Exciting Win to Denmark in Sprint Relay
Today in the small town of Nairn beside the Moray Firth, on a sunny but cold afternoon the WOC Sprint Relay was a very exciting event. The arena was beside the sea in an open grass area with good viewing of the start, the spectator control and the finish.
Denmark led from the start with Emma Klingenberg establishing a lead within the first 400m. She finished the first leg a clear leader and Tue Lassen maintained a 32 second lead on the second leg. Soren Bobach was being chased by Mathias Kyburz (Switzerland) and they came to the finish together after the third leg. Sweden were in third place with Norway and Russia next along with France. Judith Wyder from Switzerland had a small problem with the map change and Maja Alm running the fourth leg for Denmark established a clear break from the rest of the field. She maintained this lead to win the relay for Denmark by a large margin of 1:21. The race for second was very exciting with both Switzerland and then Sweden being passed by Norway and Russia in the last loop of the race. All of this was visible in the arena on the big screen and was accompanied by Per Forsberg’s exciting commentary.
This was a very spectacular event and certainly would have been exciting viewing on live TV. Some purists would probably mention the relative easy navigation, however, there was enough route choice challenges set by the course setter meaning that technical aspects were not totally sidelined in this event.
The Australian team of Rachel Effeney, Simon Uppill, Lachlan Dow and Hanny Allston lacked the speed required to stay in touch with the leaders and finished in 16th place. Hanny Allston running a strong last leg to be the seventh fastest on the leg and passing four runners to get the team into 16th place.
Another highlight of the day was the public sprint race held after the WOC Sprint Relay. A couple of thousand orienteers got to run around on the same map as the WOC runners. The only thing missing was the cheering crowd as we ran down the finish but imagination is a wonderful thing.
Tomorrow we are looking forward to the Sprint Final with both Hanny and Rachel in the women’s final. All the older Australians also get to compete in day 1 of the Scottish 6 days.