GOLD Medallists – Megan Keith, Grace Molloy, Fiona Bunn.
Grace Molloy (Forth Valley Orienteers) recently won a Bronze medal in the 2019 JWOC Women's Sprint , another Bronze medal in the 2019 JWOC Women's Long distance and the Gold medal in the 2019 JWOC Women's Relay team with Megan Keith (Inverness Orienteering Club) and Fiona Bunn (Thames Valley Orienteering Club) for Great Britain.
At the final control, Grace punched 14 seconds ahead and was joined by Megan and Fiona for the run in, finishing with a forward roll over the finish line to put the icing on the cake of the best British week at the Junior World Championships ever!
Jennie Taylor Communications Officer at British Orienteering caught up with Grace Molloy from Forth Valley Orienteers (FVO) after this year's exciting Junior World Orienteering Championships held in Denmark.
Club: Forth Valley Orienteers
Jennie Taylor (JT): Many congratulations Grace on your junior world-class medal winning orienteering performances this year at JWOC!
JT: How does it feel to be a World GOLD medal Junior Orienteering Relay Champion?
Grace: "Insane. We knew going into the race that we were good enough as a team to at least get a medal in the Relay but to actually win the gold medal was amazing. I'm still very much not over it and will be buzzing with that for a really long time."
JT: What was the last piece of advice your coach said to you before you competed?
Grace: "To be honest, no idea! I was very focused on the race to come."
JT: What one or two things did you do in your training that helped you to win?
Grace: "I did lots of high quality orienteering. From March this year I either had a multiday competition or a training camp every week bar one. I raced all of the major British races and went on six training camps abroad - five of which were with my Finnish club Kalevan Rasti, including racing the Danish test races, Tiomila and Venla."
"Consistent physical training. I did a high volume of physical training with no breaks for injury or illness. This meant I was able to feel strong through each race and also the whole JWOC programme so I was not fatigued for the Relay."
"This wasn't really in my training but I think a big factor in my results at JWOC was being able to keep a cool head and recover well from any mistakes. Especially in the Relay it would have been easy to get too focused on the pressure and potential for a top result and not on just completing the course as well as I could."
JT: Do you hear the crowd roaring when you were running?
Grace: "Yes, especially during the spectator run through but I was concentrating on looking ahead at the final loop. It was the best crowd I have experienced when running for GB and to have so many people cheering me on really spurred me on in all the races."
JT: What would you rather be doing right this second – rather than answering these questions?
Grace: "Racing in some quality forest would be high up the list. However lying on a beach somewhere sunny also sounds good!"
JT: What do you feel when you look at your GOLD medal?
Grace: "Still pretty surprised but also really proud."
JT: How proud are you of your other two GB Relay team-mates?
Grace: "They both put in very impressive performances and I am so happy for them that they were able to have races they were pleased with. One of the best things about competing for Great Britain is that the girls who you have been working so hard to beat in the British races are on your team. I've been racing against Fiona since we were about 12 and we have been to so many competitions, training camps and holidays together so she is a really good friend of mine. I've also completely blown a few Relays where she has had strong runs! Although we tried to play it down there was a lot of pressure on the team after the results earlier in the week and Megan coped really well with that, especially considering this was her first competitive Relay for GB. She's also just super lovely and modest and I look forward to hopefully winning the Relay with her again next year!!"
JT: What will you always remember about this World Championships?
Grace: "The fab team, supporters, terrain, performances, results. It was just such a fun week."
JT: How did you celebrate back home?
Grace: "The celebrations started with the JWOC party. The week after JWOC, I went to Oringen with a big group of friends which was a great opportunity to spend time with them and also enjoy some stress free orienteering in excellent terrain."
JT: What do you plan to do over the next couple of weeks?
Grace: "I'm going to Turkey on a training camp to prepare for JWOC next year and then I am starting to get ready for beginning university."
JT: Congratulations to you Grace as earlier in the week you also won two BRONZE medals in a row at the Junior World Orienteering Championships! Bronze in the Sprint final and Bronze in the Long distance Final.
JT: Tell me how does it feel to be the 2019 World BRONZE Junior Sprint medallist?
Grace: "A bit weird to be honest. It was my goal since I started competing seriously to win a medal in my final JWOC 2020 but I didn't think I was capable of achieving it this year. My goal for this year was a top 10 in one of the individual races but I thought if I nailed it I could get a top 6. I also thought it would take a perfect race to get a medal but I made quite a large mistake to control 1. So I was delighted but it also felt like I hadn't performed well enough to deserve to be a JWOC medallist."
JT: What was the first thing you thought when you came sprinting in to the Finish?
Grace: "I was just trying to run as fast as I could. I had heard on the commentary from the pre-warning control that I was in to 3rd place so I knew my position coming in to the arena. I was extremely happy with this but I knew there were still lots of girls to finish who I expected to beat me but none of them did!"
JT: How does it feel to also be World BRONZE Junior Long distance medallist?
Grace: "It is awesome. I was really happy with my performance in the Long distance. It wasn't perfect but it was pretty clean and I wasn't surprised to come into 2nd place. It was a tense wait to find out where I would finish but to take another bronze medal was amazing. I did feel like I really earned this one and I would have been very satisfied if the week had ended there."
JT: How did you feel on the podium when you received your first BRONZE medal in the Sprint?
Grace: "I was still quite shocked because the prize giving was straight after the race but it was fantastic to step on to the podium and see the British team, my family and lots of other friends cheering for me."
JT: What were you thinking about as you stood on the podium for a second time to receive another BRONZE medal in the Long?
Grace: "There were some issues with the results of the Long distance so I had to wait for three days to receive my medal for this one. I was really proud to be on the podium again and I was also very happy because Fiona had just won Silver in the Middle which meant a lot to me for her to get a top result."
JT: Who was the first person you showed your medals to when you returned back to Great Britain?
Grace: "My neighbour, Bill, is one of my biggest supporters and he wouldn't even let me go into my house before I showed my medals to him."
Many congratulations Grace on your junior world-class medal winning orienteering performances this year at JWOC! Winning a Gold medal and two Bronze medals for Great Britain is an awesome achievement! Well done. We wish you all the very best with your University studies and with your on-going training for the 2020 season.
Photo credits: IOF / JWOC 2019
Congratulations to all the GB team. This was the best British week at the Junior World Championships EVER!
Read more news stories from the 2019 Junior World Orienteering Championships here:
JWOC 2019 Relays. Women win GOLD 🥇 and the boys finish 6th!
Junior World Championship Silver Medal for Bunn!
Mixed Fortunes for Young GB Team In JWOC Middle Qualifier
Grace Molloy wins two Bronze Medals in two days!
Grace Molloy 2019 Junior World Orienteering Championships Bronze Medallist
2019 Junior World Orienteering Championships Starts This Weekend