EOC : : Middle Final

Today saw the middle final of the first round of the World Cup and European Championships.

The venue of today was at Gronholt Hegn just outside Hillerod and provided the best area for competing this week with better running quality in the forest compared with the qualification races.

The winners in both classes were no surprises with teh middle distance World Champion Thierry Gueorgiou taking the mens title from Jarkko Huovila of Finland and Emil Wingstedt of Sweden was in third place. Hanne Staff of Norway won the womens race from the relatively unknown on the international scene Dainora Alsauskaite of Lithuania and OK Ravinen and Tatiana Ryabkina of Russia.

Thierry put in a very impressive performance around the course leading from the start and looking very fast through the spectator leg. Thierry at the press conference noted that this is one of his best runs to date and he was only 10 seconds off perfection and was very happy with his race. Jarkko was quite satisfied with his second place and only missed on the last loop. Emil was also happy with his race commenting on a shaky start to his race. Thierrys victory margin of 1minute 12 seconds was big compared with the next four positions covering only 13 seconds.

Great Britains representatives in the final were Jamie Stevenson coming in a credible seventh place 39 seconds behind Jarkko Huovila. Jamie commented on the flat nature of the forest with very few of the large undulating features typical of the qualifiers. Jamie is now taking the next two days away from the competition to prepare himself for the long distance final on Friday. Britains other representative in the final was Jon Duncan who finished in 47th place. Jon could be seen to be very disappointed with his run today making an error on the long leg to number 17 and also due to his early start he didnt have the advantage of later runners through the tracked course. Jon described how in the latter part of the course reeds higher than himself had to be run through for the optimum route choice.

In the womens race Hanne Staff found herself on the podium again and happy to be there after the recent dominance of Simone Luder. Both the second and third place runners Dainora Alsauskaite of Lithuania and OK Ravinen and Tatiana Ryabkina of Russia were pleased with their runs and were surprised to find themselves on the podium.

British interest came from Heather Monro, Sarah Rollins and Clare Ward.
Clare, competing in her first senior international final, has been suffering from illness and this combined with a minute and a half mistake at the first radio control meant her final debut wasnt a happy one finishing in 47th place. Sarah Rollins was Britains high performer in 21st place. Sarah told nopesport that she had had a clean run apart from one control where the descriptions were suspect. Sarah is looking forward to tomorrows sprint races in which she has excelled this year at PWT. Heather Monros 25th place was pleasing for her in a season plagued with injury. Heather told nopesport that she has no goals for these championships and being out racing is good enough for her and her attempt at World Championships selection.

In the mens B-final Kiril Nikolov of Bulgaria won by nearly a minute in front of 3 Polish runners. Stephen Palmer had a good run to finish in 5th place, Nick Barrable was only a minute slower than Palmer and finished in 13th place. Nicholas Morgan, also making his senior international debut, finished in 23rd position.

In the womens B-final Renate Fauner of Italy won by 5 seconds from Line Hagman of Norway. Helen Winskill performed well to finish in 5th place, and Hannah Wooton ended up in 24th position.

Dan Marston decided against racing today due to the heavy schedule of the European Championships and is resting for the hard classic race on Friday

News has also reached nopesport today that many of the Great Britain athletes are suffering from illness. Jo Stevenson didnt partake today and Clare Ward was suffering during her middle final races. Nopesport wishes them a speedy recovery.


Mens A Final 6.4km, 95m
1. Thierry Gueorgiou FRA 30.49
2. Jarkko Huovila FIN 32.01
3. Emil Wingstedt SWE 32.10
7. Jamie Stevenson GBR 32.40
47. Jon Duncan GBR 40.07

Womens A Final 5.3km, 90m
1. Hanne Staff NOR 29.58
2. Dainora Alsauskaite LTU 30.24
3. Tatiana Ryabkina RUS 30.53
21. Sarah Rollins GBR 33.13
24. Heather Monro GBR 33.50
47. Claire Ward GBR 38.04

Mens B Final 6.2km, 95m
1. Kiril Nikolov BUL 32.51
2. Jacek Nowak POL 33.48
3. Marcin Richert POL 34.06
5. Stephen Palmer GBR 34.37
13. Nick Barrable GBR 35.49
23. Nicholas Morgan GBR 37.59

Womens B Final 5.2km, 85m
1. Renate Fauner ITA 33.35
2. Line Hagman NOR 33.40
3. Monika Depta POL 34.40
5. Helen Winskill GBR 34.58
24. Hannah Wootton GBR 44.18


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