Today in the tough Scandinavian terrain of Vuokatti, Australia got four out of six runners into the middle distance final Friday.
The three women, Jasmine Neve, Vanessa Round and Hanny Allston all had varying runs but by the end of the qualifying session all had reached the top 15 threshold to make the final.
Jasmine Neve had a ‘cautious’ run but managed to finish without any major mistakes and that was a very good approach in this rocky, technical terrain. Jasmine finished 15th which provided a nervous few minutes wait to see the final results. Vanessa Round had a smooth run with a ‘number of hesitations’ but ended up with a very good 8th place in heat 2. Hanny Allston gave everyone watching some nervous moments with a large mistake in the beginning but Hanny finally settled into the map and finished strongly to place 13th in heat 3
In the men Bryan Keely found his first WOC competition in Scandinavian terrain very tough and technical, a world away from the Australian forest where he has shown excellent form. Bryan placed 30th in heat 3 and will now focus on the Relay this Saturday. Lachlan Dow began very well and was having a very stable run with good flow through the technical course, however on the way to the last control Lachlan severely sprained his ankle and had to limp in, to still finish an honorable 29th place. Lachlan’s ankle will be assessed by the team physio in more detail this afternoon. Simon Uppill was a late starter and he began well through the technical sections with some minor wobbles. Being in a very competitive heat it was always going to be tight to qualify. Despite some small hesitations on the way to the last control Simon stormed down the finish chute and placed 15th, qualifying with 3 seconds to spare.
The Middle Final action starts tomorrow from 20.10 AEST with a technical downhill course expected which should provide some great racing.
Middle Final Startlist (AEST Friday)
Simon Uppill 20.11.30
Jasmine Neve 22.05
Vanessa Round 22.17
Hanny Allston 22.38