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Brazil grab equestrian gold and ticket to Tokyo

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LIMA (Reuters) – Brazil claimed the equestrian team jumping gold medal at the Pan Am Games on Wednesday, punching their ticket to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

The four-rider squad of Marlon Modolo Zanotelli, Eduardo Menezes, Rodrigo Lambre and Pedro Veniss posted a total score of 12.39 points to finish ahead of Mexico, who took the silver and the second of three available Olympic qualification slots.

“We came here to qualify for Tokyo. That was the main goal and, of course, to chase this gold medal,” said Menezes.

“It was a long journey to get here. It was an amazing journey together with these guys. This medal just gives the perfect end to it.”

The United States, already qualified for Tokyo thanks to their gold medal at last year’s World Equestrian Games, grabbed the bronze, handing the fourth placed Canadians the final Olympic qualification spot.

The U.S. finished just 0.12 points behind Mexico.

“We’re a little disappointed,” said U.S. team chief Robert Ridland.

“We were in the fight for the gold until the end and then the silver, and it slipped away.”

(Reporting by Steve Keating, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

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