The long distance finals at Skripov saw another Australian women achieve her best individual WOC result. Kathryn Ewels was 14th, just over 8 minutes behind Dana Brozkova who gave the host country, the Czech Republic, a Gold medal on home soil. Jo Allison continued to perform well in 25th place 13 minutes adrift, whilst Austalia’s third starter Vanessa Round in her first WOC long distance event, was 39th. Kathryn’s run began a little slowly, being in 25th place at the early radio control, but consistent running thereafter saw her move up through the field, being 17th at the second radio control about two thirds of the way through the course.
Norway and Sweden took the Silver (Marianne Anderson ) and Bronze placings (Annika Billstam). Last year’s joint winner Minna Kauppi was 7th, whilst Heli Jukkola withdrew due to injury.
In the men, Daniel Hubmann from Switzerland took the gold, ahead of Anders Norberg (Norway) who improved from last years 3rd place, Frenchman Francois Goron was third. Matthias Merz, the winner in the Ukraine in 2007 was 5th. Australia had no runners in the men’s final.
Both the men’s and women’s courses had a long leg (3 km plus) in the middle of the course. The majority of the latter runners took the northern route via the road (in part at least), however equally fast times were achieved on the southern route requiring possibly more detailed navigation but less steep climb. Of the top 6 men, three took variations on the northern route, Gonon took the shortest most direct route and 2 took the southern route. On the women’s course three in the top six went north and three south.
1. Dana Borzkova (CZE) 84:26
2. Marianne Andersen (NOR) 85:09 (0:43)
3. Annika Billstam (SWE) 85:28 (1:02)
14. Kathryn Ewels (AUS) 92:54 (8:28)
25: Jo Allison (AUS) 98:23 (13:57)
39. Vanessa Round (AUS) 109:11 (24:45)
1. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 106:08
2. Anders Norberg (NOR) 107:23 (1:15)
3. Francois Gonon (FRA) 108:05 (1:57)
Competitors return to Skripov on Sunday morning for the relay event.
See the WOC website for full results, splits, photos and other routes.