jwoc :: sprint


The Junior World Orienteering Championships today started at speed with the sprint discipline which was always likely to be the race that would go to form. Away from the tricky rocky terrain competitors will face over the rest of the championships, the sprint was on terrain less unique to Australia where the rest of the week will be played out. With a mixture of flat forest and open parkland set around Western Plains Zoo, much of the route decisions were provided by animal enclosures and numerous out of bounds areas. The zoo wasn't closed for the event, so competitors were also faced with spectators, pedestrians and vehicles around the area.

All the British runners had relatively early starts, apart from Joe Mercer, John Rocke and Tessa Hill who were all off amongst the final six starters. This meant that it was early on in the competition that Douglas Tullie and Iain Embrey had posted good results around the top 10 but it was Duncan Coombs who provided the biggest hope for success, finishing in 3rd place and with a nervous wait to see how that would hold up throughout the rest of the morning. Duncan's time of 14:51 for the 3.3 km course was impressive at 4 mins/km but in the end it wasn't quite quick enough as the eventual winner, Vojtech Kral of the Czech Republic, emerged with a time of 13:29 (4 mins/km) which stood up strongly against the later starts.

His nearest challenger was Olav Lundanes of Norway, a silver and bronze medalist from JWOC last year in Lithuania, with a time of 14:05 which gained him another silver for his collection. After Bulgarian Ivan Sirakov, a further 18 seconds down, the rest of the results were quite tight with Martin Hubmann of Switzerland showing a similar talent to that of his brother Daniel, taking 4th spot just ahead of a tie in 5th between Zsolt Lenei of Hungary and Christian Bobach of Denmark the Middle distance champion of 2006, who had been concerned by an ankle sprain in training earlier in the week.

So for Duncan it was just outside the top 20 in 22nd place he finished, 23 seconds off the podium and one second outside the top 20 which had proved a popular place for our Antipodean cousins, with highly tipped Australian Simon Uphill in 10th and New Zealander Tom Reynolds in joint 14th place. The late starting Brits faired well too with Joe finishing just outside the top 40 in a time of 15:31 and the others packing inside the top 70. Ireland's Seamus O'Boyle was their best finisher in 74th place.

The women's race went very much to form with last year's bronze medalist, behind Ingunn Weltzien and Hanny Allston who are both now seniors, taking Gold this time round. Sweden's Eva Svensson has already had a silver at this year's Nordic Open but went one better at JWOC taking the title by 1 second ahead of Czech Republic's Sarka Svobodna, with a time of 13:19 for the 2.7km course. Maja Alm also went one better than her Nordic Open position of 4th, taking bronze medal while Nordic champion Siri Ulvestad had to settle for 4th with the podium completed by Jenny Lnnkvist of Sweden and Anastasia Trubkina of Russia. New Zealand once again fared well with two inside the women's top 20, Greta Knarston in 19th and Lizzie Ingham in 20th.

For the Brits it was last year's best sprinters, Rebecca Roberts and Tessa Hill, who were once again the highest finishers with not a lot between them. Rebecca was the one this time to finish in front, in 60th place, with a time of 15:55, three seconds clear of Tessa in 61st with Anne Edwards a further 10 seconds down in 64th spot. Clyde youngster Hollie Orr finished in 74th with a time of 17:26 while Ireland's Ciara Largey finished in 80th.

Men (3.3km, 18 controls):

1. Vojtech KRAL CZE 13:59 +00:00
2. Olav LUNDANES NOR 14:05 +00:06
3. Ivan SIRAKOV BUL 14:23 +00:24
4. Martin HUBMANN SUI 14:26 +00:27
5. Zsolt LENKEI HUN 14:28 +00:29
5. Christian BOBACH DEN 14:28 +00:29
22. Duncan COOMBS GBR 14:51 +00:52
41. Joe MERCER GBR 15:31 +01:32
59. Doug TULLIE GBR 15:59 +02:00
62. John ROCKE GBR 16:08 +02:09
67. Hector HAINES GBR 16:28 +02:29
68. Iain EMBREY GBR 16:29 +02:30
74. Seamus O`BOYLE IRL 16:48 +02:49
90. Ruairi SHORT IRL 18:06 +04:07
94. Fiach O`ROURKE IRL 18:33 +04:34
111. Colm HILL IRL 21:39 +07:40
Nicholas SIMONIN IRL mp.

Women (2.7km, 17 controls):

1. Eva SVENSSON SWE 13:19 +00:00
2. Sarka SVOBODNA CZE 13:20 +00:01
3. Maja ALM DEN 13:23 +00:04
4. Siri ULVESTAD NOR 13:35 +00:16
5. Jenny LNNKVIST SWE 13:37 +00:18
6. Anastasia TRUBKINA RUS 13:56 +00:37
60. Rebecca ROBERTS GBR 15:55 +02:36
61=. Tessa HILL GBR 15:58 +02:39
64. Anne EDWARDS GBR 16:08 +02:49
74=. Hollie ORR GBR 17:26 +04:07
80. Ciara LARGEY IRL 19:48 +06:29

Full results are available here while splits are available here.

Next up is the Long Distance on Monday which you will be able to follow live if you have insomnia/are coming home from the pub/are up stupidly early with start times below:

Men (11.1km 495m 27 Controls):
Iain EMBREY GBR 9:06:00 (00:06 UK)
Ruairi SHORT IRL 9:28:00 (00:28 UK)
Colm HILL IRL 9:40:00 (00:40 UK)
John ROCKE GBR 9:56:00 (00:59 UK)
Fiach O'ROURKE IRL 10:26:00 (01:26 UK)
Doug TULLIE GBR 10:34:00 (01:34 UK)
Joe MERCER GBR 11:12:00 (02:12 UK)
Duncan COOMBS GBR 11:56:00 (02:56 UK)
Hector HAINES GBR 12:30:00 (03:30 UK)
Seamus O'BOYLE IRL 12:40:00 (03:40 UK)

Women (7.2km 300m 16 Controls):
Ciara LARGEY IRL 9:11:00 (00:11 UK)
Hollie ORR GBR 9:17:00 (00:17 UK)
Tessa HILL GBR 10:41:00 (01:41 UK)
Anne EDWARDS GBR 11:33:00 (02:33 UK)
Rebecca ROBERTS GBR 11:49:00 (02:49 UK)


Duncan Coombs on the run-in (Photo courtesy BOF)

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