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Tweet Tuesday 20th August 2019

British Sprint and British Middle Championships - Entries Close in 8 Days!

Who will be crowned this year's British Sprint and British Middle Distance Champions?

British Sprint Championships - Loughborough University, Saturday 14 September 2019.

British Middle Distance Championships - Chinley Churn, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Sunday 15 September 2019.

Entries close at midnight on Tuesday 27 August 2019.

Organiser of this year's British Middle Distance Championships Organiser, Sal Chaffey, says:
"Derwent Valley Orienteers are looking forward to welcoming you to Chinley Churn, a relatively new Orienteering area, that promises a fast and exciting competition. We have an arena finish adjacent to parking, traders, commentary and a large orienteering maze."

Derwent Valley Orienteers Planner, Ranald Macdonald, says: 
"The course and warm-up maps are now ready for printing, and control-hanging routes have been agreed for the 71 controls. Arrangements are being made for some temporary stiles to be placed at crossing points, as Chinley Churn is a popular area with walkers, due to the fantastic views!"

More details can be found on the British Middle distance Championships website here

Chinley Churn. Photo credit:  Maddy Winters

The previous day, the British Sprint Orienteering Championships will be held at Loughborough University.

The Loughborough University campus is over 400 acres and is predominately a complex mix of residential, academic and sports buildings but does also include some woodland areas. The central campus is on the side of a ridge providing some contour detail and there are expanses of grass in various parts of the campus. The area will create fast and challenging racing that will produce worthy British Champions.

The organising team have been working for several months already in bringing together the event again in 2019. The event centre will be at the Edward Herbert Building, one of the main facilities buildings on the campus, and we again have use of the multi-storey car park to ease access problems. Planning has been underway for many weeks, and the morning heats area, and afternoon finals area will be on different parts of the campus.

More details can be found on the Sprint Championships website here.  

Loughborough University. Photo supplied by:  Leicestershire Orienteering Club

If you haven't yet entried then there are only days left to enter!  

Entries close for both events at midnight on Tuesday 27 August 2019.
Entries for Championship courses can be made here on SportIdent.

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Tweet Sunday 18th August 2019

WOC Relay: Double victory for Sweden

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.

Masss start - Women's Relay
GB Charlotte Watson in action
Womens: Gold, silver, bronze medal winners

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.

Mass start - Men's Relay
GB Peter Hodkinson in action
Men: Gold, silver, bronze medal winners

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."

Charlotte Watson
"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

GB C Watson
GB Megan Carter Davies
Leg 2 completed - now on to Leg 3
GB Cat Taylor in action
Sweden team mates
GB Cat Taylor into the Finish
Men's mass start - Leg one
GB Peter Hodkinson
GB Graham Gristwood
GB Ralph Street

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

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Tweet Saturday 17th August 2019

WOC 2019: Time for the Relay!

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
GB Team

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
 

 

GB Peter Hodkinson
GB Graham Gristwood
GB Ralph Street
GB Charlotte Watson
GB Megan Carter Davies 
GB Cat Taylor

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.

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Tweet Saturday 4th August 2018

World Orienteering Championships Sprint

Kicking off the 35th World Orienteering Championships in Riga, Latvia was the Sprint Distance event.

Beginning in the morning in Kronvalda Park in the centre of Riga it was a flat, fast and relatively straightforward course to get the athletes underway. Without any major technical challenges, competitors would have to be pinpoint precise to ensure they qualified in necessary top-15 positions, with some big names missing out. In the Ladies race – who started first at 7 am UK time – the GBR women of Charlotte Ward, Alice Leake and Megan Carter-Davies all qualified without any issues, Megan best of the day for the Brits in 3rd. In the Men’s race the story was similar, with Peter Hodkinson initially a worry for missing out, he, Chris Smithard and Kristian Jones all qualified for the final. It was not so lucky for the defending silver medallist in the Men’s discipline, Frenchman Frederic Tranchand, who missed out by just 4 seconds in 17th place. There were a series of mispunches, particularly in Heat C, caused by two similar controls in close proximity, though with no protests upheld, the results stood. In the Women’s field, the only major shock exit was the mispunch of Sabine Hauswith of Switzerland, who would have been challenging for the podium on a good day.

Onto the Final, and the Women again got proceedings underway. The Final offered a far more complex navigational challenge to the runners, with extensive artificial barriers and alleyways opened specifically for the event; yet with no height gain on the course, the running speeds would dictate proceedings just as much. The main issue though would turn out to be the spectators and cars out in the streets. With the organisers not shutting down the roads for the runners, there were continual issues of cars and buses attempting to drive into the tightly-packed arena. This was only exacerbated by the overlapping routes taken by runners leaving the arena for their start, entering the arena to head through the arena passage, and finishing runners. Add to this the chaos caused by the crowded streets, and the public not paying attention to the runners as they were competing (there were numerous instances of athletes colliding with members of the public), it was havoc on the courses.

