First and foremost my apologies for this being a little late – Preparations for both Queen’s Birthday and going overseas have taken precedence. Secondly for the brevity – it’s being written in Melbourne airport in transit. Hopefully the most important issues are covered. Obviously the most significant news in May has been Tim Robertson’s rise in the World Sprint Rankings on the back of masterful performances at the first 2 rounds of the IOF World Cup. These two events are looked at below. Meanwhile, notwithstanding, the Auckland Champs in early May it has been a bit of a quiet few weeks since. Hopefully things will have kicked into life at Kuku Beach and Waitarere by the time most of you read this – probably the biggest QB for many years with nearly 450 entries. Enjoy.
World Cup Round 1 Wroclaw, Poland
The first round of the 2016 World Cup in Wroclaw was essentially a dry run for next year’s World Games which will be held in the same place. The format of the round also mimicked that of the World Games with a sprint, a sprint relay and a middle distance. The round started with the middle distance in what by all accounts was pretty rugged terrain in which many athletes, including the Kiwis struggled. Lizzie Ingham was best placed in 44th in the women’s race, while Ross Morrison, Toby Scott, and Tim Robertson were all very close, but back, in the men’s.
None of this prepared us for the next day, when after finishing 2nd in his sprint heat, Tim produced what must be his best ever run as a senior to finish 5th in the Sprint final only 21 seconds behind Matthias Kyburz. Neither Toby nor Ross qualified for the final with Ross having the misfortune of mispunching,
Mens Middle (6.5 km): 1. Olav Lundanes (NOR) 35:19, 2. Carl Godager Kaas (NOR) 36:26, 3. Albin Ridefelt (SWE) 36:33, 4. Johan Runesson (SWE) 36:40, 5. Gustav Bergman (SWE) 36:48, 6. Magne Dahli (NOR) 37:21, 80. Ross Morrison (NZL) 45:09, 87. Toby Scott (NZL) 47:02, 89. Tim Robertson (NZL) 47:17.
Women’s Middle (5.4km): 1. Helena Jansson (SWE) 38:31, 2. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 38:33, 3. Svetlana Mironova (RUS) 39:59, 4. Merja Rantanen (FIN) 40:09, 5. Venla Harju (FIN) 40:14, 6. Maja Alm (DEN) 40:22, 44. Lizzie Ingham (NZL) 46:43.
Mens Sprint Final (4.2 km): 1. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 14:33, 2. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 14:34, 3. Jonas Leandersson (SWE) 14:38, 4. Oystein Kvall Osterbo (NOR) 14:48, 5. Tim Robertson (NZL) 14:54, 6.Andreas Rueedlinger (SUI) 14:55, 7. Soren Bobach (DEN) 14:57, 8. Emil Svensk (SWE) 14:59, 9. Martin Regborn (SWE) 15:01, 10. Albin Ridefelt (SWE) 15:06.
World Cup Round 2 Jesenik, Czech Republic (European Championships)
The second round of the World Cup held four weeks later was run at the European Championships. This is probably one of the toughest sets of races there is with a higher number of entries than WOC and a very tough programme which has qualifying races in all distances as well as sprint and forest relays. As a result none of the Kiwis elected to run in all races.
With no sprint relay team, the action for NZL started with the sprint and again Tim, Toby and Ross were the men’s representatives, with Laura Robertson returning to action after injury in the women’s field. Once more Tim was the star finishing 6th in his qualifying heat and then producing another stormer in the final to come in 7th, this time 35 s behind Kyburz.
Toby missed qualifying by only 16s, while Ross continued his bad luck by retiring with a calf injury quite early on. In the women’s race Laura finished 15th in her heat to qualify for the final where she came in 41st – almost a repeat of WOC2015!
Only Tim and Toby lined up for the long distance qualifying, which turned out to be quite gruelling with winning times in the 70-80 minutes range only a day before the final. Tim was only 2 minutes from making the cut and, perhaps equally impressively, was only just over 10 minutes behind heat winner Daniel Hubmann. Toby missed out on the final too and both, sensibly, elected to pass on the following day’s B final.
The middle distance was not one to be remembered for New Zealand, with none of the 5 (Kate Morrison now having joined the team) making the final. To finish the week the three men lined up in the relay coming in 23rd.
Mens Sprint Final: 1. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 13-42, 2. Gustav Bergman (SWE) 13-44, 3. Florian Howald (SUI) 13-45, 4. Martin Regborn (SWE) 13-59, 5. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 14-08, 6. Hakon Jarvis Westergard (NOR) 14-16, 7=. Tim Robertson (NZL) 14-17.
Women’s Sprint Final: 1. Judith Wyder (SUI) 14-23, 2. Nadiya Volynska (UKR) 14-28, 3=. Maja Alm (DEN) 14-34, 3= Galina Vinogradova (RUS) 14-34, 5. Merja Rantanen (FIN) 14-36, 6. Elena Roos (SUI) 14-52, 41. Laura Robertson (NZL) 17-02.
Unfortunately the NZL performance was almost upset by the omissison of Orienteering New Zealand to pay the entry fees (due 31 January). This led to the team arriving and being told they could not run unless approximately NZ$4000 was paid. Thanks are due to Ross and to Malcolm Ingham for sorting this out over a weekend allowing team NZL to compete. Hopefully this is a one-off. An upshot of it is that both Ross and Tim have raised the issue of ONZ providing more support for teams at World Cup races, both in the way of logistics and entry fees for relay teams. Although the second of these has long been a bone of contention which seems as far away as ever from being resolved, the issue of logistics is very pertinent. Is it fair for ONZ to enter teams in these high level competitions and not to help with organizing accommodation and transport? The athletes should be left to concentrate on what they are there to do – compete. Comments welcome.
im’s performances in the first two rounds of the World Cup (and in other spring events in 2016) have seen him rise to 13 in the Men’s Sprint rankings. This is the highest ranking ever held by a Kiwi and puts him firmly in the frame for WOC at the end of August. Great stuff!
Queen’s Birthday and SuperSeries
The upcoming Queen’s Birthday events have the largest field we have seen for some time. This is partly due to the school’s competition, but also a result of the Trans-Tasman Test Match which has brought a lot of Australian entries.
Somewhat in danger of being overshadowed is the fact that these events are also the final round of the 2016 SuperSeries with positions at the start being
Senior Men: 1. Nick Hann 410 pts (5 scores), 2. Gene Beveridge 339 (7), 3. Carsten Jorgensen 313 (6), 4. Matt Ogden 300 (4), 5. Tommy Hayes 287 (5..
Senior Women: 1. Penny Kane 449 (6), 2. Danielle Goodall 340 (4), 3. Tessa Ramsden 279 (7), 4. Imogene Scott 255 (4), 5. Georgia Whitla 240 (3.
Junior Men: 1=. Tommy Hayes 360 (5), 1=. Matt Goodall 360 (5), 3. Ed Cory-Wright 282 (5), 4. Devon Beckman 180 (3), 5. Shamus Morrison 162 (3).
Junior Women: 1. Danielle Goodall 610 (7), 2. Kayla Fairbairn 455 (7), 3. Alice Tilley 435 (7), 4. Katie Cory-Wright 385 (7), 5. Lara Molloy 294 (7).
I will attempt to keep running scores from Europe and post these on the web, however the presentation will have to await later in the season.