woc selection race :: sprint

'He waits; that's what he does.
And I tell you what: tick followed tock followed tick followed tock followed tick...
Ahab says, 'I don't care who you are, here's to your dream.'
'Here's to you, Ahab'.
And the fat drummer hit the beat with all his heart.

Here's to waiting.'

So the weekend began; you can argue (as some do on the forums or at the event) that the team is a dead cert or that the selectors only need to figure out the disciplines that the chosen ones will do. I would counter that you need to turn up and you need to show the form that will carry you through to the finals and glory. British sport craves success like a new born baby cries for its mother. We (the Great British public) want to see heroes being produced rather than lame ducks. That process for WOC 2008 starts now.

This weekend was going to provide, for some competitors, the golden ticket to the Czech Republic or for some hard reflection on a long tortured domestic season.

And so to the racing.....

The men's and women's sprint were held in the old provincial market town of Shrewsbury, home to 70,680 inhabitants, and on Saturday the crowning of a new king of British Sprint Orienteering, Scott Fraser. Fresh from his podium position at the Europeans, Scott teared into his fellow orienteers, winning the sprint by 9 seconds from Graham Gristwood. GG remarked to Nopesport that he had an epic trip from Sweden involving a number of cancelled transport connections. GG, a veteran of a number of WOC Sprint races, was looking calm running through the old town and looked in control throughout. Oli Johnson took third place, showing a consistent high level of form over the past few months since his inspiring result at the British Championships in Culbin. Things could have been tighter still at the top, a costly 30 second error that sixth placed Murray Strain encountered knocked him out of a top three finish.

In the women's race a relative shock was produced with Lizzie Adams recording an excellent second place. Those who know Lizzie are aware of her potential as a fantastic athlete and so it was great to see a podium finish. However, Lizzie was underdone by the great run of Pippa Whitehouse, who look controlled as she worked her way through the alleyways of Shrewsbury, setting up a win by 8 seconds. Third place was attained by Sarah Rollins, finishing well after an immense performance in the European Relay Championships.

Full results and splits are available here

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