Simon Uppill has continued his outstanding week in Queensland by adding a national sprint title to his middle distance win last weekend, his fourth successive National League win in all. He was pushed harder this time than he was earlier in the week. Rob Walter led for much of the race, but never by more than nine seconds, leaving Uppill close enough to take the lead at the third-last control and hold it to the end, seven seconds ahead. Ten seconds further back was the young Tasmanian Ryan Smyth in a career-best result, recovering from a disappointing weekend with an excellent run.
Kathryn Ewels, running her first race of the week, took the national sprint title by a comfortable margin in the end, but not before two key contenders were eliminated by punching wrong controls late in the race. Hanny Allston had built up a 50-second lead by 20, whilst Amber Morrison was just behind Ewels in third place at 18, before both of them stumbled. That left Ewels with a substantial lead and she finished 25 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Jo Allison. Mace Neve completed the placings; like Smyth, this was her best result at this level.
Laurina Neumann continued her commanding week in W17-20E , building up enough of a lead early on to hold off a fast-finishing Belinda Lawford. Bryan Keely, still troubled by the foot injury that forced him out of JWOC, managed to stay on his feet for long enough to complete a sprint, and was rewarded with a victory, although he was pushed all the way by New Zealander Duncan Morrison. Keely’s win puts him in the box seat in the last undecided National League class, although Oliver Mitchell still has a chance if he finishes first or second in tomorrow’s Long Distance Championships.