wc :: storm hits world cup

Winds in excess of 60mph have forced a significant alteration to World Cup week, as trees falling down on todays middle race forced it to be abandoned and risks of worse weather tomorrow altering plans for the rest of the week.

At 11:08 CET this morning the Middle Distance final was halted, with 19 men and 34 women out on the course. Those in the forest were stopped and ran back along the road to the finish to the arena, which was a scene of devestation with tents blown down, flag poles snapped and trees strewn across the field.
Britains Jo Stevenson was one of only a handful to complete the course, and described the area as "hard and tough". Sarah Rollins described how she was in a pack when they were told the race was cancelled: "The Finnish girl said she wanted to carry on, but then a tree came down right beside us and she changed her mind!"

Graham Gristwood was unfortunate, having caught his 8 minute man at the second control he was having a decent run, only to be stopped en route to the 6th control.

Tomorrow was scheduled to have Sprint Qualification in the morning and a final in the afternoon, but the exposed nature of the qualification area has led to this being cancelled with a straight final commencing at 10am (BST).

The long on thursday will be as usual, however will not be the World Cup final, as this will be held on Friday - originally a rest day - as a middle race. However everyone will run this not just those who qualified yesterday.

The weather now has calmed down a bit, however there are scenes of destruction around the official accomodation, including another hotel further up the hill whose roof has been blown off. The British Team are in good spirits, and looking forward to four days of straight finals and the relay.

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