Allston 6th behind dead-heat Finns

blair2007 Archive

Hanny Allston finished 6th in the long distance event at the World Championships today. As a relatively early starter, she set the pace for much of the day, and only the very best were able to overhaul her, her last section being particularly good. It equals her best WOC long distance result, in Japan in 2005, and shows she is in good form as she looks to defend her sprint title from 2006.

Hanny Allston into 6th place. Photo: Erik Borg

Hanny Allston into 6th place. Photo: Erik Borg

There was an unprecedented tie for first. Minna Kauppi gave Finland the lead, but her teammate Heli Jukkola looked good for much of the course, especially after catching two minutes on favourite and defending champion Simone Niggli. Kauppi, though, had run an exceptionally good last section, and Jukkola was only able to equal her teammate’s time. Niggli took the bronze.

Anna Sheldon ran consistently and finished in 30th position, her best result yet at this level.

Matthias Merz took the gold for Switzerland with a commanding run. He led throughout the course, but it was in the last part of a long day where he really came into his own. He went into the final loop 1.20 ahead of the field, and stretched that lead by more than two minutes by the end on a day when endurance counted for a lot. Andrey Khramov took the silver, whilst Anders Nordberg was third. The top two from last year, Jani Lakanen (achilles) and Marc Lauenstein (ill), both failed to start, whilst seven others did not finish.

The course was better suited to fast runners than some of the earlier days, with some very long legs and numerous track options, but the courses were very long (18km for the men), and the extreme heat (33 degrees at 11.00) made it a severe physical test, with winning times well over expectations.

The next race is the relay on Saturday.

Results

Men

1. Matthias Merz (Switzerland)           104.28

2. Andrey Khramov (Russia)              108.03

3. Anders Nordberg (Norway)           108.36

31. Chris Forne (New Zealand)          123.06

 

Women

1=. Heli Jukkola (Finland)                  80.17

1=. Minna Kauppi (Finland)               80.17

3. Simone Niggli (Switzerland)           81.48

6. Hanny Allston (Australia)               84.17

23. Tania Robinson (New Zealand)    97.03

30. Anna Sheldon (Australia)             98.18

 

Stay tuned to the team blog.