JWOC kicks off this morning, with the Long taking place at Pirto, around an hour from the event centre in Kecskemet. The team have spent the last three days training on the relevant areas and re-establishing their knowledge of the terrain from their previous trips.
Front – left to right: Alex Carcas, Eddie Narbett, Aidan Rigby, Alastair Thomas, Matthew Fellbaum, Daniel Spencer.
Back – left to right: Grace Molloy, Niamh Hunter, Chloe Potter, Fiona Bunn, Emma Wilson, Laura King.
Grace Molloy and Fiona Bunn, having sealed top 20 positions in last year's Long race in Finland, will be keen to replicate this success and they were feeling confident about their chances. Yesterday Grace said: "The Long race has been my primary focus this year and I feel that I'm in decent shape, both physically and technically, to do well here. It's about keeping relaxed and putting a whole race performance together tomorrow."
Also, in the W20 class, will be JWOC debutants: Emma Wilson; Laura King and Niamh Hunter, along with final year 20, Chloe Potter, who is back for her second JWOC. All have their specific targets for this race and will be hoping to keep it as clean as possible, as the race is likely to be quick on this relatively flat, blocked, sand dune laden forest, and any mistakes will soon be punished by others.
In the men's class, the second year M20 contingent of Matthew Fellbaum, Aidan Rigby and Alex Carcas have spent several years in the squad building for this, their final JWOC, with a range of experience gained at EYOC, JEC and last year's JWOC contributing to their growing assurance at this level. All three have trained well this season and were laying down some impressive times in their pre-competition running sessions. The Long should suit them all and they hope to leave their mark on this race and lay foundations for the remainder of the week's programme. First-time JWOC athletes, Alastair Thomas, Daniel Spencer and Eddie Narbett, make up the rest of the men's team and all are looking forward to experiencing the terrain and the race atmosphere and using this as a stepping stone for their future international careers.
British Orienteering wishes the GB team all the very best for a successful week as they compete at the Junior World Orienteering Championships.
Keep up-to-date and follow the day's action at the Junior World Orienteering Championships here.