Zim rider – Kruger relish Olympic debut
Camilla Kruger, the first ever Zimbabwean to compete at the Olympics in Equestrian sports, cherish being part of #TeamZim at the Rio Olympics currently underway in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I feel very overwhelmed to have achieved a lifelong dream of going to the Olympics, and feel very proud and honoured for my country to be the first ever equestrian athlete. I hope it now inspires many more to pursue equestrian sports,” she posted on her Face book timeline.
Kruger and her horse Biarritz also known as ‘Sam the Man’ held their own to finish overall ranking 35th in Eventing. Against seasoned riders, the result is a bold statement on the potential of Zimbabwe’s Equestrian.
“Last day in Rio. Fay has landed back in the UK, Sam is on his way, and I head home tomorrow. What an incredible fortnight. I honestly can’t thank you all enough for the overwhelming support for me, Sam the Man and the Team,” Kruger posted yesterday on her Face book timeline.
“You have all played such a huge part in this journey that has only really just got going!!! So much more to come and I can’t wait …#icaniwillwatchme #samtheman #twohearts #rio2016 #teamzim ,” she added.
Commenting on Monday’s course that 18 horses and riders failed to complete she said,
“Riders that I really look up to were having problems so I thought we’ve got nothing to prove right now. Just get the horse home, take alternate routes, and be safe.”
That left her with time penalties, but only three riders of 65 managed to finish the 5 km obstacle course in the time allowed and several fell off trying.
Kruger had two rails down in the third and final show jumping phase of eventing on Tuesday, but gave her horse Biarritz a hearty pat on the neck as they finished to loud applause. The rider cleared a difficult cross country course that trapped many more experienced riders.
Having completed her participation in Rio 2016, Kruger has four years to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Japan. Though she lives in Britain, her national pride is obvious, with her country’s bright colours decorating her tailcoat and helmet.
Camilla Kruger grew up in Zimbabwe on her family’s farm riding race horses. She moved to England to finish school and train. She visits Zimbabwe on a regular basis helping friends with their horses and visiting family.
Article by Grant Moyo Twitter: @TotemGrant