Astier Nicolas, of France, riding Piafde B'Neville, celebrates after competing in the equestrian eventing team show jumping phase at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/John Locher)
John Locher
August 09, 2016

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) Michael Jung and Sam FBW are Olympic champions again.

The German pair won the eventing gold medal Tuesday at the Rio de Janeiro Games, their second straight Olympic title in the discipline.

At the 2012 London Games, Jung became the first rider to finish an Olympic eventing competition on his dressage score. They repeated that feat in Rio with another perfect round in the final showjumping phase.

''To do this twice with the same horse is very special,'' Jung said. ''It is unbelievable. An amazing feeling when you come in and your horse jumps so powerfully. In London, it felt the same. Sam is just amazing. A brilliant horse.''

Jung is only the third eventer to win back-to-back Olympic titles.

Astier Nicolas and Piaf de B'Neville took silver after knocking over a fence and picking up two time penalties on Tuesday. But for the 27-year-old Nicolas, it was his second medal of the day after helping France win team gold with a perfect first showjumping round.

''I had to jump clear for us to win and that's why I did it,'' said Nicolas, who was competing in his first Olympics. ''Unfortunately, I did less well in the second round.''

Phillip Dutton of the United States, who had come within one fence of an individual medal in every major championship since 1994, won bronze on Mighty Nice.

It was a first Olympic medal for Dutton with his adoptive country after winning two straight golds with the Australian eventing team in 1996 and 2000. He became a U.S. citizen in 2006.

''It's always good to be competitive,'' Dutton said. ''I wasn't expecting a medal today. I was pretty happy with fourth, I'm ecstatic with third.''

Earlier, double-clear showjumping rounds from Nicolas and Thibaut Vallette on Qing du Briot helped France to only its second gold medal in the team competition. They also won at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

France also included Mathieu Lemoine on Bart L. and Karim Laghouag on Entebbe. They finished with a score of 169.0, 3.8 points ahead of two-time defending Olympic champion Germany.

Germany had started the day in fourth but superb double-clear rounds for Jung and world champions Sandra Auffarth on Opgun Louvo and Ingrid Klimke on Hale-Bob OLD lifted the team to silver.

Australia slipped to third after Christopher Burton knocked two rails down. Sam Griffiths went clear but Stuart Tinney had one time and 16 jumping penalties.

There was disappointment for Mark Todd, who was bidding to become New Zealand's most successful Olympian ever. The 60-year-old Todd dropped four rails in the first round to leave his country in fourth place in the team event.

Todd, who had a perfect second round to finish seventh, has five medals - the same as canoeists Ian Ferguson and Paul Macdonald.

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