 17 (early Saturday morning, Singapore time) by 2.85 points.

She was sixth in the individual freestyle test (Grade 1a) with 72.300 points.

It is the first time in three Games that Tan will not return with a medal. She has a total of four medals from the two previous Games (Beijing and London), and along with swimmer Yip Pin Xiu, is Singapore’s most bemedalled Paralympian.

Briton Sophie Christiansen aboard Athene Lindebjerg was first on 79.700 points.

The silver went to another Briton Anne Dunham on Ljt Lucas Normark who had 76.050 points, while bronze was taken by Brazilian Sergio Oliva astride Coco Chanel on 75.150.

Tan was riding a new horse at the event.

Said Ms Melanie Chew, president of the Equestrian Federation of Singapore: "I thought it was a good decision to bring a new horse, Fuerst Sherlock, for Rio. He has the level of energy required as he's young.

"It was a gamble, as she could have done a more difficult routine with her older horse. But with time, the partnership between Laurentia and this horse will get better."

Tan's classification is reserved for riders with the most severe disabilities.

The 37-year-old has cerebral palsy and is deaf.

She has been riding horses since the age of five as part of her physiotherapy treatment to strengthen her back muscles and improve her sense of balance.

The individual freestyle test requires the athletes to perform certain mandatory movements on the horse, the form and manner of presentation is determined by the athletes, who may also choose their own music.

Singapore have ended the Rio Games with two golds from Yip and one bronze from fellow swimmer Theresa Goh. The Games close on Sunday.