The final race of the 2011 Junior World Orienteering Championships was today’s relay race. With a full team of 12 athletes, Australia is able to enter two teams of 3, in both the male and female races- though only the best placed team is ranked officially.
The super fast terrain produced fast finish times, and very tight racing, particularly in the men’s race. There were lots of changes in the lead, with expected countries such as Spain (4th) and New Zealand (12th) in the hunt for a medal until the last leg. Eventually the home town support and local knowledge got the Polish team over the line first, closely followed by Sweden and Czech Republic.
The Aussie boys teams had a very close battle, with Lachlan Dow (Australia 1) heading into the 3rd leg trying to make up a 2min deficit on Ian Lawford (Australia 2). Lawford was able hold off Dow by 28 secs, and finish officially in 21st position.
In the women’s the race Denmark were the red hot favourites to give Ida Bobach her 4th gold medal of the championships. However she was left with tough challenge to chase down Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson. Sweden ended up winning comfortably, from Czech Republic and Denmark picked up bring bronze. The Australian girls had a good battle, and Australia 1’s Belinda Lawford just holding off a fast finishing Georgia Parsons in Australia 2, to finish in 22nd place.