Almost certainly for the first time, both the top NZL men’s and women’s teams have finished in the official top 10 in the JWOC relay. This consists of one team per country.
For the men, Felix Hunt gave New Zealand a steady start, handing over to Ryan Moore who had the team in 22nd place as he handed over to Zefa Fa’avae. Zefa continued his fantastic week by running the third fastest time on the last leg, overhauling 13 teams to cross the line in 9th place. With only one team per country to count officially, with both Swiss teams ahead the official place was 8th! NZL2, made up of Nathan Borton, Fergus O’Neill and Riley Croxford crossed the line in 34th place.
The women’s top team started with another excellent run from Penelope Salmon bringing them in to the end of the first leg in 5th position. The good work was continued by Rachel Baker on leg 2. Unfortunately, Kaia Joergensen on the last leg made on large mistake and the team, aided by disqualifications for Switzerland 1 and both Swedish teams, finished in 12th place across the line, but 9th position officially as Finland, Norway and Czechia all had 2 teams ahead. In an impressive team performance overall the second Kiwi team of Anna and Katherine Babington and Zara Stewart were 15th across the line.
Men: 1. Czechia 1 1:34:33, 2. Switzerland 2 1:34:52, 3. Switzerland 1 1:36:31, 9. New Zealand 1 1:40:58, 34. New Zealand 2 2:01:17.
Women: 1. Hungary 1 1:20:44, 2. Czechia 1 1:20:45, 3. Norway 1 1:21:14, 12. New Zealand 1 1:33:49, 15. New Zealand 2 1:36:52.