AJ sprints to gold!
Riding in only his second WOC sprint ever Adrian Jackson took out the gold medal today by 11 seconds over the Dane, Lasse Brun Pederson. Lasse had started 1 minute in front of AJ but they didn’t see each other. Adrian was leading after the 3rd of 17 controls and was either 1st or 2nd for the rest of the race before finally taking the lead again and holding it from control 15. On a course where it seemed impossible to ride without error Adrian only lost 10 -20 seconds several times. However he made some telling “cuts,” running with his bike xc for short distances between tracks. Adrian was stoked with his ride immediately after he finished and being the 4th last starter he only had a short wait to be confirmed as champion. Brother Timmy was then despatched to make the gold medallist flower garland and proud Tim and mother Carolyn presented it to him on the podium. Initially they had hung our flag upside down on the flagpole, but this was soon corrected, being pointed out by several other nations before us!
Carolyn rode steadily to place 36th, except for one bad route choice, but found it difficult to read the map on-the-go due to the detail. Estonian Maret Vaher unfortunately suffered several broken ribs from a crash but managed to finish before getting taken to hospital! Slovakian Hana Bajtosova won, repeating her sprint victory from 2008.
The Neot Kedumim area was fantastic terrain for sprint orienteering being a landscape reserve which had literally been sculpted out of eroded hillsides. There were many old farming and archaeological sites dotting the almost open rocky hillsides. More importantly there were a myriad of small tracks, with many of them paved for easy access making for very intense orienteering. It was the most exciting and unique area for sprint orienteering that I have seen in a WOC.
1 23.19 Adrian Jackson
2 23.30 Lasse Brun Pedersen (Denmark)
3 23.56 Ruslan Gritsan (Russia)
1 22.37 Hana Bajtosova (Slovakia)
2 23.00 Marika Hara (Finland)
3 23.34 Michi Gigon (Austria)
36 31.22 Carolyn Jackson
More story and photos on AJ’s blog