Aislinn Prendergast starts at 7.43pm & Julian Dent at 9.17pm (Eastern Aus time) in LONG FINAL THURSDAY.
Vanessa Round ran well in the technically demanding middle distance final to place 31st, her best ever WOC result. A late mistake of about 90 seconds in the control circle of no 13 cost her some positions but besides that she navigated well.
Comments relayed from Aislinn Prendergast: “Vanessa said her goal had been to run a very smooth race and to prevent making big errors. Instead of running risky route choices she decided to play it safe. She reported that the terrain was easier navigationally than the qualification, with large features such as knolls and depressions making it easier to know where you were at most points in the race. However, the terrain was exhausting with cut wood and mossy rocks covering almost the entire map. Both Vanessa and Lizzie Ingham said they found the race very physically challenging. Vanessa had a very smooth run until losing time on control 13. She said that she had stood on top of the cliff and hadn’t been able to see the control, running away to relocate and then back in again. ”
Finnish star Minna Kaupi took home the gold medal, as she did in the 2008 and 2010 middle distance championships. The home crowd favourite, Simone Niggli-Luder, made a huge inexplicable mistake by going from control 7 to control 15 but stormed around the course afterward to still make the podium in 5th.
Edgar Bertuks brought home Latvia’s first ever gold medal with a narrow 5 second win in the men’s class. He had previously a best place of 9th in the middle at WOC 2008 and was the first runner home on the first leg of Jukola this year, proving that he had good form. Reigning middle distance champion Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou had to settle for 4th, but was thankful to be able to race after just recovering from a stress fracture. The fact that five different countries shared the six medals shows just how global orienteering has become.
Julian Dent and Aislinn Prendergast will be our representatives in the long final on Thursday night and then the Championships conclude with the relays on Saturday. You can look at the map and course and follow runners as they do the course via live streaming. For a small fee of about $5 you can also get live TV coverage, which features quite a lot of “in forest” footage plus glimpses of route choices via the map – well worth it.
1 Minna Kaupi Finland 37.37
2 Tove Alexandersson Sweden 38.09
3 Tatyana Riabkina Russia 39.03
31 Vanessa Round 47.58
39 Lizzie Ingham NZ 53.01
1 Edgar Bertuks Latvia 36.45
2 Valentin Novikov Russia 36.50
3 Fabian Hertner Switz 37.10
39 Ross Morrison NZ 44.04