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WOC Sprint

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 10 August 2005, 5:51 AM  
Tania is on fire! 3rd in C heat, Rachel looks in in B heat and Claire has just missed out.

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 10 August 2005, 6:08 AM  
Awesome run by Tania!

Show Profile  Greg Posted: 10 August 2005, 6:43 AM  
Darren and Chris are in with awesome runs both less than a minute behind the heat winner, Jamie has missed out.

This message was edited by Greg on 10 August 2005, 1:44 PM

Show Profile  Martin Posted: 10 August 2005, 6:45 AM  
Congrats Chris (9th heat B) and Darren (6th heat A). Jamie (21st heat C) just missed out in a fast heat where the top 7 were under 16min.

Show Profile  HeadHoncho Posted: 10 August 2005, 7:00 AM  

Now pray for the next 3 hours everybody.

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 10 August 2005, 7:07 AM  
Awesome stuff, can't wait !!!

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 10 August 2005, 9:42 AM  
Its all happening now- so far 1/3 of the women have finished, Rachel is 11th of 20, 3 seconds behind Natasha Key with Tania starting soon

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 10 August 2005, 9:47 AM  
oops that was at the intermediate control, but its all changed now

Show Profile  mick finn Posted: 10 August 2005, 10:07 AM  
simone niggli looks unbeatable on 14:02 clear by 32 secs,
and Tania in 24th

Show Profile  Keith Posted: 10 August 2005, 10:07 AM  
Tania 24th Rach 36th, great stuff

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 10 August 2005, 11:16 AM  
So Chris Forne 27th and Darren Ashmore 35th. Some great efforts!

Show Profile  fraser Posted: 12 August 2005, 2:28 AM  
Nic's report:

Toyota City, Japan; Wednesday

New Zealand's best ever performance in an Orienteering World Championships qualification race occurred today when Tania Robinson (Auckland) made the top three in a very strong Sprint heat. Only the most experienced member of the classy Swiss team, Vroni Konig-Salmi, and Norway's top hope in this event, Anne Margrethe Hausken, were able to better Robinson's time of 16:37. The heats took place in among steep sided hills and lowland forest with the thickest undergrowth that competitors had seen so far during the championships. This is not typical terrain for sprint orienteering, but quick decision making was needed as most legs gave the option of a long route using the extensive track network, or more direct routes through the undergrowth. Such conditions favoured Robinson who is very strong running through rough terrain, and she was able to achieve this stunning result while still leaving plenty of energy in reserve for the afternoon's final.

Four New Zealanders in total made it into the sprint finals. Robinson was joined by Rachel Smith (Christchurch) who easily took 11th place in a heat dominated by Swiss star Simone Niggli. Niggli was over two minutes ahead of second placed Celine Dodin (France), an eternity in sprint orienteering, as demonstrated by Smith being about the same margin behind Dodin. Two New Zealand men also qualified without having to run at top intensity. Chris Forne (Christchurch) was 9th in his heat, while Darren Ashmore of Tongariro (whose selection ahead of New Zealand sprint champion Karl Dravitzki for this race was a surprise to some) was 6th in possibly the strongest heat. Both Forne and Ashmore were within a minute of their heat winners, and title favourites, Matthias Merz (Switzerland) and Emil Wingstedt (Sweden).

The remaining New Zealanders, Claire Paterson (Palmerston North) and Jamie Stewart (Christchurch) unfortunately end their 2005 world champs campaign without making finals in either of their events. Paterson is somewhat of a sprint specialist, so the unusual choice of terrain did not favour her, but in 19th place was only a minute and a half from qualifying. Stewart knew he had made too many mistakes in this least forgiving of orienteering disciplines to make the final, but as in his heat less than 2 minutes seperated the fifteen runners who qualified, even a perfect race would not have guaranteed a place among the top 45. They were in good company, as among those to miss the cut were 2004 silver medallist Yuri Omeltchenko (Ukraine) and other favourites David Brickhill-Jones (Australia) and Tore Sandvik (Norway).

