Dent qualifies for the long final; now it’s time to qualify for the middle.

Dent approaching the last control

Dent approaching the last control

It was a tough day out at St Francois de Sales for the runners in the long qualification. The winning times were all longer than expected and there were many tired bodies coming into the finish chute after a physically challenging course in warm conditions.

The French men showed their home ground advantage by winning each of the heats. Thierry Georgiou was the clear leader, winning his heat by over six minutes and being the only person to get close to the expected winning time.

Julian Dent scraped through in 13th place in his heat to make it through to the final which will be on Wednesday. Julian will be the first male to represent Australia in a WOC long distance final since 2005.

Julian said “technically I was happy with my run, although I made a small mistake after a steep climb at the end of the long leg. It was physically very challenging, but now I just have to focus on having a clean run in the middle tomorrow”.

Rob Preston, Aislinn Prendergast, Jasmine Neve and Vanessa Round all had steady runs that unfortunately didn’t get them through to the finals. Rob, Jasmine and Vanessa are now preparing for the middle qualification tomorrow and Aislinn will be supporting the team for the rest of the week.

And now for the middle qualification …

The WOC 2011 middle distance qualification is back at St Francois de Sales today. The courses will be shorter, but are expected to be much trickier than the long qualification. The terrain will be complex with intricate contour detail. The visibility will be good, although the rocky ground will slow things down.

The start times for the middle qualification are:

Jasmine Neve: 10.00 pm AEST
Vanessa Round: 10.38 pm AEST
Grace Elson: 10.52 pm AEST
Rob Preston: 11.22 pm AEST
Simon Uppill: 12.08 am AEST
Julian Dent: 12.22 am AEST

The women’s starts are from 10 pm AEST and the men’s starts are from 11.10 pm AEST. The women’s expected winning time is 24 minutes and the men’s is 25 minutes.

From the Australian WOC2011 media team.