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Anush Agarwalla gets first-ever Paris Olympics quota in Dressage for India


New Delhi, Feb 19

Anush Agarwalla, who won a historic gold in Team Dressage at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, has secured a quota place for the country in dressage discipline for Paris Olympics, the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) informed on Monday.

Agarwalla, who also won an individual bronze in Hangzhou Asian Games in September 2023, was allotted the quota based on his performance in four FEI events — Wroclaw, Poland (73.485%) Kronenberg, Netherlands (74.4%), Frankfurt, Germany (72.9%), and Mechelen, Belgium (74.2%). The quota belongs to the country, and the National Federation will conduct a final trial before sending the final name to the organisers.

“I am very proud and grateful to have been successful in securing a berth for India at the Paris Olympic Games. Competing in the Olympics has always been a childhood dream for me and I’m proud to be part of this historical moment for the nation,” said 24-year-old Agarwalla.

The young rider hoped that he would be able to retain the quota. “I will continue doing what I have always been doing: staying focused, being disciplined, working hard, setting goals and achieving them. I am confident that I will be selected to represent India at this prestigious stage,” Agarwalla said.

EFI Secretary General Col Jaiveer Singh congratulated the rider.

“We got confirmation from FEI today about the allocation of individual quota in the dressage event. It is a matter of pride that Anush’s consistent show in the FEI events has got India quota,” said Col Jaiveer. “Indian riders have been making their presence felt in the FEI events and it is not at all surprising that India will yet again have representation in the Olympics in the equestrian events,” Jaiveer added.

Tokyo Olympian Fouaad Mirza had represented India at the 2020 Tokyo Games and before him, only Imtiaaz Anees (2000), Indrajit Lamba (1996) and Darya Singh (1980) could compete on the biggest sporting stage.

In Dressage, the rider-horse combo performs in an arena of 20m x 60m, bordered by a low rail which the horse must stay within. The arena has 12 lettered markers placed symmetrically indicating where the movements are to start where the pace changes are to occur and where the movements will end.

There are seven stages — preliminary, elementary, medium, advanced medium, advanced, Prix St George and Intermediate -I.· The scoring is done on a scale of 1 to 10 where 1 indicates very bad and 10 excellent.

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