Four Australians have qualified for the WOC middle distance final after today’s qualification races. Simon Uppill was probably the most impressive performer of the day, qualifying in 10th place. Dave Shepherd had a few nervous moments but made it through in 13th.
On a day when times were more spread out than usual in the challenging terrain, Vanessa Round’s time initially looked like she might struggle to make the cut, but she qualified reasonably comfortably in the end in 11th. Grace Crane, one of the last starters in her heat, was 13th.
The big surprise of the day was the failure of Julian Dent to qualify. He lost four minutes at the first control and another two at the fifth to put himself out of realistic contention, eventually finishing 23rd. Jasmine Neve was perhaps the day’s hard-luck story, missing out by two places despite running much of the race with one shoe (the other one having fallen victim to the local marshes).
Full results are available at the WOC results page.
Competition continues tomorrow with the long distance qualifiers, starting at 4pm (midnight AEST).