Irish Olympian Natalya Coyle gave a heartbreaking reaction to her Olympic modern pentathlon disappointment in Tokyo this morning.
Coyle’s dreams were shattered after a her horse Constantin essentially went rogue on her, all but ending her medal hopes.
Coyle was brave and inspirational but clearly devastated when speaking to RTÉ's Paul O'Flynn after the event.
'It's not the way I wanted to finish out my career' - @Natalyacoyle incredibly disappointed with how the showjumping transpired #Tokyo2020 #RTESport #modernpentathlon #RTESport
📺 Watch - https://t.co/lLKXNhKPkF
📱 Updates - https://t.co/rrhIHZ9LpR pic.twitter.com/iQFxefud1H
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) August 6, 2021
It was a cruel blow to Coyle, who was competing in her third an final Olympics and on the verge of a medals place before the jumping began. On the quirks of pentathlon is that riders share their horses. The horses in Tokyo today were not in cooperative form, making the event very distressing for viewers at home.
She finished the event in 19th place before placing 24th in the end.
“It’s just really upsetting,” she said. “I was coming here to do a lot better. Especially after the fencing I thought I was in with a shout.
“I watched the girl before me not being able to get through the trebles so I knew that it might give me trouble.
“But I thought I might be able to handle it but obviously not. It’s the way I wanted to finish out my career but hopefully in a day or two I can look back on it and be happy with at least coming third in the fencing.”
Coyle had the presence of mind to mention Kellie Harrington and wished her well in her pursuit of gold on Sunday morning.
“I remember my dad saying at my first games that you can train as hard as you want, but you’ll never know with the horse.
It’s a lottery and in the last two games I have been lucky and in the third I’ve been not so lucky. I’ll have to take a bit of time to look back on it now.
I’m really proud to make three games and it’s definitely not how I wanted to end things.
It’s bittersweet because I was so close and then had it snatched away from me.
But I’ll take a bit of time and hopefully watch Kellie [Harrington] go on and win gold, which would be a really nice [way] to see out the games.
I’m thinking have I done my coaches justice today? And I don’t think I did. It’s really disappointing.
I’ve been so lucky with an amazing career. I’ve got to stand on podiums and got to go to three games. There’s lots of rainbows.
Hopefully people can realise that while it’s sad now, there’s definitely good moments in it and it’s worth it.