Equestrian Anush Agarwalla to represent India in Paris Olympics | Paris Olympics 2024 News

NEW DELHI: Anush Agarwalla, an Asian Games medallist, has been selected by the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) to represent the nation in the dressage event at the upcoming Paris Olympics.
Agarwalla edged out close rival Shruti Vora based on superior average scores.
This marks a historic moment for India, as it will be the country’s inaugural entry in the Olympic dressage competition.In previous editions, Indian riders have primarily participated in eventing categories.
Agarwalla, riding his horse Sir Caramello Old, has consistently met the Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) four times since the qualification period commenced last year. On the other hand, the experienced Vora achieved the necessary two MERs earlier this month.
After a thorough evaluation of the contenders’ recent performances, Agarwalla emerged victorious with an average score of 67.695 per cent, surpassing Vora’s 67.163 per cent.
“As per the criteria set by EFI, a rider-horse combination is required to achieve a minimum of 67 per cent twice between January 1, 2023 and June 24, 2024 to be eligible for the Paris Games qualification,” PTI quoted EFI as saying in a release.
“According to EFI selection criteria, if more than one athlete is eligible then the athlete with the highest average in Grand Prix out of the best four events in the past one year shall be chosen to participate.”
Vora, riding her horse Magnanimous, secured her second Minimum Eligibility Requirement (MER) of the year by finishing second at the Brno Grand Prix in the Czech Republic. She scored 68.174 in the dressage event, thus becoming eligible for Olympic qualification.
Earlier this month, Vora achieved her first MER when she made history as the first Indian rider to win a three-star Grand Prix event Dressage World Cup in Lipica, Slovenia, with a score of 67.761.
Her other two GP performances had scores of 66.543 per cent and 66.174 per cent which were below MER level.
Agarwalla met the MER criteria on four occasions: 67.936 per cent (Wiesbaden, May 2024), 68.261 per cent (December 2023 in Mechelen), 67.152 per cent (December 2023 in Frankfurt), and 67.804 per cent (October 2023 in Wroclaw).
The Equestrian Federation of India’s (EFI) executive council reached this decision unanimously.
At the 2020 Tokyo Games, Fouaad Mirza represented India. Prior to him, Imtiaz Anees participated in the 2000 Sydney Games, and Indrajit Lamba competed in the 1996 Atlanta Games. Jitendrajit Singh Ahluwalia, Hussain Singh, Mohammed Khan, and Darya Singh all took part in the 1980 Moscow Games.

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