Morrison and Knarston dominate strong field in first world ranking event

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Australia has won the first AUS-NZ test match, held as part of the Waitangi Summer Orienteering Carnival in NZ.

Hawke’s Bay Orienteer Ross Morrison dominated the men’s proceedings for the second day in a row at Waitangi Summer Orienteering Carnival today winning the Waikato University Sprint race by 26sec. Morrison was followed in by Christchurch’s Carsten Joergensen and Australia’s David Shepherd in a race which saw temperatures in the thirties and the lead change numerous times.

Greta Knarston of Counties Manukau fought off Estonia’s Liis Johanson to win by three seconds and both were well ahead of Australian Jo Allison in what was the closest race of the carnival so far.

The Waikato University Sprint race doubled as the first of four test matches between New Zealand and Australia which will run throughout the week finishing at Stillwater in Auckland on Sunday.

Australia left New Zealand to play catch up winning the first test match 56 to 46.

The match was a close battle with a draw accounting for the men’s race, 26 each, but the Australian woman were to strong coming home with 30 to New Zealand’s 20.

With the attendance of Orienteers from around the world the field has shown strong results and has doubled as a world ranking event.

Carnival organiser Greg Flynn said “the rankings are formulated based on the quality of the field and with the Aussies attending the quality of the field is increased. As a result the event has attracted even more athletes from around the world.”

“Today’s test match was the first of two world ranking events this week which will see the athletes fighting for positions in the races and the world rankings,” Flynn said.

Athletes head for Kairangi on the edge of Mt Manatrauti in the Waikato tomorrow for The Loop Race which is aimed to create fast, tight, head-to-head racing, packed with spectator value.

Results from today’s Waikato University Sprint race:-

1. Ross Morrison (NewZealand) 14:27
2. Carsten Joergensen (Christchurch) 14:53
3. David Shepherd (Australia) 14:55
4. Simon Uppill (Australia) 15:10
5. Jamie Stewart (New Zealand) 15:15

1. Greta Knarston (NewZealand) 14:30
2. Liis Johanson (Estonia) 14:33
3. Jo Allison (Australia) 14:40
4. Jasmine Neve (Australia)15:19
5. Anna Sheldon (Australia) 15:24

Test match:
Australia, Women 30, Men 26
New Zealand, Women 20, Men 26,