The Great Britain team of Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC), Tom Dobra (BOK) and John Kewley (MDOC) took the Bronze medal in the Open class of the World TrailO Relay at Cidral at the weekend after a dramatic finish, followed by a successful appeal over an incorrectly sited control.
In the World TrailO Championships Relay, there were 30 PreO controls laid out in the area with the athletes having select and visit 10 controls each in turn, followed by one TempO station with five tasks. As the controls can be visited in any order, this often leads to the final leg runner being left with the most difficult controls.
Penalty points are accumulated, with 60 points for every incorrect PreO control, and 30 seconds penalty for an incorrect TempO control, the team with the least penalties being the winner.
The final leg runners, having completed their PreO section, are then held in quarantine, and then solve their TempO problems at a public control viewed by spectators, with the teams being called in reverse order.
At this point, before the TempO section, Great Britain lay in fourth place, having apparently made one mistake in the PreO and with an error apiece for Tom and Charles in their TempO.
In a nail-biting finish, the Italian competitor, lying sixth, needed to answer quickly at the TempO station to advance his team and made several errors. The remaining the top five finishers kept their nerve and made no mistakes in any of their answers, leaving Great Britain in 4th position, a matter of seconds behind Spain.
Tom Dobra was unhappy about the placing of the flag at PreO control 21 which he had got wrong, as had most of the top teams, and Great Britain and Germany raised an official complaint about it.
The planner and advisors went out to visit the control, decided that it was incorrectly sited and decided to void the control.
This had the effect of removing the 60 seconds penalty from a number of teams including Great Britain who now had nor errors in the PreO section. Finland, who also had no PreO or TempO errors, kept their hold on the Gold medal but Spain now moved to second place and Silver, and Great Britain into 3rd and Bronze, dropping the Slovakian team to fourth.
This was the first British medal in the World TrailO Championships Relay class since it was introduced four years ago, and follows the Bronze medal the team won at ETOC in Slovakia last year.
GOLD MEDAL: FINLAND
Pinja Makinen (FIN)
Sami Hyvonen (FIN)
Antti Rusanen (FIN)
SILVER MEDAL: SPAIN
Hector Lorenzo Yustos (SPA)
Jorge CaracaValente Barrera (SPA)
Arturo Garcia Dengra (SPA)
BRONZE MEDAL: GREAT BRITAIN
Charles Bromley Gardner (GBR)
Tom Dobra (GBR)
John Kewley (GBR)
British Orienteering would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Charles, Tom and John on their world winning medal performances.