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
Today (Saturday, 17 August) is the last competition at this year's World Orienteering Championships with the Relay for men and women.
The arena is being held at Mørk, about 30 minutes from Moss and 40 minutes from Sarpsborg.
The terrain is undulating and detailed, with relatively small height differences in the eastern part and some higher hills in the western part. Total height differences about 60 m. Mostly good runnability and medium visibility. In some parts the ground is covered with relatively high heather. Pine forest on the hill tops and spruce or mixed vegetation on the lower parts.
WOC 2019 Relay
Great Britain - Relay Men
Leg 1 Peter Hodkinson GBR
Leg 2 Graham Gristwood GBR
Leg 3 Ralph Street GBR
Great Britain - Relay Women
Leg 1 Charlotte Watson GBR
Leg 2 Megan Carter Davies GBR
Leg 3 Catherine Taylor GBR
All Women’s Teams Leg 1 runners mass start at 16:20 (UK time: 15:20)
Leg 1 runner hand over to leg 2 runner and the leg 3 runner leads the team to the final finish.
Approximate combined (all three legs) winning time is 1 hour 43 minutes and we expect the World Champion team at the finish by 18:03.
At 18:20 the championships will move over to the Men’s competition. Mass start is at 18:30 (UK time: 17:30).
Watch all the excitement of the Relay race LIVE today here at IOF live.
Best wishes to the GB Team.
The Middle Distance is a tough technical race and this years World Championships final was no exception. The forest was in high quality; rough; rocky and tough terrain making it hard going for all runners. Great Britain qualified 5 out of 6 runners for the final. The placings in the final were Ralph Street (19th); Megan Carter Davies (21st); Jo Shepherd (24th); Cat Taylor (27th) and Peter Hodkinson (31st).
Megan Carter Davies
"This wasn't quite the beautiful Norwegian forest that I was expecting! It was relentless through the tough undergrowth, brashings and young trees, and the sudden speed changes on the golf course sections. I’m a bit disappointed - I made a lot of mistakes but at the same time I’m glad I corrected them reasonably quickly and kept fighting hard the whole way."
"I didn't have a disaster but it was a below average race performance for me. I am disappointed."
"I enjoyed the race in top quality terrain. I set a high target for myself but unfortunately fell short. Mistakes are punished harshly at this level. I’m now fully focused on doing my job at the main event of the week."
Photo credits: Rob Lines
It was back to Tesserete for the Men’s and Women’s Relays, the penultimate races of this years European Championships.
The forests which would meet the competitors were open and fast beech woods, with little in the way of vegetation to impede the runnability. This meant that the runners would have to cope with an extremely high running pace throughout the race, which would mean the risk of over running and making a mistake was extremely high.
The Women’s relay kicked off proceeding, with Jess Tullie of GBR1 (supported by Cat Taylor and Hollie Orr) and Jo Shepherd for GBR2 (followed by Charlotte Watson and Alice Leake) leading off for the Brits. The pace was high right from the start, with Switzerland’s Judith Wyder for their first team taking the lead and never relinquishing it. Behind, the chasers could only scramble for positions in the pack, with the Fins and Swedes leading the charge, but Jess and Jo well placed.
Onto the second Leg and the Swiss first teams lead began to come under pressure from one of their own runners. The second team runner Simone Aebersold slowly began to close down on her teammate Elena Roos, catching her by the second TV split at the “Tower of Spirits”, before turning what had begun as a 30-second deficit into a minutes lead by the changeover. Behind a chasing pack of Russia, Sweden and Finland had formed but could do nothing to impact on the pace of Aebersold. Cat Taylor for GBR1 was slowly moving through the places from 14th and would change over in 8th place just ahead of Ida Bobach of Denmark, sending out Hollie Orr and Maja Alm together, 3 and a half minutes down on the lead.
Sarina Jenzer of SUI2 would feel the pressure from behind almost immediately, with her teammate Julia Gross slicing her lead in half by the first radio. To the TV control at the “Tower of Spirits”, it was Sui1 ahead of the chasers, with SUI2 falling back but still holding onto second and Sweden’s Karolin Olsson closing the gap to the lead. Olsson would soon create a gap to her fellow chasers, but not enough to make any major inroads into the lead of Gross until she made a mistake on the third to last control. This allowed Denmark’s Alm, who had been running the quickest out of everyone in the forest and had bridged the minute or so gap to the chasing pack back into the hunt for the silver medal. Both women entered the finishing straight together, but it was Sweden who would have the better sprint finish and take the silver, with Denmark settling for bronze. Sadly, Alm’s relentless pace was too much for Orr, who would bring the team home in a commendable 7th place.
Onto the men’s race, and with the favourable terrain, the race was wide open for a fantastic British result. Kris Jones would start first for GBR1 (followed by Peter Hodkinson and Ralph Street) with Hector Haines - making his debut this week - running for GBR2 (supported by Sasha Chepelin and Ali McLeod). The pace from the start was ferocious, with the Swiss teams wanting to romp away with another gold and the Swedish (who have had a sub-par championships for their men’s team) looking to put their championships back on track.
There was much changing in the lead throughout the first Leg, but Kris remained in the top-three throughout, even breaking away with Florian Howald of Switzerland 2 at the arena passage, before they were closed down; but Kris didn’t falter, coming in in the lead of a quartet of runners.
It was a lead, but a small one. Peter Hodkinson was under pressure in a pack which included several world champions, including Matthias Kyburz, Fabian Hertner and Magne Daehli. Peter kept his cool, did his own navigation and by the time of the long, ungaffled leg back to the arena he was in the pack and holding on. Sadly the elastic snapped after the arena passage and Pete would lose a minute from an additional small mistake but had done a fantastic job at keeping GBR in touch for a bronze.
Out on last Leg and Ralph Street was being hunted down by some of the best last leg runners in the world. A couple of small errors at the start of the Leg meant that Ralph was on the back foot, with Czech, France and Russia hunting him down. It was France who would sneak ahead, with Fredric Tranchand breaking away from the chase and clear into bronze. Small mistakes from all the runners would creep into their runs, with Ralph entering the long Leg back to the arena in fourth place. By the run through though the Czechs have snuck ahead and by the finish, it was as precious, with Ralph finishing in 5th, just behind Vojtech Kral of Czech in 4th.
1) Switzerland 1 1:45:56
2) Sweden 1 +2:11
3) Denmark 1 +2:13
Cecilie Friberg Klysner
1) Norway 1 1:55:40
2) Switzerland 1 +0:30
3) France 1 +3:07