On Sunday, the women's team and men's team contested the relay event. Melanie and Donna got the two spots for the women. They had an average day from the beginning through the ride, but a strong combined which was really exciting to watch brought them up from 4th to 2nd. I cheered and yelled really hard, along with Mathea and our coaches.
It was pretty sweet to see them move into a medal spot, behind Cuba. The USA was third and Brazil was fourth. I can't remember who was behind that. Chris P and I had were in the men's relay. We had a pretty poor fence, leaving us mid-field. Our swim was good, but not enough to really shuffle the standings. The ride didn't make a huge difference either. A couple teams may have had poor rides, but for the most part the stronger teams all rode between 1100 and 1600 points which didn't change the standings. The course was a bit frustrating as it didn't really do much to challenge the riders. If you pointed in the right direction, the horses were so honest that they would basically pull athletes over. There were a couple of long lines with three jumps that required a lot of rider error to have a rail or any real trouble. It would be nice to see courses that were a bit more technical to challenge the riders and really differentiate the stronger from the weaker. Going into the combined, we sat in 5th place behind Guatemala, Mexico, Dominicana, and Brazil. USA, Cuba were close behind so we had a lot of work to do to move up and to protect our ground.
Chris was first and he passed Dominicana. He ran hard and we slapped hands in the transition zone so I could enter the course. Guatemala and Mexico were a long ways up and catching them wasn't too likely. Brazil was in striking distance. I had two solid rounds of shooting and running and closed the gap significantly, but I was not able to catch them, so we settled for 4th. Not an amazing result, but there were a number of good things that happened, so I am pleased with the experience. I've tried to attach a video. I hope the sound isn't too bad. I think the American's are waving in the background. Because they love us. Ok, that's it for now. Thanks for checking in. Josh.