Japan’s Yoshiaki Oiwa and Noonday de Conde produced a sensational test to take the individual lead in the closing stages of eventing dressage at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park (GBR) today. The quiet-spoken 36-year-old admitted afterwards that he could hardly believe it.

“I’m a bit shocked,” he said at the post-competition press conference. “Nobody expected it–as you can see there are not many Japanese media here.”

The pair earned a score of 38.10 which took the individual lead and rocketed Japan up into fifth place in the teams. (See the full individual leaderboard here and the full team leaderboard here.)

Elsewhere, Italy’s Stefano Brecciaroli and Apollo WD Wendi Kurt Hoev slotted into second place while New Zealand’s Mark Todd, aboard Campino moved into third. Both Oiwa and Todd’s results proved pivotal for their teams, with Japan rising to fill sixth place in the team rankings behind the Kiwis, who go into tomorrow’s cross-country phase in joint-fourth along with Sweden.