Beijing to host world's best show jumpers
Updated: 2014-09-17 14:57
By Sun Xiaochen(chinadaily.com.cn)
The annual Longines FEI World Cup Jumping China League Final will return for the fourth consecutive year to welcome the cream of the international riding crop to the equestrian venue at Beijing's Chaoyang Park during the National Day holidays.
Having qualified in the league's first two legs in May, more than 10 riders from China and equestrian powers including Britain, Ireland and Austria will compete at the Beijing event from Oct 4 through 7 for one direct berth at the World Cup year-end final to be held in Las Vegas next year.
Promising local riders including last year's runner-up Liu Tongyan and 2013 National Games' individual jumping champion Zhu Meimei will challenge world elite jumpers such as London Olympics silver medalist Maikel van der Vlenten from the Netherlands and bronze medalist Cian O'Connor from Ireland at the Beijing final.
Launched in 2011, the event provides the only route for Chinese riders to qualify for the World Cup year-end finals, and also offers a platform for domestic hopefuls to learn from the world's best.
"Over the past four years, Chinese equestrian sport has made a great leap forward thanks to international events such as the China League," Li Nianxi, secretary-general of the China Equestrian Association, said at a press conference on Tuesday.
"We have become one of busiest hosts of equestrian competitions in Asia with 16 international events scheduled in 2014. The World Cup Jumping China League provides an excellent platform for us to popularize equestrian events and upgrade our riders' abilities en route to closing the gap with the world's highest level."
This year's China League final features nine disciplines for four different age groups, and the ranking points won at the final will be count 1.5 times higher than the first two stops to increase the excitement of the competition.
"This will be a great opportunity for these young riders to get in touch with each other and share experiences with their elite overseas counterparts," said Christoph Johanning-Moellerhaus, a representative of EN Garde Marketing GmbH, a German-based sports marketing company.
The FEI World Cup Jumping, created in 1978, is an annual international competition of the world's best show jumping horses and riders.
This year marks the first time for Swiss watchmaker Longines to support the event as title sponsor.
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