Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza secures Tokyo 2020 berth

The 27-year-old is the first Indian to win an Olympic berth in equestrian since 2000.

By Jay Lokegaonkar

Fouaad Mirza ended India's drought in equestrian at the Olympics by topping his group in the individual event category of the qualifiers for South East Asia and Oceanic, winning a quota for Tokyo 2020.

The 27-year-old scored 64 points from six qualifying events, 34 of which came on his first horse Fernhill Facetime, and other 30 on his second horse Touchingwood.

Making history

Mirza, who won two silver medals at the Asian Games in 2018, could become India's third equestrian participant in the Olympics, after Indrajit Lamba (Atlanta 1996) and Imtiaz Anees (Sydney 2000).

The Bengaluru native had to compete in four-star-level Olympic qualifier tournaments and finish among the top 25 percent of the participants to score points. What makes Mirza's feat even more remarkable is the fact that the rider managed to secure the berth with his second and third-choice horses, after his primary horse, Seigneur Medicott, was sidelined through injury.

While he has secured a place at the Tokyo Olympics, Mirza will have to wait for official confirmation from the International Equestrian Federation (FEI), which is scheduled to be announced on February 20, 2020.