June 25 (Reuters) - Equestrian rider Andrew Hoy will make his eighth Olympic appearance, the most by an Australian, after he was named in the country’s team for the Tokyo Games on Friday.
Three-times gold medallist Hoy becomes the 13th athlete in Olympic history to make it to eight Games.
The 62-year-old, who made his Olympic debut in Los Angeles in 1984, will surpass rider Bill Roycroft as the oldest Australian male competitor at a Games.
“I have never set out to break records on my number of Olympic Games participations,” said Hoy, who along with Chris Burton and Shane Rose will compete in eventing.
“I am just a country boy from Culcairn (town in New South Wales), who loves his horses, has a huge passion for our sport and thrives on being competitive at the top end.”
Aiming for a fourth gold at Tokyo, Hoy will ride Vassily de Lassos, a 12-year-old gelding owned by David and Paula Evans, and will be aided by groom Clementine Girardeau.
Mary Hanna joins Hoy in setting records, becoming the first woman to make six Australian Olympic teams. The 66-year-old, Australia’s oldest competing Olympian, will take part in the dressage event along with Simone Pearce and Kelly Layne.
The Tokyo Games, delayed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will begin on July 23. (Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )