wuoc :: relay

Gold for GBR girls but disappointment for the boys.

A late battle by Helen Bridle, the teams most successful competitor of the week gave the girls team a tasty and, for some, surprising end to the week.

Bridle started the 4.5km last leg in 4th with a seven minute deficit to a strong Suisse team with Seline Stalder on last leg. In second were Norway with an out-of-shape Elise Egseth, 4 minutes ahead of GBR while 3rd was Finland just 17 seconds ahead. Helen ran a cool and confident first section in the tricky karst terrain and by the spectator had narrowed the gap to just over 4 minutes, while the Norwegians had fallen by the way-side. But with the very strong Maria Rantala ahead of her it looked like she and the rest of the team might have to settle for bronze.

For a brief moment the womens race was forgotten about as a frenetic sprint finish saw the culmination of the mens race (more below). But when the commentator (Orienteering Today editor Jan Skricka) returned to the action in the womens race he had some exciting news:

"And we have the leading team through the pre-warning. And it is NOT Switzerland. It is NOT Finland. It is NOT Norway. It is Great Britain, and Helen Bridle

"But eight seconds behind her we have..." (To be honest your correspondant forgets whether it was SUI or FIN 8 secs behind, it doesn't seem important now). Now the nervous wait began, with British team members sending cries for Helen out into the forest, perhaps as much to calm themselves as to offer her support, as she was not yet visible. The dense forest to the last control offered only the merest glimpses of incoming runners. But eventually the wait was over, and it was Helen sprinting out the forest onto the 250m horseshoe run-in, with enough of a lead over 2nd placed Suisse to be sure of glory. Gold for GBR!

The mens team had a similar level of aspirations to the girls, and it was felt that the great relay battles between ShUOC and EUOC of the last few years would help the team find a common purpose. However mistakes cost the team dearly, with only anchor-man Oli Johnson satisfied with his run. In summary, Graham Gristwood (7th) "enjoyed running off the front so much he did it three times" but a miss at the end cost him. Murray Strain (11th) started very well, picking up to 3rd place before the spectator but a change in terrain from karst to continental slope-o caught him off guard. Matt Crane (12th) flew out to try and make up lost time but missed early, so it was left to Oli to pick the team up to the top 10.

Nopesport should have an interview with the star of the team, Helen Bridle, online in the next few days.

Nopesport relies on user submitted articles. Got an inside scoop? An event review? Please submit it to us.


Orienteering headlines from around the web:


Bof News

Nopesport is supported by these advertisements