Australia started WOC by getting two finalists at the sprint today. Julian Dent was the best with 32nd, while David Brickhill-Jones was 39th.
Dent lost 30 seconds at the first control but picked up after that for a solid result, if not quite what he would have hoped for. Brickhill-Jones, returning to Australian colours this year, qualified by the narrowest possible margin, then started well before losing some time at the end.
There were three near-misses in qualifying, with Simon Uppill missing out by four seconds – men’s qualifying, on a relatviely simple course, was so tight that in one heat 35 seconds behind the winner was not enough to qualify – and Rachel Effeney and Susanne Casanova both falling about 15 seconds short. The latter was a decent debut performance and augurs well for her chances of qualifying for the middle distance final later in the week.
At the front end of the field, it was a Swiss sweep of the men’s medals through a trio of Matthiases – Kyburz, Merz and Muller – whilst Simone Niggle-Luder overwhelmed the field to take her 18th career gold medal.A notable Southern Hemisphere result was Lizzie Ingham’s 9th, the best ever by a New Zealander.
Men: 1 Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 15.32.0, 2 Matthias Merz (SUI) 15.49.5, 3 Matthias Muller (SUI) 15.59.0, 32 Julian Dent 17.50.3, 39 David Brickhill-Jones 18.00.6.
Women: 1 Simone Niggli-Luder (SUI) 15.43.7, 2 Maja Alm (DEN) 16.20.2, 3 Annika Billstam (SWE) 16.28.0.
Heat results for non-qualifiers:
Men C: 1 Matthias Merz (SUI) 13.23, 15 (last qualifier) Wolfgang Siegert (AUT) 14.27, 18 Simon Uppill 14.31.
Women A: 1 Helena Jansson (SWE) 13.57, 15 Gabija Razaityte (LTU) 15.49, 20 Susanne Casanova 16.05.
Women B: 1 Lizzie Ingham (NZL) 14.08, 15 Esther Doetsch (GER) 15.16, 16 Rachel Effeney 15.30.
Women C: 1 Annika Billstam (SWE) 13.32, 15 Ausrine Kutkaite (LTU) 14.36, 25 Bridget Anderson 16.32.