wuoc :: middle

The ShUOC (Sheffield University) runners of Matt Crane and Rachel Elder were top Brits with 9th and 10 th place respectively today in a tricky and hilly middle distance race.

Simonas Krepsta of Lithuania was the dominanat winner of the Mens race, over 2 minutes ahead of the silver medal winning frenchman Phillippe Adamski. There was a tight battle for bronze with Stig Alvestad of Norway beating Tuomas Tervo of Finland by 1 second. Stig arrived in Slovakia with a full head of floppy hair, but a trip to the barbers yesterday left him with the local favourite - a mullet. Perhaps it made the difference today!

The womens race was won by Line Hagman of Trondheim Uni in Norway. She was 17 seconds ahead of the Russian Larisa Stanchenko who took her second medal of the week, while bronze went to Finland's Maria Rantala.

Matt Crane was very pleased with his run, saying "That's more like it" indicating a significant improvement on yesterday. Some small hesitations cost him a podium spot, but he was satisfied with a top 10.

Rachael Elder was not so happy, as she had been in touch with the leaders at the second radio control, and running in a strong pack that included Noemi Cerny, formerly of Aire. However three mistakes in the last four controls meant she threw away a medal. After that a top 10 was little consolation.

Helen Palmer knew she had to live on the edge today, she aimed for a top result having had "reasonable" results in the past. And it started well for her, however one risk too many in the middle of the course and she had lost it.

Oli Johnson ran OK, however has inflamed a recent toe injury.

Graham Gristwood struggled after his shoes fell apart.

Mhairi and Aislinn finished with very smiilar times but neither was happy with their performance, with scrappy mistakes in the technical terrain.

Oleg was quite happy with his run. He said he went out to be technically accurate rather than racing over the limits, and said he found it very satisfying especially in a very rocky area where the controls were hidden behind boulders and he spiked them all.

Your correspondant was watching from the sidelines today as he prepares for tomorrows sprint race round the old town of the host city, Kosice.


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