EVERGREEN eventer Mark Todd remains in the hunt for his fourth Olympic medal after the cross-country section of the three-day event.
He was one second over the allotted time of 10 minutes and three seconds and picked up 0.4 time penalties to move to 39.50.
He sits behind German Ingrid Klimke and Sweden’s Sara Ostholt Algotsson on 39.30, both of whom went clear and under time.
It is the narrowest of margins, considering a dropped rail in the dressage equates to four penalties, but Todd was kicking himself a little for his time over the course.
“He was fantastic,” the 56-year-old told APNZ of his horse Campino.
“I knew I had to go out there and go hard early. It was a big ask for a young horse like this to go that quickly around a track like this … but I knew I had to keep pushing and asking the questions and he kept responding. It was slightly annoying to miss out by one second but I’m absolutely thrilled with him.”
Two clear rounds in tomorrow’s show jumping will guarantee a medal, and an error from both Klimke and Ostholt Algotsson would move him up to first equal.
A dropped rail could see him fall to seventh.
He is the oldest in the competition, having retired for eight years before returning for the 2008 Beijing games.
New Zealand are fourth in the team’s competition, but less than one rail behind Sweden in third and Great Britain in second.
Germany is first.
Nicholson, still hot after his controversial dressage ride yesterday, blitzed the course on Nereo and is now ninth on 45.00 and New Zealand’s third counter, Jonathan Paget, is in 14th on 48.90.
Like Todd, the team is very much in the hunt for a medal.