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Samantha's great ride! - Albert jumps 10 spaces in rankings
Elton Tucker, Assistant Sport Editor
Her broad smile at the end of the cross-country run told it all.
The way she gently patted her horse indicated that the 14-year-old mare, BEFORE I DO IT, had given first-time Olympian Samantha Albert a great ride in Monday's second stage of individual eventing on the third day of competition at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Albert, ranked 52 overall at the end of the dressage last Saturday, improved 10 places to 42 of the 60 riders remaining in the competition going into today's third and final stage - showjumping.
She will not be winning any medals but Albert, and her horse, won a lot of applause for a supreme effort over the 4,560-metre course and 29 obstacles, some of which had to be cleared twice.
"It was a very, very good ride. We had a few time faults but considering what the going was like ... I was very pleased with her result," the Britain-based Jamaican said. "She was amazing, she went very well and I can't be more pleasedwith her performance. I am both thrilled and relieved that we coped with all the obstacles and came home safe and sound."
The pair had no jumping penalties but incurred 41.60 time penalties. Albert attributed the time penalties to the fact that her horse had short strides and had to slow considerably on curves.
Overall, Albert has total penalty points of 97.90. Germans Hinrich Remeike (50.20 penalty points) and Ingrid Klimke (50.70) are in the top-two spots. Megan Jones of Australia is in third spot on 51.00. The top riders are those with the lowest number of penalty points. In cross-country, the course must be completed in a prescribed length of time and penalties are given for exceeding the time limit, refusals of the horse to jump at an obstacle and falls of horse or rider.
Albert, who felt she was a bit 'hard-marked' in the dressage on Saturday, is looking forward to the showjumping.
"I am very confident she will jump well. She looked good tonight (after the gruelling cross-country)," Albert said. Each horse must survive a veterinarian inspection before going into the final round.
The track-and-field squad has joined the rest of the Jamaican contingent in the Olympic Village after a sometimes turbulent training camp in Tianjin.
Track-and-field manager Ludlow Watts has no doubt the camp achieved much of what it set out to do.
"The camp was aimed at providing the team with undisturbed practice," Watts said yesterday from the Village, hours after the team had arrived in Beijing from Tianjin.
"In the camp, you determine when you want to train and how many hours you want to spend. You are unrestricted in terms of what you want to do," the track-and-field manager added.
He said the training facilities in the Olympic Village are open to many countries and there will be a limit to what they can do leading into Friday's start of track and field.
Alia Atkinson will be the first of the three swimmers here to see action. She swims tomorrow in the heats of the women's 200m breaststroke. Jevon Atkinson and Natasha Moodie will compete on Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Today's Olympics television schedule
5 a.m-9 a.m.
Men's 100m Freestyle (Prelims)
Women's 200m Butterfly (Prelims)
Men's 200m Breaststroke (Prelims)
Men's 4X200m Freestyle Relay (Prelims)
4 p.m.-6 p.m.
CMC - Highlights
12 a.m. - 2 a.m. (NBC)
Softball: USA vs Venezuela
2 a.m. - 6 a.m. (NBC)
Men's Basketball, Tennis, Rowing, Beach Volleyball
6 a.m. - 10 a.m. (Caribbean Dream)
Men's 100m Freestyle - Prelims
Women's 200m Butterfly - Prelims
Men's 200m Breaststroke - Prelims
Men's 4X200m Freestyle Relay - Prelims
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. (NBC)
Beach Volleyball, Swimming, Men's Water Polo, Canoeing
1 p.m. - 5 p.m. (NBC)
Men's Basketball, Women's Soccer, Men's Wrestling, Men's Volleyball
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. (Caribbean Dream)
Prime Time package
7 p.m. - 8 p.m. (NBC)
8 p.m. - 10 p.m. (NBC)
Women's Gymnastics, Beach Volleyball, Women's Diving
10 p.m. - 12 a.m. (Caribbean Dream)
Men's 100m Freestyle - Semi-finals
Women's 200m Freestyle - Final
Men's 200m Butterfly - Final
Women's 200m Butterfly-- Semi-finals
Men's 200m Breaststroke - Semi-finals
Women's 200m IM - Final
Men's 4X200m Freestyle Relay - Final