Charlotte Ward began things for the British Women, and after a slow start, she began to get into her running. As the course opened up towards the end she used her running strength well, but it was just a bit too much to do to fight back into the top twenty at the end of the day. After finishing 4th, she slowly dropped to 24th, two minutes down.

The next GBR Woman was Alice Leake, and again it was a slow start for Alice, but as they entered the tricky middle section of alleyways and barriers, she began to fly. From 19th at the 5th control, she would gain time on her rivals for the top-10 all the way to the finish. Starting just a minute in front of Tove Alexanderson, there would always be a lot of pressure, but Alice had no problems. Alexanderson would best Alice’s leading time by 50 seconds to take the lead at the finish, but Alice would hold on for 8th. The final GBR Woman out into the city was Megan Carter-Davies. Megan started quicker than both Alice and Charlotte but came unstuck exiting the difficult middle section. She tried to gain the lost time back as the legs opened up from short technical navigation into more open, wide route choices, but more mistakes cropped in. Still, it was an admirable performance, and for the youngest member of the team a great sign of things to come, with a 28th here.

Many would try to better Tove Alexanderson’s time, with numerous runners, including one of the main favourites Judith Wyder, all falling around thirty seconds short. But as the heavens began to open and rain spattered the cobbled streets, the Danish favourite and defending champion Maja Alm, pipped her by 17 seconds, denying Alexanderson the one individual World Championships gold medal she has yet to add to her collection.

Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

As the rain intensified and turning into a storm, the Men’s race got underway. The cobbles by this stage had turned slick, and competitors were gingerly taking the corners around the old town. There was initial hope that this would curb the issues of the crowds, but there was no such luck.

Peter Hodkinson got things underway for the British Men and held his own in the tough conditions. A couple of errors crept into his run, though it seemed less problematic than his qualification this morning. Into the finish, he was second, 20 seconds down on the lead of Martin Hubmann (SUI), but would eventually slip to 29th –  way down on his 13th from last year. Chris Smithard was next out of the gate, and the script ran similarly to that of his teammate Peter. Though not a disaster, the competition at this level is extremely tight, and Chris would fall to 35th place by the end of the day, just not having his best day in the office – again, way down on last year’s 14th. With both though, they have confirmed their quality, with such placings from sub-optimal performances.

The main British hope of the day had to be the final GBR starter, Kristian Jones. Coming into this race, Kris was one of the hot favourites for the gold medal, and a medal was all he was aiming for. He started well, and despite an early slip, was in touch at the first split. Then, disaster struck. In the complex alleyways in the central section of the course, Kris got confused by a section of mapping which was far from clear and headed inadvertently into a restaurants kitchen – needless to say all those involved were slightly shocked. The lack of clarity on the map can often throw runners, but the glaring error here didn’t only catch out Kris but several others as well. He pushed on regardless and was still in touch, but a bad error on the 16th towards the end of the course cost him that real top result he was after. It would be 10th in the end and a 12 month wait for another chance at the title for Kris.

Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen
Photo by IOF/Matias Salonen

In the fight for gold though it was nail-biting. With the storm taking down the electrics and TV screen in the arena, it was hard to keep track of each runner in such a furious, fast and chaotic sprint, but Daniel Hubmann stormed into the lead having started with just a third of the field left to follow him 20 seconds ahead of his teammate Andreas Kyburz. So often having played second fiddle to his brother Mattias, today was Andreas’ day, seeing off repeated challenges to his podium spot, and clinching a bronze medal, despite a late charge from Belgian Yannick Michels, who finished a mere 0.6 seconds down in 4th. It was New Zealander Tim Robertson who would pose the biggest challenge to Hubmann though, trading the lead with him the entire way around the course, but just came up short at the end, finishing 1.1 seconds off the lead to take home a thoroughly deserved silver medal and allowing Hubmann to retain his title.

Results:

Women:

1. Maja Alm, Denmark, 2. Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, 3. Judith Wyder, Switzerland

GBR: Alice Leake – 8th, Charlotte Ward – 24th, Megan Carter-Davies – 28th

Men:

1. Daniel Hubmann, Switzerland, 2. Tim Robertson, New Zealand, 3. Andreas Kyburz, Switzerland

GBR: Kristian Jones – 10th, Peter Hodkinson – 29th, Chris Smithard – 35th.

 

Mixed Sprint Relay:

Tomorrow sees the Mixed Sprint Relay, and the final sprint discipline of the week takes place. GBR will again be going to a medal results, but it will be tough with so many nations on top-form. The team has yet to be released, but we will put it up online as soon as we know it.

Thank you to all those who have got involved on Twitter, hopefully, I will have better WiFi coverage tomorrow.

Will Gardner

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