The afternoon's final included legs through a neighbouring park as well as returning into the morning's forest. Simone Niggli made the perfect start in a campaign to emulate her performance in the 2003 world champs, where she won gold in all three individual events and was part of Switzerland's winning women's relay team. This time she does not have the advantage of home terrain, but results so far show that the Swiss team as a whole are enjoying Japan's steep forests. Niggli's almost flawless race and a time of 14:02 put her 30 seconds ahead of nearest rival, Norway's Anne Margrethe Hausken. For Hausken, a silver medal today compensated for her shock failure to qualify for the Middle Distance final. The bronze medal went to Heather Monro of Britain, good reward for someone who has been among the most consistently good orienteers on the European circuit in recent years. Tania Robinson had to be satisfied with 24th place, after confusion running through spectators around the second control lost her 15 seconds and 5 or 6 places. Rachel Smith struggled with the heat, which was not only significantly hotter than at the higher altitude venues used for other events but for the first time competitors were running in the heat of the afternoon. However her final placing of 36th is still very respectable.

The men's final was a much closer affair. Young Swiss man Daniel Hubmann had qualified mid field but stepped up in the afternoon, setting an impressive time of 14:41. A succession of later starters came painfully close to toppling him, but never close enough. Just as it looked like Hubmann was going to make it a double-golden day for Switzerland Emil Wingstedt of Sweden charged into the finishing chute to take the win, and his first individual world title, by 10 seconds. Less than 8 seconds seperated the silver medal position and 5th place. Further back, Chris Forne and Darren Ashmore had solid races but could not match the top Europeans for speed through the rough vegetation. However Forne's 27th place was a rare visit into the top 30 for a New Zealand man, and Ashmore's 35th place completed the best day for a New Zealand team at a World Orienteering Championships for some time.

Sprint Qualification (15 from each heat qualify for final)

Heat A
1 Emil Wingstedt Sweden 15:52
2= Marc Lauenstein Switzerland 16:24
2= Gernot Kerschbaumer Austria 16:24
6 Darren Ashmore New Zealand 16:42

Heat B
1 Matthias Merz Switzerland 15:51
2 Mats Haldin Finland 15:59
3 Jamie Stevenson Britain 16:16
9 Chris Forne New Zealand 16:51

Heat C
1 Chris Terkelsen Denmark 14:57
2 Jani Lakanen Finland 15:20
3 Niclas Jonasson Sweden 15:23
14= Ewen McCarthy Britain 16:43
14= Petr Losman Czech Rep
21 Jamie Stewart New Zealand 19:27

Heat A
1 Heli Jukkola Finland 16:35
2 Karolina Arewang-Hosgaard Sweden 17:04
3 Ieva Sargautyte Lithuania 17:15
15 Agnes Simon Hungary 20:08
19 Claire Paterson New Zealand 21:35

Heat B
1 Simone Niggli Switzerland 14:54
2 Celine Dodin France 16:58
3 Olga Belozerova Russia 17:07
11 Rachel Smith New Zealand 19:04

Heat C
1 Vroni Konig Salmi Switzerland 15:27
2 Anne Margrethe Hausken Norway 16:25
3 Tania Robinson New Zealand 16:37

Sprint Final:
Men (2.4 km)
1 Wingstedt Sweden 14:31.0
2 Daniel Hubmann Switzerland 14:41.5
3 Lakanen Finland 14:45.7
4 Oystein Kvaal Osterbo Norway 14:47.1
5 Andrey Khramov Russia 14:49.2
27 Forne New Zealand 16:40.0
35 Ashmore New Zealand 17:02.8

Women (2.0 km)
1 Niggli Switzerland 14:02.7
2 Hausken Norway 14:34.4
3 Heather Monro Britain 15:01.7
4 Emma Engstrand Sweden 15:03.1
5 Konig-Salmi Switzerland 15:09.5
24 Robinson New Zealand 17:01.5
36 Smith New Zealand 18:10.1




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