The final race of the 2019 World Orienteering Championships was the Forest Relay.
Sweden took the Women’s Relay title at the end of an exciting battle with Switzerland on a very wet last day of Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships in Mørk, Norway; Karolin Ohlsson out-sprinted Julia Jakob on the run-in, so reversing last year’s result. Russia took bronze, finishing just ahead of Norway.
The third leg developed into a straight race for gold between Julia Jakob, Switzerland and Karolin Ohlsson, Sweden. Jakob was just ahead for much of the last part of the leg, but didn’t have the strength and speed at the end and was 4 seconds behind Ohlsson at the line. Then Natalia Gemperle (Russia) and Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg (Norway) emerged from the forest together, and it was Gemperle with the stronger legs to bring Russia into bronze medal position.
In the men's Relay last leg runner Gustav Bergman went out in third place on the last leg for Sweden, but with a confident run he overhauled both Finland and Norway to bring Sweden to gold by 1.34. Finland held on for the silver medals, and France pulled up a place to take the bronze.
Leg three was memorable in particular for the dominating run by Gustav Bergman. Setting off 1.22 down, he had Norwegian Magne Dæhli in sight by the arena passage, and after a mistake by Dæhli, almost caught up with him. “I could see Dæhli, looking over his shoulder from time to time to see where I was, so I knew he was stressed,” said Bergman afterwards. “ I knew then that if I ran my own race I would win.” And so it proved, with Dæhli making another mistake at the end of a long leg and not being seen by Bergman again.
Great Britain’s women's team finished in 9th place with Charlotte Watson on Leg 1; Megan Carter Davies on Leg 2 and Cat Taylor on Leg 3. Great Britain’s men’s team finished in 17th place with Peter Hodkinson on Leg 1; Graham Gristwood on Leg 2 and Ralph Street on Leg 3.
The women’s result means topping Division 2 of the Nations League and promotion to Division 1.
This means that Great Britain’s women will have three long spaces at WOC 2021.
Megan Carter Davies
"It was great to be part of the team and I’m happy with how I ran my Leg. I think I did the best job I could do. Still a few mistakes but in general it was fast and I tried to be secure where I needed to be."
"I'm pleased to have kept it together on my first WOC Relay. I managed to stay in the pack I was with but had hoped to have been able to run a bit faster."
Official results: Women Relay
1 Sweden 01:35:49 +00:00:00
2 Switzerland 01:35:53 +00:00:04
3 Russian Federaon 01:36:56 +00:01:07
4 Norway 01:37:02 +00:01:13
5 Czech Republic 01:40:31 +00:04:42
6 Finland 01:42:01 +00:06:12
7 Estonia 01:43:19 +00:07:30
8 Denmark 01:45:08 +00:09:19
9 Great Britain 01:45:13 +00:09:24
10 Austria 01:47:39 +00:11:50
Official Results - Mens Relay
1 Sweden 01:40:42 +00:00:00
2 Finland 01:42:16 +00:01:34
3 France 01:42:25 +00:01:43
4 Czech Republic 01:42:32 +00:01:50
5 Norway 01:42:37 +00:01:55
6 Switzerland 01:43:25 +00:02:43
7 Austria 01:46:12 +00:05:30
8 Ukraine 01:47:18 +00:06:36
9 Latvia 01:48:17 +00:07:35
10 Germany 01:49:18 +00:08:36
17 Great Britain 01:54:30 +00:13:48
Find more results here: Official results
For more information about the World Orienteering Championships and the Relay: https://www.woc2019.no/en/
Congratulations to the GB Team.
Photo credits: Rob Lines