WOC 2009: Middle Distance Finals

Australia’s WOC campaign got off to a flying start in Hungary today with the first of the finals: the Middle Distance held in Bankut. Australia had two qualifiers: former World Champion Hanny Allston and the recently married Grace Crane (many Australians will know her as Elson) – and both placed in the top 20.

Crane ran a consistent race, and was sitting in the top 20 for the entire race, finishing in 42:12, just over 5 minutes behind the Czech winner, Dana Brozkova. It’s  the second year in a row that Crane has finished in the top 16 of a Middle Distance final – this year she improved by 1 place to grab 15th.

Allston, on the other hand, went out like a shot and looked a realistic chance for another WOC medal at the half-way point. But mistakes in the second half took their toll, and Allston finished in a solid 18th place.

Womens Results
1. Dana Brozkova (CZE)     37:09
2. Marianne Andersen (NOR) 37:19
3. Simone Niggli (SUI)    37:58
15. Grace Crane (AUS)     42:12
18. Hanny Allston (AUS)    43:01

Mens Results
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA)  37:14
2. Daniel Hubmann (SUI)   37:43
3. Matthias Merz (SUI)      38:10

Stay tuned for a full report from Foreign Correspondent Wendy Read later tonight.