The World Championship Sprint Qualification at Katinkulta Holiday Club was a fast and furious affair with simple route choices and super fast running in park terrain.
The Australian girls made a great start with Jasmine Neve posting a great time from first starter to place 13th in heat 3 despite the large crowds surrounding controls.Vanessa Round also performed well with a stable run to place 13th in heat 1. Felicity Brown making her WOC debut ran a stable race to place 9th in heat 2.
All three girls are through to this afternoon’s Sprint Final in the town of Sotkamo.
In the competitive Men’s qualification it was always going to be very tough. Bryan Keely made a great start despite recently being stitched up with seven stitches in his knee from a fall in training two days ago. Bryan faded a little in the second half to finish in 19th position only 26 seconds from qualifying in his WOC debut! A stellar effort from Bryan after coping with his knee injury in the lead up.
Simon Uppill, a later starter, ran a characteristically stable fast race to place 10th in heat 3 only 44 seconds down in a heat which contained many of the favorites for this afternoon’s final. Simon will be competing in his third WOC Sprint Final this afternoon in Sotkamo.
Awaiting the four Australians in the Sprint Final this afternoon will be a more complex urban sprint in the Finnish town of Sotkamo.