Jenni Adams in the Piopio forest, Waitango 2007. Credit: Jamie Stewart
Race Start NZ Champs 2015 Middle – The Rockery Onewhero. Credit: Karen Woods
Auckland Orienteering Series 2015 – Woodhill. Credit: Karen Woods
  
Selfs Farm Summer Orienteering
ONZ High Performance News #30/31 – June/July 2017
By Malcolm Ingham - Mon 31 Jul 2017 10:14am
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I apologise that with WOC already under way at the end of June, the June issue of HP News somewhat fell by the wayside. So here you have a combined June/July issue which not only summarises WOC with its highs and lows, but also JWOC which followed hard on its heels and saw Tommy Hayes continue NZL’s recent wonderful record in the JWOC Sprint. Finally, over the last few days we have had the World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. So, hopefully enough to make up for that missing read at the end of June.

Malcolm Ingham

(mandg.ingham@xtra.co.nz)

WOC2017 – Estonia

To a certain extent much of what can be said about WOC was written in the reports appearing on the ONZ website at the time, but even with the benefit of a few of weeks hindsight there are still issues that come to mind.

Perhaps, first and foremost, the travel info. Estonia was an interesting place to visit. From the orienteering perspective very little in the way of significant topography, lots of lakes and marshes, some very physical terrain. Beyond that, some wonderful old buildings, including in Tartu the oldest university in the Baltic states (~1600), lovely parklands, mixed in with Soviet-era blocks of flats that looked to have seen better days (perhaps). Miles and miles of cultivated land and forest, but little visible sign of industry. All connected by a road system with less dual carriageway than New Zealand and a perplexing array of speed limits. It was also a WOC where the maps were well spread out, so that although Tartu was the centre for the sprint and the event centre, the middle distance and relay maps were 60k away, and the long distance map was over 100k to the south – so a lot of travelling back and forth.

Anyway – the sprint. This was possibly the one where NZL hopes of high places suffered their biggest hit. First surprise was to turn up at quarantine for the qualification race to find that the courses had been re-planned overnight after a property owner, despite a personal visit from the local mayor, refused access permission across his land. Nevertheless three qualifiers was acceptable and matched previous performances. Tommy was very unlucky to not make the final as well, missing out by one place and a handful of seconds. The final, however, was, at least from NZL’s point of view, both a disaster and controversial.

WOC Men’s Sprint Final

Bulletin 3, published in late April, listed the Men’s and Women’s Sprint Finals as having 27 and 25 controls respectively. Somehow, by the time Bulletin 4 came out in the week before the event this had reduced to 15 and 13! The result, as is seen from the Men’s course below, was a sprint vastly different from  the kind of race  that we see  in New Zealand. The feeling of the New Zealand team was that the result was a sprint that was light on the need for rapid and continuous decision making, and heavily slanted to pure running speed. For example, look at 5-6. Notwithstanding the artificial blocking of routes, once an initial route choice was made there was something like 700m of flat out running with no decisions to make. Neither Tim nor Laura Robertson revelled in this, while Lizzie Ingham suffered a recurrence of breathing difficulties that have plagued her in sprints in recent years and jogged most of the second half of the course.

Various rumours have circulated about the reasons for the changes. These go from the SEA thinking the original course were “too easy”, to the original planner resigning because of the constraints being applied for TV coverage. Perhaps we will never know but, sadly, there seems to be a continuing trend at WOC to make the sprint more of a foot race than a navigational challenge at speed, and word is that Latvia 2018 will be little different. It starts to look as if a new kind of sprint orienteer is needed.

Qualification Men A: 1. Yannick Michiels (BEL) 11:01, 2. Jonas Leandersson (SWE) 11:03, 3. Jerker Lysell (SWE) 11:05, 20. Ross Morrison 12:09.

Qualification Men B: 1. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 10:33, 2. Aleksi Nieme (FIN) 10:42, 3. Tue Lassen (DEN) 10:43, 13. Tim Robertson 11:08.

