After the enjoyable and energetic performances at the opening ceremony in downtown Grodno yesterday evening a refreshed and re-enthused EYOC team headed north east of the city for the forest relays.
The terrain was more of the same from the long distance, though less thick and dense undergrowth, which brought the traditionally strong countries back to the top of the results with Finland taking 3 of the 4 gold medals available. Full results from the relays are available here.
The 16’s team made up of GB debutants Jim Bailey, Joe Hudd and Rachel Brown put together a strong race to finish just off the podium in 7th. Jim led the team out well handing over to Joe in 5th, Joe bounced back well from his disappointment on Friday with a strong clean run gaining a spot to 4th. Rachel fought hard and had very few mistakes up against the top nation's top runners for podium places with some of the runners commenting on how well she was hitting the controls.
Flurry Grierson backed up his performance yesterday with what was the fourth fastest leg 2 in the M18 relays. Matthew Gooch recovered well from the Long distance and delivered a very clean and controlled final leg which but for an unfortunate mispunch on the first leg would have brought the team in to a top 10 finish.
The W18’s didn’t fare so well and struggled in the still quite green forest to finish 22nd. The team spirit and support for each other never waivered throughout the day. The team are recovering before the friendship dinner this evening and looking ahead to the sprint where many have high hopes of some good results.