Another good day for Australia at World Orienteering Championships

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The long distance qualification races were held in similar conditions to the middle distance heats, with the same finish area. If anything the temperature and humidity were higher than Sunday. The terrain was again very difficult, with much of the course slow running and walk.

Hanny Allston was Australia’s top performer with a third in her heat just two minutes behind veteran Vroni Konig Salmi. Her result was all the more remarkable in that she hurt her ankle going to the first control. Mother Julia was on hand to render first aid and the diagnosis for the middle and long distance finals is good. Her third is the best result by an Australian in a long distance heat.
Jo Allison was next best with a steady run in her heat to finish seventh behind Marianne Andersen of Norway. Although seventh, Jo was only two minutes behind Andersen and she was in great shape coming into the finish. Her next race will be the sprint on Wednesday.
Allison Jones was unfortunately the only Australian not to make it through to the finals. Her only mistake was on a long leg from three to four, where the control was near the bottom of a long spur, 11 contours below the optimum attack point. She lost confidence that she was on the correct spur and moved to another one before realising her mistake, which she estimates cost her about five minutes. She missed qualifying by three minutes. She will now focus on Wednesday’s sprint race.

Grant Bluett came in 10th, about five minutes behind Marc Lauenstein of Switzerland. He said he was very leg weary during the early stages and came home strongly. He was not overly affected by the run and is looking forward to the sprint and long distance final.
Dave Shepherd managed not to lose his contact lens today and was a little leg-weary after yesterday’s middle distance heats. He had a few anxious moments as the latter runners came in, but he managed 14th place, a good two minutes ahead of 16th place.
Troy de Haas almost overdid his cruising around the final loop in just managing to scrape in by 10 seconds. Troy claimed he was misled by a team member, as he passed a spectator control, who said that he was just a couple of minutes down on the leaders. Coach Jim Russell jokingly said that Troy overdid it, as he had nine seconds to spare.
Sweden and Switzerland are now the only nations to have all of their competitors through to the finals, with Australia and Denmark both dropping one runner today.
Simone Niggli is again going for four gold medals and on her form over the last two days she must have excellent prospects to achieve that feat. The Swiss and the French seem likely to displace the Scandinavians at this World Championships as the top orienteering nations.

The sprint distance on Wednesday is also going to be run in tough, forested areas and this could blunt the speed of David Brickhill-Jones, who has been in great form in Europe during the past six months. All of the other Australians have a competitive run under their belt and that should help them.

Men A
1. Marc Lauenstein (Switzerland) 59:32
2. Emil Wingstedt (Sweden) 60:25
3. Jamie Stevenson (Great Britain) 60:49
10. Grant Bluett (Australia) 64:26
Men B
1. Andrey Khramov (Russia) 63:21
2. Marius Mazulis (Lithuania) 63:27
3. David Schneider (Switzerland) 65:09
15. Troy de Haas (Australia) 70:40
Men C
1. Jani Lakanen (Finland) 62:33
2. Michele Tavernaro (Italy) 63:10
3. Francois Gonon (France) 63:33
14. David Shepherd (Australia) 72:27
Women A
1. Marianne Andersen (Norway) 51:24
2. Yulia Novikova (Russia) 52:27
3. Eva Jurenikova (Czech Republic) 52:37
7. Jo Allison (Australia) 53:37
Women B
1. Simone Niggli (Switzerland) 47:07
2. Paula Haapakoski (Finland) 49:10
3. Tatiana Ryabkina (Russia) 51:30
20. Allison Jones(Australia) 65:38
Women C
1. Vroni König Salmi (Switzerland) 48:23
2. Heli Jukkola (Finland) 49:36
3. Hanny Allston (Australia) 50:41