Olympic gold medalist sells Plaza pad at a loss

One of the world’s highest-paid men buys landmark condo for $8.5M

German Olympic medalist Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff, a dressage horse rider who won gold at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul and was crowned world champion in 1990, has taken a hit on the sale of her apartment at The Plaza.

Linsenhoff, who first listed the apartment for sale with Sotheby’s International Realty in March 2011 and later switched to Elliman, sold the 1,996-square-foot spread for $8.5 million. That’s almost $1 million less than its original asking price of $9.49 million, according to public records filed with the city today. The equestrian bought the apartment for $9.76 million in 2007.

The buyer of the apartment was Dinesh Paliwal, one of the world’s highest paid men. Paliwal is the chairman, president and CEO of Harman International, an audio systems provider. The company was founded by the late Sidney Harman, the husband of former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, and the man who brought Newsweek magazine back from the brink of folding.

The two-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom home has direct views of Central Park.

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Jason Walker and Harry DiOrio represented Linsenhoff in the sale. The buyer did not have a broker, DiOrio said, though he declined to confirm the seller or buyer’s identity.

“[The buyer] contact me off of our listing and asked to see all the Park facing apartments at The Plaza,” DiOrio said.

According to a recent interview with Linsenhoff in the Wall Street Journal, the Olympian spends the majority of her time on a stud farm near Frankfurt in Germany. She chose to sell the Fifth Avenue pad, DiOrio said, because she simply wasn’t using it. Meanwhile, Paliwal reportedly spends most of his time in Greenwich, Conn. with his wife and two children.

Paliwal could not immediately be reached for comment.