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Competitors from 20 different nations came to Le Mans for the FEI World Vaulting Championships and the FEI European Vaulting Championships for Juniors. The atmosphere at Boulerie Jump was electric as athletes battled it out for the eight FEI titles on offer. Spectators were treated to a range of different themes from the individuals, Pas de deux and teams, all who were hoping for that elusive FEI medal. And for the first time ever in the history of equestrian sport, we have a gold medallist from Mauritius - the one and only Lambert Leclezio - winning the individual male world title. Austria's Jasmin Lindner was spectacular winning both the individual gold and pas-de-deux with regular partner Lukas Wacha treating the audience to a Pas de deux masterclass! For the world squad title, France were thrilling and unbeatable in feathers much to the delight of the home crowd! Germany wowed in the Juniors with three out of four gold just missing out on the squad title which went to Switzerland.
The young 19 year old who made a name for himself at the FEI World Equestrian Games™ in 2014 and won the Longines Rising Star Award the same year was able to show his unique strength and flexibility within his routine to score 8,593 in the final freestyle and thus with a score of 8.135 went on to win the first ever gold Equestrian Vaulting medal for Mauritius. World Champion Lambert enthused, “We had the most fun in the final round. It felt easy today.”
Alongside the World titles for senior athletes, the juniors battled it out for the European titles. Germany showed their strength and determination winning individual male, female and pas-de-deux! They were so good in the individual female class that they won everymedal on offer - gold, silver and bronze - this was the first time any nation has achieved this feat in the FEI European Vaulting Championship™ Junior Female class since its introduction back in 2008. But we did also get the chance to hear the Swiss anthem - just the once - with the Junior squad taking gold for the first time ever. Needless to say, they were ecstatic!
Photos (c)FEI/Christophe Taniere