Ireland showjumping team qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics after Barcelona win

Cian O'Connor's clear round ensured victory for Ireland and Olympic qualification
Cian O'Connor's clear round ensured victory for Ireland and Olympic qualification

Ireland's showjumping team have won the FEI Nations Cup in Barcelona to secure qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

A clear round from anchor rider Cian O'Connor clinched first place and a first prize of 1.25m euro.

Ireland have not had a showjumping team at the Olympics since Athens in 2004.

Ireland will have three equestrian teams at the Games with the dressage and eventing team places having already been secured.

This weekend's competition in Spain represented Ireland's final hope of qualification and there was only one Olympic place on offer.

Eight countries contested Sunday's Grand Final of the FEI Nations Cup event.

Ireland had to finish above Italy and Colombia in Barcelona to claim the final Tokyo place.

Rodrigo Pessoa's team of Darragh Kenny, Peter Moloney, O'Connor and Paul O'Shea got the job done but will not necessarily represent Ireland in Japan in 2020 - the make-up of the team will be decided by Pessoa closer to the event.

"It's fantastic to do it at an event like this, at a world final of team jumping," reflected O'Connor after Sunday's event.

"Our main goal was to qualify for the Olympics, which we managed to do. Winning the final was a bonus.

"I'll be very happy to go to Tokyo and try to add to the bronze medal I won at the London 2012 Games."