Junior World Orienteering Championships Middle Final
The final individual races of the Junior World Orienteering Championships took place today at Izra, 36km South East of Kosice and Charlotte Watson gave the team its 2nd top ten placing of the Championships so far. Great Britain had six athletes in the A final and six in the B. The B finalists were first off and, after a sleepless night caused by intense and dramatic thunder storms, the heavy rain continued for the entire race. The aim for all of the athletes was to run a 'clean' race with technical accuracy and finish with fresh legs for the relay tomorrow. All six came across the line with a smile of satisfaction for achieving that aim. A special mention should go to the youngest member of the team, Aidan Smith who finished 4th in the B Final.
The rain dried up and the sun came out in time for the finish of the A finalists. Duncan Birtwistle was first to leave and got off to a flying start, achieving the 9th fastest time of the day to the first control. By the end of the day his overall position was a very credible 38th. The next British athlete to enter the finish area was Rona Lindsay who reported an enjoyable and clean run. This has been a great JWOC for Rona who achieved top 60 in the sprint and the long (57th and 53rd respectively) and a superb top 30 place today (29th). Jonny Crickmore was the next athlete to cause excitement amongst the British supporters (who incidentally got a mention on the PA for being the best and loudest supporters of the competition!) Jonny's 2012 campaign has shown good improvement on last year's JWOC results and today he also landed a top 40 spot with 39th. He has another year's eligibility in this competition and is looking forward to improving further still in 2013.
Once Jonny was home and dry all eyes went to the coaching zone, where the athletes passed approximately 4 minutes before the finish. Jamie Stevenson came through neck and neck with the Swedish athlete, Martin Regborn, and the two of them were running hard. A few minutes later Jamie could be seen sprinting for the line with plenty of daylight between himself and the Swede. Jamie took approximately 10 seconds out of him after the last control. Jamie has also had a great JWOC 2012 campaign and finished 19th today. His aim was top 12, top 35, top 40 for Sprint, Long and Middle respectively. He fell short on the sprint but smashed his aims in the long and the middle. He said that he felt "a bit rusty" going into the race today but changed gear when Regborn went past him. "It gave me a kick up the backside after he caught me and I started orienteering better. I was navigating in the circle and spiking the controls. He did the running in between. He made a mistake at the last control and that's where I took advantage and ran away from him." When asked about his overall performances he said "I am most happy with my long performance. It was my best ever run at an International."
Jamie sprinting for the finish line in the middle final.
The next Brit to make an appearance in the finish arena was Charlotte Watson who ran a superb race to finish 9th. Charlotte summed up her week by saying "I hadn't been pleased with my week and the qualifier hadn't gone well: I think I was lucky to finish in an okay position. I felt like I had panicked each day so last night I went through the things that I was scared of and sorted out what I could and couldn't control. My mistakes earlier in the week had been made because I was trying too hard to make it happen. I decided that today, if it was technical, I would run slower and not be tempted to run too fast. I focused on orienteering. It wasn't an amazing run but I didn't make any big mistakes, only a few hesitations. I'm really pleased. I think it is my best run of the year."
Charlotte - best run of the year
Lucy Butt was the final British athlete home. After performing exceptionally well in the long race and the middle qualifier she was disappointed to finish outside the top 30 but was pragmatic about her run and is looking forward to the relay tomorrow.
Full results from the middle finals can be found here
Tomorrow's relay will see the British teams run as follows:
GBR 1 Jamie Stevenson, Peter Bray, Jonathan Crickmore
GBR 2 Aidan Smith, Thomas Fellbaum, Duncan Birtwistle
GBR 1 Lucy Butt, Florence Haines, Charlotte Watson
GBR 2 Katrin Harding, Rona Lindsay, Zoe Harding
Speaking about tomorrow's relay Jamie Stevenson said "We're looking forward to the relay tomorrow. The team is very even and we've had good relay practice in the British competitions. There's a good team spirit and we want to say 'thanks' to the coaches and supporters who have been there for us throughout this competition."
Posted on Thursday 12th July 2012