WOC Middle at Darnaway.
Today in a beautiful setting the WOC Middle was held. The arena was on a sloping grass area directly in front of the Darnaway Castle owned by the Earl of Moray who was present as a boy in 1976 when the World Orienteering Championships were first held in Scotland. Also the weather was mostly sunny and not to cool with only one small shower of rain. The competition was very exciting especially in the men and Per Forsberg the commentator had to compensate for the lack of any big screen towards the end of the men’s race.
On a day when many of the favourites made mistakes among the tricky moraine of Darnaway, reigning world champion Annika Billstam ran a superb race to retain her Middle title in style. Merja Rantanen of Finland was second and Emma Johansson, also of Sweden, was third.
The men’s race was incredibly close, with just 46 seconds separating the top seven. Daniel Hubmann was triumphant, collecting a Middle gold medal to go with the Sprint, Long and Relay golds he has won in the past. There was a surprise silver medal for Lucas Basset, who ran an excellent race to finish only three seconds down, with Olle Boström of Sweden taking the bronze.
In the women’s race Hanny Allston finished in a respectable 21st place loosing close to four minutes on controls 1 and 2. Hanny finished very strongly and from the second TV control (16) to the finish she picked up 8 places. Anna Sheldon finished in 54th place having been losing time against the winner steadily throughout the race.
In the men’s race Simon Uppill who had a very steady race finished in 35th place but he was only 4:44 minutes down on the winner in what was a very close race. He was always around 35th place and he finished strongly to maintain this position. Lachlan Dow who started very early was the leader on the big screen for some time and eventually finished in 54th place 12:17 minutes down on the winner.
Photos: Paul Prudhoe, Hilary Wood