World Cup 2017 Round 3 – RELAY
It was an enthralling day for the two British teams with both fighting it out for the podium positions to the end of the two races. The great news came from the women's team finishing in the 5th. The men's team fought hard till the end at one point being in 3rd position after Leg 2 but ultimately in the end finished in 9th place.
In the women's race, Cat Taylor started the team off and ran impressively to finish in 2nd place. Hollie Orr taking over on 2nd leg ran well over the course despite an early miss and managed to keep the team in podium contention finishing in 5th place (5 nation). Charlotte Watson on the final leg also ran well bringing the team into 9th place overall and 5th nation. A great result from the team and good results from everyone and with next year's World Championships in Latvia this gives them the confidence that a podium place is a real possibility.
Swiss women and Swedish men proved best in the Relays at the World Cup in Latvia – but it was Sweden’s second team that triumphed with their first team ending fourth. The women’s race featured a frantic sprint finish.
A fascinating last Leg in the women’s race saw Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson pitted against Switzerland’s Sabine Hauswirth, with Alexandersson setting out 14 seconds down. Two very determined athletes raced through the intricate terrain with only occasional glimpses of each other for much of the course, and at one stage it looked as though Alexandersson might take the upper hand. But it was Hauswirth who came away from the last control with the slightest of leads and managed to hang on in front all the way to the line.
The Finnish third team took third place, to their own great surprise as much as everyone else’s. Their success was down in particular to last-leg runner Anna Haataja, gold medallist in the Junior World Championships Long Distance race last year, who picked up the necessary four places already by the first TV control and was fully up with the pace after that.
Leading results, Relay (first-to-finish teams only for each nation)
1st Switzerland (Elena Roos, Julia Gross, Sabine Hauswirth) 1:43:35
2nd Sweden (Sara Hagström, Emma Johansson, Tove Alexandersson) 1:43:36
3rd Finland (Kirsi Nurmi, Miia Niittynen, Anna Haataja) 1:45:25
4th Russia 1:51:44
5th Great Britain (Cat Taylor, Hollie Orr, Charlotte Watson) 1:52:29
6th Latvia 1:53:21
In the men's race, Hector Haines was on the first leg running well to bring the team in 10th place and crucially in touch with the leading groups. Ralph Street on the second leg ran an intelligent race navigating and running well to bring the team up into 3rd. Peter Bray on the final leg ran a brave race in his first senior relay in the face of a number of senior world championship medalists. Peter battled hard to finish up in 13th place and 9th nation. It was a valuable experience for the team as they look to compete for medals in next year's World Championships.
The men’s race saw victory for the Swedish team of Jonas Leandersson, Albin Ridefelt and William Lind. Ridefelt came in first at the end of the second leg having taken over in sixth place, and Lind had a comfortable win by more than a minute. Switzerland with Matthias Kyburz and Daniel Hubmann in the team finished second. Russia came third, with last-leg runner Dmitry Tsvetkov improving their position by 3 places.
1st Sweden (Jonas leandersson, Albin Ridefelt, William Lind) 2:06:21
2nd Switzerland (Florian Howald, Matthias Kyburz, Daniel Hubmann) 2:07:29
3rd Russia (Dmitrii Nakonechnyi, Valentin Novikov, Dmitry Tsvetkov) 2:07:52
4th Norway 2:10:14
5th Latvia 2:10:51
6th France 2:12:37
9th Great Britain (Hector Haines, Ralph Street, Peter Bray) 2:14:19
Catching up with the Great Britain team after the Relay races, the athletes tell Jennie Taylor, Communications Officer at British Orienteering about their individual performances.
Cat Taylor (GBR), said: “I enjoyed my first Leg run and felt like I kept my head in the start and ran well tactically, using other runners where helpful but always keeping track of what I was doing. Apart from falling hard near the end, it went well. It was great to share the result with Hollie and Charlotte and it's a good place to build on with the squad towards next year.”
Hollie Orr (GBR), said: “The team feeling towards the Relay has been getting more and more exciting in the last years, so the opportunity for us to have the chance to race the top nations outside the World Orienteering Championships was one not to be missed. We went in with a positive approach and some slightly different tactics in mind. What we came away with was a step forward even though we might have been dwelling a little on what might have been. I was both very happy with my race and very disappointed. I made a large error at no 1 after Cat’s storming first Leg. However, I managed to hold it together for the rest of the race and fight until the end.”
Charlotte Watson (GBR), said: “Hollie and Cat did a great job to send us out in a good position. I wasn't particularly satisfied with my run. Some parts were good but there are areas where much improvement is needed. A lot learnt and excited to train for Latvia 2018."
Hector Haines (GBR), said: "I knew that I could run quite well today and took confidence from yesterday, as I knew that scrappy mistakes, although a feature of individual orienteering, tend to be less in Relays - particularly in the first Leg. I was happy in the end. I could have been a bit more confident in my orienteering in the last loop and gaffles but another decent International Relay performance to build on for future races!"
Ralph Street (GBR), said: “I knew that the race would be long and tough, especially at the end, so I really tried not to run too fast over the first couple of controls. I lost a bit of time technically on the first loop, but also gained time with a good route choice. This put me in a big group at the arena passage and from there the challenge was to keep up and not do anything stupid. Some minor mistakes were made in the final section, but they were made by the entire pack so were not very significant, and the keeping up was painfully achieved.”
Full details and results will be posted each day on Liveorienteering.com and orienteering.org. Full details and results can be found on the event website www.wcup2017.lv.