Australian orienteers have continued to perform well in the hilly terrain of Portugal. Today saw the Middle Distance events – keenly watched online by a contingent of Aussies.
Most suspense was around the mens’ race with all four Australian riders having early start times (our last starter Adrian Jackson was finished not long after the last start of the day). All men had great rides with Adrian once again leading the charge. His time of 67:14 had him sitting in the leading position for over an hour before Samuli Saarela of Finland came through to take Gold with a 40 second lead. The bronze medal was won by Luca Dallavalle of Italy in 70:02. Next best Australian was Alex Randall in 21st place with 75:07, Steven Cusworth 25th in 76:44 and Grant Lebbink 48th in 83:57.
The womens’ event was won by multi World Champion Michaela Gigon of Austria in a time of 60:32. She was followed by Rikke Kornvig of Denmark and last years’ gold medallist Marika Hara of Finland took bronze this time around. Mel Simpson was the best placed Australian in 25th place (69:32) with Mary Fien close behind in 27th (70:13). So both girls were close to the leaderboard.
Unfortunately it appears that a control misplacement resulted in the cancellation of the Junior Mens and Junior Womens courses. The unofficial results had the best placed Australian was Chris Firman with a time of 71:03 fininshing in 22nd place. Luke Poland was 30th in a time of 76:22 and Marc Gluskie 36th in 81:57.