Qualification Men C: 1. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 11:08, 2. Kristian Jones (GBR) 11:15, 3. Jan Petrzela (CZE) 11:18, 16. Tommy Hayes 12:03.

Qualification Women A: 1. Maja Alm (DEN) 11:07, 2. Lina Strand (SWE) 11:38, 3. Anastasia Rudnaya (RUS) 11:39, 18. Imogene Scott 13:15.

Qualification Women B: 1. Galina Vinogradova (RUS) 11:23, 2. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 11:27, 3. Ursula Kadan (AUT) 11:48, 13. Laura Robertson 12:48.

Qualification Women C: 1. Cecilie Friberg Klysner (DEN) 10:33, 2. Elena Roos (SUI) 10:47, 3. Karolin Ohlsson (SWE) 10:56, 9. Lizzie Ingham 11:32.

Final Men: 1. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 14:30.6, 2. Frederic Tranchand (FRA) 14:33.5, 3. Jerker Lysell (SWE) 14:35.8, 4. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 14:36.3, 5. Jonas Leandersson (SWE) 14:43.3, 6. Vojtech Kral (CZE) 14:49.5, 26. Tim Robertson 15:42.7.

Final Women: 1. Maja Alm (DEN) 13:55.5, 2. Natalia Gemperle (RUS) 14:32.5, 3. Galina Vinogradova (RUS) 14:34.2, 4. Venla Harju (FIN) 14:49.4, 5. Anastasia Denisova (BLR) 14:52.2, Elena Roos (SUI) 14:57.7, 37. Laura Robertson 16:49.8, 45. Lizzie Ingham 20:30.7.

In contrast to the individual sprint final, the sprint relay was an excellent event in a spectacular setting based around the Teutonic Knights hill fort in Vitipalu. The women’s spaces in the NZL team had been left open and, believing that running in all races was not sensible (no-one at WOC ran all the races), Lizzie requested to not run – a decision probably subsequently vindicated by her problems in the sprint final. So Imogene Scott took on leg 1, with Tim, Ross Morrison and Laura to follow. Again, however, the overall NZL performance was slightly disappointing and, after mistakes by all three of the earlier runners, was redeemed only partially by a good final leg by Laura. It’s interesting that in general NZL athletes are running 2-3 minutes slower per leg than the top runners, although admittedly we have very little practice at sprint relays – something that needs to be addressed.

1. Sweden 1:03:35, 2. Denmark 1:04:05, 3. Switzerland 1:04:29, 4. Czech Republic 1:04:51, 5. Russia 1:05:21, 6. Great Britain 1:06:01, 21. New Zealand 1:13:22 (Imogene Scott 18:03, Tim Robertson 18:03, Ross Morrison 19:34, Laura Robertson 17:42).

The long distance, and the implications for New Zealand, can best be summed up by the comments provided by Nick Hann’s on his return home.

I re-read … HP news from September last year where you discussed the difference in winning times for WOC/JWOC and New Zealand events. After running the long this year and noticing how much tougher it was than any other event I have done in New Zealand, I am of the opinion that our events are too short. The only event I can think of that came close to the WOC long was the ultralong in Australia. That’s not how it should be……….……..I also think we need to encourage the use of tougher terrains (greener, steeper, more physical)…

Early route choice in WOC long distance

Despite Nick’s comments the NZL performance in the long distance were really good. Nick, himself, ran a great (if tough) race in which route choice was an absolute premium, only to make a crucial error, in the last loop after passing through the arena, which saw him go Out of Bounds and led to an unfortunate DSQ. Without this, in his first WOC, Nick would have been 34th – an exceptional result first up. Not far behind was Gene Beveridge who came in 37th, again a really good result in a top field. In the women, Lizzie, much more comfortable in the forest that on the streets, excelled with 28th place – perhaps most notable though for the big reception she got as she came in to take the lead as she finished. Imogene also ran a solid long for 44th. Tim, suffering from shin splits, opted to rest before the relay.

