This afternoon, the tranquil surroundings of the Miskolc Zoo turned into an exhilerating orienteering sprint championships arena. Participants in the Hungaria Cup flocked in great numbers from their own, midday sprint event in down-town Miskolc to the sunny, zoo parklands to gain the best vantage point to watch the excitment of the Men’s and Women’s Sprint Final unfold.
Commencing with the men’s event, the Australian supporters warmed up by cheering on Chris Forne and Ross Morrison from New Zealand who both qualified in top 10 positions in their heats. The Men’s Final was won by the Russian, Andrey Khramov who has been dominant in sprint events in 2009. Swiss men Fabian Hertner and Daniel Hubmann took second and third placings.
But with temperatures still close to 30C at 5.30pm, Australia’s hopes rested solely on the shoulders of Kathryn Ewels, the 20th starter in the women’s final. And what a performance!
Kathryn had Russian competitors starting immediately before and after her. “A Russian sandwich,” was the description given by team coach/manager Rob Lewis of Kathryn’s start position. At the first television checkpoint, the excitement began to build as race commentary announced, “Kathryn Ewels is the new second best time!” Kathryn had caught Galina Vinogradova who had started 1 minute ahead of her. The Russian orienteer had placed 4th in the WOC Sprint in 2008 so Kathryn was indeed running well.
By the first spectator control, Kathryn was holding 3rd place, but as only the 20th starter from a field of 45, many top quality runners were yet to finish. The split timing results show an amazing performance in the second half of Kathryn’s race, with an incredible burst of speed from the 11th control through to the finish, which secured her 5th placing.
Click “play” above for audio of Kathryn discussing her race.
Competition continues tomorrow with the Australian Women’s team vying for medals in the Relay event. Australia looks a strong chance, with Ewels, Crane and Allston already achieving outstanding results in the competition. Jump on the blog and send your congratulations and support now!
Sprint Final Results:
1. Helena Jansson (SWE) 15:07
2. Linnea Gustafsson (SWE) 15:49
3. Simone Niggli (SUI) 15:54
4. Signe Soes (DEN) 15:58
5. Kathryn Ewels (AUS) 16:00
6. Anni-Maija Fincke (FIN) 16:01
1. Andrey Khramov (RUS) 15:10
2. Fabian Hertner (SUI) 15:36
3. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 15:38
20. Chris Forne (NZL) 16.42
30. Ross Morrison (NZL) 17.15