World Orienteering Championships – Long Distance Final
Today, in Mauvernay Simone Niggli-Luder won her 19th world title, although she had to fight hard for the win after an error in the middle part of the course. Minna Kauppi (FIN), the winner of the Middle Distance final, took second place and Annika Billstam (SWE) won her second bronze medal of the World Championships in Lausanne.
The British women Claire Ward, Helen Bridle and Sarah Rollins came 25th, 36th and 37th respectively. Helen was interviewed straight after she had finished the 12km course and the longest Long Distance final that she has run and she said of her run “I ran mostly around the paths and I don’t think I went through the forest until leg 7-8 which is the first leg I mad a small mistake on. I thought my routes were pretty good and I was quite happy with how things were going until the run through where I started to get tired, the where the course went through green areas.”
Helen Bridle (Credit Dave Sprot)
Sarah’s comments echoed those of Helen’s. She was asked how she got on in the forest and she said “I didn’t spend much time in the forest because it was a track running race today. My result is rubbish because I made a large mistake where I lost my place on the leg because I was planning ahead. Physically though I feel strong and I am really looking forward to the Relay on Saturday.”
Sarah Rollins (Credit Dave Sprot)
In the men’s race, Olav Lunanes (NOR) who led the race from start to finish won his second gold medal in the Long Distance discipline, the first being in Trondheim in 2010. He was almost 3 minutes ahead of the second place athlete Matthias Merz (SUI) and the winner of the Middle Distance final, the Latvian Edgars Bertuks came third to complete the podium.
Scott Fraser managed to finish a disappointing 20th by his standards and after he had time to reflect on his performance he commented “I didn’t have the juice from the start, and I’m not sure why. I felt pretty tired! I had quite a bad start technically as well, but I got into the course. However after 30 minutes I was struggling physically and I’m not sure if it was because of the heat. Towards the end I was aware that I was working hard for every step so it was brutal. My tactics were to go out hard at the start and hang on in there, but right from the start I felt that I didn’t have much in the legs.” Scott is now recovering and has said he will do everything he can to be ready for the Relay on Saturday.
Scott Fraser (Credit Martin Ward)
Full results can be found on the World Orienteering Championships here
On Saturday the athletes meet again at the Chalet-a-Gobet for the Relay which will bring WOC 2012 to an end.
Posted on Thursday 19th July 2012