World Orienteering Championships – Sprint Distance
The World Orienteering Championships are currently taking place in Lausanne, Switzerland. The team met up on Thursday in order to finalise their preparations before the first race on Saturday.
The Sprint Distance Race took place in Lausanne and the courses were fast and technical. In the women’s competition Simone Niggli-Luder (SUI) dominated the race and won her 6th Sprint WOC gold medal, which has lead to an 18th world title. She finished nearly 40 seconds ahead of Maja Alm (DEN) and Annika Billstam (SWE).
It was a good day for the British women, with Claire Ward finishing 7th and Tessa Hill just missing out on a top 10. Catherine Taylor finished in 38th. Claire said after her race “I aimed to enjoy the orienteering today and I really did. It was an interesting sprint course and I made a few small misses, but I am delighted with the result.” She is now looking forward to the Long Distance qualification. Tessa was very pleased with her result. She said “I lost time on two controls but the other athletes were very good out there today. For me it is a case of could have, should have, would have, but in general I know that my international performances continue to head in the upwards direction”.
Claire Ward (Credit - Dave Sprot)
Tessa Hill (Credit - Dave Sprot)
In the men’s race, Switzerland completed an historical hat trick with Matthias Kyburz taking gold by 17 seconds. Matthias Merz was second with another Matthias, this time Müller, finishing in third.
The British men backed up the women’s performances and Scott Fraser finished 4th, only 12 seconds out of the medals. He said “I am really disappointed to have lost the opportunity of a medal because I made mistakes, but at WOC one has to stay calm under pressure - in front of the cameras and thousands of spectators – Next Time!” Murray commented that the course was really tricky and that he knew that his poor routes at the start cost him.
Scott Fraser (Credit - Dave Sprot)
Murray Strain (Credit - Dave Sprot)
Our Team Manager, Dave Rollins commented on the days performances by saying “It was a great day for British Orienteering, two top tens and two11th places must be one of team GBR’s best ever days. The amazing thing is that it could have been so much better, it was so nearly 4 top tens and two medals they where all so close!”
Full results can be found on the World Orienteering Championships here
The athletes meet again today for the Long Distance qualification races in Ballens.
Posted on Sunday 15th July 2012