A taste of the phenomenal route choice in the long is given by the contrasting routes taken by Nick and Gene from 1 to 2, shortly to be followed by another massive leg from 3 to 4.

Men: 1. Olav Lundanes (NOR) 1:45:25, 2. Leonid Novikov (RUS) 1:47:15, 3. William Lind (SWE) 1:47:38, 4. Magne Daehli (NOR) 1:48:33, 5. Eskil Kinneberg (NOR) 1:49:58, 6. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 1:50:24, 37. Gene Beveridge 2:19:03, DSQ Nick Hann approx. 2:15:00, DNS Tim Robertson.

Women: 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 1:19:10, 2. Maja Alm (DEN) 1:20:42, 3. Natalia Gemperle (RUS) 1:24:46, 4. Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg (NOR) 1:27:06, 5. Elena Roos (SUI) 1:27:13, 6. Emma Johansson (SWE) 1:27:27, 28. Lizzie Ingham 1:39:23, 44. Imogene Scott 1:58:14.

WOC Middle: Lizzie visits the men’s control in the wrong depression

Like the long distance, the NZL results achieved in the middle distance by Lizzie (22nd), Nick (39th) and Gene (41st) were excellent and, again, bar a few small errors, could have been even better. Early on Lizzie, in particular, was looking good for a place in the mid-teens until she made a couple of small errors just before the arena run-through. One of these involved visiting the men’s control in a depression very close to the one the women’s control was in. A reciprocal mistake saw long distance men’s champion Olav Lundanes disqualified for punching the women’s control. In contrast to Lizzie, Nick and Gene, Laura and Ross made too many mistakes in the low visibility, technical terrain and finished further down the fields.

Without doubt, however, the highlight for everyone was seeing Thierry Guergiou win the middle distance for the 8th time in his very last individual race at WOC.

Men: 1. Thierry Guergiou (FRA) 33:12, 2. Fabian Hertner (SUI) 33:37, 3. Oleksandr Kratov (UKR) 33:42, 4. Johan Runesson (SWE) 33:58, 5. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 33:59, 6. Gustav Bergman (SWE) 34:00, 39. Nick Hann 41:11, 41. Gene Beveridge 41:40, 52. Ross Morrison 46:11.

Women: 1. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 32:34, 2. Marianne Andersen (NOR) 34:44, 3. Venla Harju (FIN) 36:44, 4. Svetlana Mironova (RUS) 36:57, 5. Emily Kemp (CAN) 37:32, 6. Helena Jansson (SWE) 37:34, 22. Lizzie Ingham 41:52, 50. Laura Robertson 54:26

After the relative successes of the middle and the long the relays were an unmitigated disaster, and for the women left NZL, at least for a while, with the possibility of relegation from Group 2. On the first legs both Gene and Lizzie had issues relating to coping with the high pressure, top level, environment that the first leg brings. Unfortunately, Imogene on leg 2 for the women, not having had the experience on the map, which was essentially the same as for the middle distance, had a dreadful time. For the men though Nick continued his good form and had a good second leg. Like Imogene though, Tim had not experienced the terrain in the middle distance and also had a lot of difficulties, while Laura, although having a better run than on the previous day, started too far back to make much of a difference. This was the second year in a row that the relays have not been a happy experience and it does, perhaps, flag the need for a reintroduction of a more competitive relay at home than we currently have.

Men: 1. Norway 1:34:50, 2. France 1:36:06, 3. Sweden 1:36:53, 4. Estonia 1:38:47, 5. Switzerland 1:41:11, 6. Russia 1:41:20, 25. New Zealand 2:13:34 (Gene Beveridge 43:07, Nick Hann 38:20, Tim Robertson 52:07).

