The first race of the European Orienteering Championships took place a few metres away from the famous Roman Amphitheatre Arean in Verona, with the Individual Sprint Qualification and Finals.
In the Men’s competition, Great Britain had a strong team and with good performances across the qualification round, four of the six athletes secured a place in the final. Set on a very quick, flat course it was Ralph Street who came out on top finishing in an agonising joint 4th place, just missing the medals by 1 second, tying with Martin Regborn (SWE).
Nathan Lawson came in 20th place, and Peter Hodkinson made an excellent return to international competition following a long-standing injury finishing 32nd, with Jonny Crickmore in 41st.
Mattias Kyburz (SUI) was crowned in victory with Kasper Fosser (NOR) in 2nd, and Tuomas Heikkila (FIN) in 3rd – just five seconds separated the top 3.
In the Women’s event Sara Hagström (SWE) took the title ahead of her team mate Tove Alexandersson (SWE) and Simona Aerbersold (SUI) finished in 3rd place.
Megan Carter- Davies was the only British Woman who qualified having an excellent start winning her heat and was up with the leaders for the first part of the race; however a costly mistake saw her having to turn back on herself, leaving her with too much to do and she finished in 13th place.
|Ralph Street – 4th||Megan Carter-Davies – 13th|
|Nathan Lawson – 20th||Charlotte Ward –17th Q3|
|Peter Hodkinson – 32nd||Rachel Brown – 21st Q3|
|Jonathan Crickmore – 41st||Cecilie Andersen – 22nd Q1|
|Eddie Narbett – 26th Q3||Kirstin Maxwell – 27th Q2|
|Peter Molloy – 26th Q1||Mairi Eades – 32nd Q1|
|Pippa Carcas – Mispunch (MP)|
On Friday the Mixed Sprint Relay will take place, comprising a strong British Team of Nathan Lawson, Charlotte Ward, Ralph Street and Megan Carter-Davies.It will be followed by the Knock- Out Sprint on Sunday.
With thanks to Robert Lines.