World Orienteering Championships – Relay
The WOC 2012 in Lausanne ended today with the Relay. In the women’s relay the first leg was hotly contested with five nations finishing within in less than 15 seconds of one another. On the second leg Merja Rantanen (FIN) made a mistake and Helena Jansson (SWE) took the lead 40 seconds ahead of the home nation Switzerland. Simone Niggli-Luder quickly reduced the 40 second deficit and built up a 2 minute lead on Sweden and by doing so secured her 20th world title. The battle for the bronze medal went to Norway who finished just ahead of Russia.
The British women finished in 10th and after their legs Sarah had mixed feelings about her performance. When asked she said “I had a mixed race because of the split decision I made on the way to number 7. I had to decide whether to do my thing or stay with the pack but unlike the Europeans I stayed with the pack and unfortunately then missed the control so I am gutted that I didn’t do my thing but I think that was because I was orienteering at a higher pace than I would normally be doing so. After that I settled into my routine, I was clean and dragged around the pack and we swept up a couple of athletes towards the end, so I was very satisfied with the second half of my race.”
From Left to Right - Cat Taylor, Sarah Rollins and Claire Ward (Credit Dave Rollins)
In the men’s race, it was also during the second leg where the race started to settle down where the first five teams were slightly ahead of the chasing pack. In an exciting finish Olav Lundenas (NOR), Anders Holmberg (SWE) and Jan Procházka (CZE) arrived at the last control together. The Czech runner found the energy to take the lead which meant that this is the first time that the Czech Republic have won a gold medal in the World Championships Relay. Norway finished in second, 5 seconds ahead of Sweden.
The British men finished in 16th place. Matt, who was selected to run in the team 2 days ago offered a brief run-down of his race and said “I lost two minutes on one control and then after that I had the legs to run a good race.” It was noted that Matt had run the last loop of the leg really quickly and he was asked about this. He commented “I was pleased with that but did feel slightly under-prepared. Next year will be different!”
From Left to Right - Matt Speake, Mark Nixon and Scott Fraser
Full results can be found on the World Orienteering Championships here
Posted on Saturday 21st July 2012