Women: 1. Sweden 1:41:12, 2. Russia 1:43:53, 3. Finland 1:45:35, 4. Switzerland 1:48:41, 5. Latvia 1:48:45, 6. Norway 1:52:21, 22. New Zealand 2:30:07 (Lizzie Ingham 44:34, Imogene Scott 1:02:44, Laura Robertson 42:49).

Overall then, WOC2017 had highs (the middle and the long) and lows (the sprint and the relays). What is clear is that the level of competition is getting higher each year and if NZL is to remain even mildly competitive there are some areas of our domestic approach to orienteering that we need to look very closely at. Certainly much more relay training/racing is required, but the with the forest/urban split of WOC only another year away it really is time for athletes to start to think about specialisation. But, oh, by the way, for Latvia2018 NZL remains in group 2 for both the men and the women.

JWOC2017 – Tampere, Finland

Results and performances at JWOC are always difficult to pick as not only every year some of the top performers move out into the senior ranks and newcomers come in, but physical and emotional development is different for different athletes. 2017 was no exception although, ultimately there was really only two stars – Olli Ojanaho of the host nation, and Simona Aebersold of Switzerland who both took all three of the individual titles.

JWOC started this year with the middle distance – the only JWOC race with a qualification. NZL men have fared relatively well in this since the breakthrough of Matt Ogden’s win in 2012, with Shamus Morrison having taken 9th place in 2016. The women have been less successful with Alice Tilley being the only finalist in the last 2 years. With 20 to qualify from each heat it was therefore satisfying to see Tommy Hayes, Devon Beckman going through, and particularly so to see Danielle Goodall make her first middle distance final with some room to spare.

Men Qual. 1: 1. Olli Ojanaho (FIN) 21:18, 2. Henrik Johannesson (SWE) 23:37, 3. Elias Jonsson (NOR) 23;58, 24. Ed Cory-Wright (NZL) 27:56, 35. Cameron de L’Isle (NZL) 30:13..

Men Qual. 2: 1. Simon Imark (SWE) 24:01, 2. Simon Hector (SWE) 24:02, 3. Aleksi Sorsa (FIN) 24:29, 16. Devon Beckman (NZL) 27:30, 25. Nick Smith (NZL) 28:52.

Men Qual. 3: 1=. Akseli Ruohola (FIN) 23:04, 1=. Mathieu Perrin (FRA) 23:04, 3. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 23:15, 9. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 25:19, 23. Callum Herries (NZL) 27:52.

Women Qual. 1: 1. Veera Klemettinen (FIN) 23:31, 2. Anu Tuomisto (FIN) 23:50, 3. Dorothea Mueller (GER) 24:03, 27. Katie Cory-Wright (NZL) 29:02, 37. Jenna Tidswell (NZL) 33:56.

Women Qual. 2: 1. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 23:32, 2. Linnea Golsater (SWE) 24:23, 3. Ingrid Lundanes (NOR) 26:34, 11. Danielle Goodall (NZL) 30:59, 28. Kayla Fairbairn (NZL) 36:50.

Women Qual. 3: 1. Sofie Bachmann (SUI) 24:43, 2. Valerie Aebischer (SUI) 24:48, 3. Agnes Kracht (DEN) 25:33, 26. Lara Molloy (NZL) 31:14, 37. Alice Tilley (NZL) 34:20.

JWOC Middle Final: Dani misses #14

In the final, however, the rocky, hilly terrain proved not to be favourable to the Kiwis with all three losing significant time. Tommy, in 36th place improved on his position from 2016 and was about a minute faster than Devon in 43rd. Dani did not have a happy race losing time on numbers 1 and 14 to come in 51st. Having missed out on the A final by little more than 20 seconds, Nick Smith took out the B final.

Men: 1. Olli Ojanaho (FIN) 23:47, 2. Audun Heimdal (NOR) 25:08, 3. Simon Imark (SWE) 25:50, 36. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 31:37, 43. Devon Beckman (NZL) 32:47.

