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Romania at the Olympic Games

Jockey Henri Rang

Romania at the Olympic Games
Romania at the Olympic Games

, 13.05.2024, 13:45

Romania’s first Olympic medal in an individual event was
won by the jockey Henri Rang in an equestrian contest in 1926, at the Berlin Olympic Games. A cavalry lieutenant, Rang shared the success with his horse Delfis. They came in second in the steeple-chasing event, winning the silver medal.

Rang and Delfis lost to the German lieutenant Kurt Hasse and his horse, Tora in a tie. It’s now clear what happened, with accounts of the tie diverging depending on the source. In an article carried by the Romanian sports magazine Gazeta Sporturilor at the time, Hasse and Tora were the first to ride into the arena. They miss the last steeple, however, and are penalised. It’s now the turn of the Romanian competitors, Rang and Delfis, who have a great start. Delfis rides the first steeples smoothly, and the German suddenly public go quiet. The gold medal is in sight, but Delfis also misses the last obstacle. The German public are ecstatic, knowing their favourite won, on account of the German jockey and horse having clocked a better time.

Very little is known today about lieutenant Henri Rang, except that he was born in 1902 and was part of golden generation of Romanian riders, alongside the likes of Felix Topescu. Henri Rang took part in top-level horse-riding competitions,
taking part in major international tournaments until the outbreak of World
War Two. He died in 1946, aged only 44.

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