Jim Russell led the way as Australia had a good day in the sprint qualification at the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Portugal. He won his heat in M45, narrowly ahead of two other former WOC competitors, Joe Brautigam (USA) and Jon Musgrave (GBR).
Natasha Key was second in her heat in W35 and will also have an excellent chance of winning a medal in the final on Monday. Others whose qualifying performances suggest that they have at least an outside chance of a medal included Ann Ingwersen (3rd, W65) and Blair Trewin (3rd, M35). More than 25 Australians reached A finals in total, including Terry Bluett, Bob Allison and Dick Ogilvie in the fiercely competitive M60 group.
The course was different to what most of the Australians were used to, spending much time in the alleys and stairways of old Leiria. A further challenge was provided for the longer courses, who had their first few controls in the 12th century castle.
The finals will take place on Monday. Results from today are available on the WMOC website.