World Orienteering Championships – Middle Distance Final
In the Middle Distance Final today both the favorites of the day, Simone Niggli-Luder (SUI) and Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA) finished off the podium.
In the women’s race the Finnish Minna Kaupi dominated the race from start to finish and claimed her 3rd title in middle distance and 9th gold medal at a World Championship. The Swedish youngster Tove Alexandersson(2nd), won her first individual medal at an elite World Championship and Tatyana Riabkina (RUS) finished in 3rd.
The British women, Rachael, Claire and Helen came 21st, 22nd and 26th respectively. Our roving reported caught up with Rachael and Helen after they had finished.
Rachael was asked if the race was as she expected today and she said “Pretty much, it was quite tricky and quite varied in the terrain, so yeas just as I expected.” She was then asked what she felt about her result and she commented “I am a bit disappointed not to be in the Top 20. I thought when I finished that the run I had would get me a Top 20 as I was satisfied when I finished, so I can’t be disappointed with it.”
Rachael Rothman (Credit - Dave Sprot)
Asked how her WOC Middle Race went today, Helen Palmer could be heard over the sound of cow bells saying “I think a lot of it was good, but I got a really bad start. I was really insecure to the first control so I felt like I was losing time the whole way and it was a longish leg. But a lot of the race I ran quite well and she was please to beat two of the Norwegians (her adopted home country).” She was then asked about the terrain as the organisers had hinted that it was a bit special and she remarked “It was really cool terrain, there was a real mixture, some really fast running parts and some open alpine meadows. A lot of it was runnable so you needed to be aggressive and get on with it.
In the men’s race, after a particularly tight finish, Edgars Bertuks won Latvia its first gold medal at a World Championships. The Russian Valentin Novikov, finished in 2nd, 5 seconds behind him and Fabian Hertner (SUI) took the 3rd place ahead of the Frenchmen Thierry Gueorgiou and François Gonon.
A very emotional and disappointed Graham who finished 36th, but was the only British man to qualify for the Middle Distance Final, said immediately after his race “I made one big mistake; apart from that it it was technically good. I felt good in the first half, but then as soon as it started getting tough physically I just had nothing.” He was asked what he put the lack of energy down to and he replied “Lack of training over the last 3 months, and therefore just missing that extra % at the top that you need at this level. I had enough to qualify, but I felt flat today”.
Graham Gristwood (Credit - Dave Sprot)
Full results can be found on the World Orienteering Championships here
The athletes and coaching team have a rest day tomorrow to recharge their batteries and prepare for the Long Distance Final on Thursday and the Relay on Saturday. However, the British Team Coach, Toni Louhisola was asked for a reaction after the women’s race today and he said “It was as expected, both physical and technical so therefore challenging”.
Toni has been at the pre-start with the athletes every day so he was asked what he said to the athletes today before they started. He replied “I told them to relax. It was a further 10 minutes before they started today so there is no point in hyping them up too much as they have the time to get excited themselves, so I reminded them of the planning of each leg, and to do the basics well”.
Posted on Tuesday 17th July 2012