Egypt's Nayel Nassar qualifies for equestrian final in Tokyo

Nassar, who is engaged to Jennifer Gates - daughter of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, progresses to jumping individual final

Egypt's Nayel Nassar has overcome his first hurdle at the Tokyo Olympics by qualifying for the jumping individual final.

The 30-year-old completed his routine with no penalties as he cleared the 17 obstacles to progress to the individual final on his horse Igor Van de Wittemoere.

Nassar was ranked 35th in the world when he qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. He entered the Games under a fair amount of media glare; he is engaged to Jennifer Gates, daughter of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, after all.

The showjumper was born in Chicago but grew up in Kuwait, where his family members still reside. In 2009, he moved back to California to complete his degree in economics.

Ahead of Nassar's qualifier, Gates had wished him best on social media.

“I support many athletes in the Tokyo Olympics at the moment, but there is no athlete I support more than my son-in-law Nayel Nassar. Good luck Nayel,” Gates said on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Britain's Ben Maher on his horse Explosion led the equestrian show jumping qualifiers on Tuesday, followed by Ireland's Kenny Darragh at the Baji Koen Equestrian Park in Setagaya.

US rider Jessica Springsteen, daughter of singer Bruce Springsteen, did not qualify after knocking down one obstacle on the course.

Germany's world No1 Daniel Deusser and world No2, Switzerland's Martin Fuchs, also qualified for the individual finals. Team medals will be decided on Saturday after the individual contest.

Updated: August 4th 2021, 11:06 AM