Australia leads the way in WMOC sprint finals

Australia led the way with seven gold medals in the sprint finals of the World Masters Orienteering Championships, held today at Sydney Olympic Park. It was also an excellent day for New Zealand, with three golds, while Sweden was the other multiple gold winner with five.

Those to add victories today to a history of WMOC success were Jenny Bourne (W55), Natasha Key (W35) and Hermann Wehner (M85). Bourne was a little off the pace in qualifying but produced the goods when it mattered for a comfortable victory, continuing her record of collecting at least one win in every age group she has contested, while both Key and Wehner had comfortable wins.

Warren completed a Key family double in M50, and at the older end of the spectrum there were gold medals for Kevin Paine (M80) and Maureen Ogilvie (W75). The most dramatic Australia win of the day, though, was that of Su Yan Tay in W45; after having one of the day’s largest margins yesterday, she had the narrowest possible margin today, coming from well behind after two early errors and making up six critical seconds in the finish chute.

That was not the only one-seconder of the day; in M60 Ossi Lakkala (Finland) edged out Tim Sands (Great Britain), in another race where the lead changed hands in the chute, five seconds covered the medallists and 19 seconds covered the top five. At the other end of the scale, Anne-Marie Holmstrom (W60, Sweden) and Gunnar Lerfald (M70, Norway) both had wins by about 90 seconds in highly competitive classes.

In addition to the seven golds, there were three silvers and three bronzes for Australia. Runners-up were Anthea Feaver (W50) and Jenny Enderby (W40) – both to NZ opposition in Gillian Ingham and Marquita Gelderman respectively – along with Paul Pacque (M55). Bronzes went to Bruce Arthur (M35), Clive Pope (M70) and Neil Schafer (M80).

Results are available from the WMOC site.

Splits available via Winsplits here

Competition continues with the first long qualification race near Lithgow on Wednesday.