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Page last updated at 21:36 GMT, Saturday, 9 October 2010 22:36 UK

Joanne Eccles wins World Equestrian Games vaulting gold

Antje Hill of Germany performs on Airbus
Vaulting features gymnastic elements performed to music

Scotland's Joanne Eccles won individual vaulting gold at the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky on Saturday.

The 21-year-old, performing on WH Bentley, beat German duo Antje Hill and Simone Wiegele to become the first British world champion in the sport.

Glasgow-based Eccles' previous best finish at the Games was 10th in 2006.

But in 2009 she won European gold in the discipline, which combines gymnastic and dance elements performed to music on a cantering horse.

The win takes Britain's gold medal tally at Lexington's Kentucky Horse Park to six, making it the nation's most successful ever Games.

Eccles told BBC Sport: "I think I am still a little bit shocked. I had to wait until it appeared on the board to really believe it.

"I had a not-so-good first freestyle round, so I went into today looking to prove to everyone that I can perform really well.

"I was more going into it looking to enjoy my last time in the arena. You never know when you are going to be in that position again."

Eccles thought that her victory would benefit the sport in Britain.

"Coming from Britain, where the sport is so small, I am overwhelmed," she said.

"Vaulting has been improving and growing in Britain for the last couple of years and my medal last year helped everyone realise what can be achieved.

"But this will hopefully spur on everyone for next year."



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