Sheldon 38th as Niggli wins record 17th gold medal

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Australia’s Anna Sheldon finished 38th in the long distance final at the World Orienteering Championships today, in which Switzerland’s Simone Niggli won a record 17th gold medal. Anna had a consistent run for the most part but was never in contention for a place in the top half of the field.

Niggli’s win continues a long run of success for her in the sport, and extends her already record tally of 17 World Championship gold medals. Her win was by the reasonably comfortable margin of 2.13. It was much closer behind her with four within a minute; Marianne Andersen (Norway) took silver by five seconds over Emma Claesson (formerly Engstrand) (Sweden).

It was a quinella for the hosts in the men’s race. Olav Lundanes, still in the early part of his senior career (after a junior career which included several JWOC gold medals in Dubbo and elsewhere), started last and always looked like posting the fastest time, although in the end he had only 40 seconds to spare over Anders Nordberg. Thierry Gueorgiou took the bronze after a close-run battle with fellow Frenchman Francois Gonon.

After a rest day, competition will continue on Saturday with the middle distance final, in which Australia has two men and two women.

Results are available at the WOC results page.