Equestrian Karlsson confident of reaching final round at Tokyo Games | Daily News

Equestrian Karlsson confident of reaching final round at Tokyo Games

Mathilda Karlsson in action
Mathilda Karlsson in action

Equestrian Mathilda Karlsson is confident that she could reach the final round when she begins her campaign at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, commencing on Friday.

The 37-year-old, who was born in the Island nation and adopted by a Swedish couple, is the first Sri Lankan equestrian to compete at an Olympic Games.

“This is the first time that I have got the opportunity of competing at the Olympics and it’s a dream come true for me and I am very happy to compete under the Sri Lankan flag,” she stressed.

“I always worked hard to gain this Olympic slot. My trainers gave their best and their support was really important. They knew how to get me prepared for the Olympics.”

“I had a big challenge and the main thing was to qualify for the Games and it was very tough but I never went backwards,” she emphasised.

“We have to show our skills in this sport to improve our rankings and finally the FEI decide all.”

“The change of climate at different competitions is always a challenge for the horse. The humidity is very high in Tokyo but we have to adjust well to compete in this sport.”

“I have plenty of experience of having participated in different types of competitions around the world and now I am looking forward to the Olympics, which is the pinnacle of my career.”

“I have always competed with a high level of confidence and had never thought about the rankings,” she commented.

“My first goal is to enter the final round at this Olympics and I would love to go beyond that and win a medal for my country,” she smiled.

“The sport of choice for young children in Sweden is horseback riding. Riding schools are filled with antsy little girls, enjoying their time spent with small, furry ponies.”

“Every little girl goes to these riding schools. But it’s like a social thing because all your friends go, so you go because you want to be with your friends.”

“But once I got older, everyone kind of dropped off and I stayed because I just really fell in love with the horses and that is the success of my story as a show jumper.”

“I was on the team with Rolf-Göran Bengtsson and he’s someone I look up to a lot. We would walk the course together and he had so many good tips and advice that I would never have thought of.”

“I learned a lot just by watching [him and John Whitaker] and being around them,” she explained.

“What was really important was that they were very competitive people but they showed me that every week is a new week and even if you have a bad round, no one is going to think about it except for yourself.”

“I was always worried about what other people would think but they taught me how important it is to just let it go and my entire focus is on the Olympics,” she concluded.

Mathilda Karlsson is the first Sri Lankan equestrian to compete at Olympics


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