World Schools: Classic Race


Sweden and Latvia looked the strongest of the teams at the opening event of ISF World School Championship Orienteering in Scotland today. In wet conditions at Devilla Forest, both nations had six top three finishes, with Sweden taking convincing victories in both the D1 School and Select classes, as well as a clean sweep of the podium in the D1 School class. It wasn't all foreign dominance though as hosts Scotland, along with Ireland and England (and Wales) all had some fantastic results.

Tricky courses by planner John Emeleus made the best of the area, with some excellent long legs through the terrain testing runners strength and concentration across the vague contour detail.

Aboyne Academy junior Finlay Langan became Scotland's first ever medal winner at the ISF World Schools Championship Orienteering when he took bronze in today's race. The Maroc junior finished two and a half minutes down on the winner, Poland's Patryk Piosik, with his time of 32:26 for the 4.6km H2 School course. With teammates Joab Matthews finishing well in 4th, and Sam Burgess 14th, Aboyne are well in the running to give Scotland their best ever team position.

There was disappointment however for County Down's Aine McCann, who would have won her second major title of the week having won the D2 Select class with a time of 30:50 for the 3.9km course. Unfortunately, as she was without teammates in the competition, the rules mean that she has had to be declared non competitive. Last Saturday theLagan Valley orienteer won the W16 British Championships at Culbin , adding to her British school's title from last November and now, with the addition of a world schools title (at least morally), she has really proven herself as a talent for the future. England's Charlotte Watson finished second, two minutes down, and took the title ahead thirty seconds ahead of of Ilze Buza of Latvia who was a further thirty seconds clear of teammate Katrina Kosmaceva in 4th spot, making up the official top three.

Further good results for England came from Southdowns' Jonathan Crickmore, who won H2 Select by over a minute from Tobias Habenicht of Austria, completing the 4.8km course in a time of 30:59. Julia Blomquist finished in 3rd, just over half a minute clear of teammate Alice Leake but six minutes down on runaway victor Johanna Olsson of Sweden in D1 Select. In H1 Select Kristian Jones also finished in third, just three seconds off second place and under a minute down on Sweden's Albin Ridefeldt who won the 6.5km course in a time of 37:37.

Tomorrow competitors have a rest day, with a tour of Edinburgh, before competing in the middle distance race on Friday at Barr Wood near Stirling. Full results, routegadget and further information are available on the event website.


Trying to keep dry at Devilla

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