Women: 1. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 23:15, 2. Linnea Golsater (SWE) 24:29, 3. Veera Klemettinen (FIN) 25:03, 51. Danielle Goodall (NZL) 34:38.

Following the middle final came the sprint and, once again, NZL starred with Tommy putting in an amazing run to improve on his 8th pace from 2016 to take silver. This was NZL’s 4th sprint medal in 5 years from Tim Robertson’s run of bronze, gold, gold, and hopefully assures a bright future at WOC as we move to separate sprint and forest WOC’s. IOF certainly noticed, with an article concentrating on Tommy featuring on the webpage http://orienteering.org/tommy-hayes-hard-battles-also-on-home-ground/.  For a long time Tommy actually looked to be heading for gold until Olli Ojanaho, pretty well the last starter, after trailing Tommy early on, picked up the pace to take the title by 8 seconds. Next best of the Kiwi m as Cameron de L’Isle in 45th, with Dani again the top woman, in 56th.

Men: 1. Olli Ojanaho (FIN) 13:59, 2. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 14:07, 3. Joey Hadorn (SUI) 14:09, 45. Cameron de L’Isle (NZL) 15:19, 67. Nick Smith (NZL) 15:49, 103. Ed Cory-Wright (NZL) 16:36, 110. Callum Herries (NZL) 16:45, Devon Beckman I(NZL) DSQ.

Women: 1. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 14:02, 2. Tereza Janosikova (CZE) 14:09, 3. Linnea Golsater (SWE) 14:21, 5616:36, . Danielle Goodall (NZL), 89=. Lara Molloy (NZL) 17:20, 89=. Alice Tilley (NZL) 17:20, 94. Jenna Tidswell (NZL) 17:31, 106. Katie Cory-Wright (NZL) 17:53, 122. Kayla Fairbairn (NZL) 18:32.

.The long distance presented a mixture of series of tight technical legs in similar rocky terrain to the middle, joined by some very long route choice legs. Again, this appeared not to be too much to the liking of the New Zealanders with only Nick Smith, in an excellent 23rd place, really coming to grips with things. Particularly pleasing was Nick being only 10 minutes behind Olli Ojahano who won his third gold. Behind Nick, Tommy in 64th was the only other Kiwi man to make the top half of the field. Similarly, Dani finished off a generally good individual week with 40th place, with Katie Cory-Wright not far behind. As has been previously suggested, and in line with Nick Hann’s comments about WOC, it may well be that New Zealand long distance races are simply not tough enough to prepare our athletes for what they get at international level.

Men: 1. Olli Ojahano (FIN) 1:05:11, 2. Simon Imark (SWE) 1:05:54, 3. Simon Hector (SWE) 1:06:07, 23. Nick Smith (NZL) 1:15:54, 63. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 1:22:56, 98. Cameron de L’Isle (NZL) 1:29:53, 104. Ed Cory-Wright (NZL) 1:31:53, 115. Devon Beckman (NZL) 1:34:01, 125. Callum Herries (NZL) 1:35:47.

Women: 1. Simona Aebersold (SUI) 56:03, 2. Veera Klementtinen (FIN) 59:17, 3. Sofie Bachmann (SUI) 1:02:52, 41. Danielle Goodall (NZL) 1:12:10, 58. Katie Cory-Wright (NZL) 1:16:43, 80. Lara Molloy (NZL) 1:21:14, 94. Alice Tilley (NZL) 1:27:44, 104. Kayla Fairbairn (NZL) 1:31:07, 133. Jenna Tidswell (NZL) 1:49:13.

Early part of the JWOC Men’s Long

JWOC finished with the relay, and like at WOC this was a disaster for the Kiwi women’s teams. For NZL1 Dani punched a wrong control at control 5 on the first leg, while in NZL2, Kayla, carrying an injury, pulled out at the arena run through. Thus, irrespective of relatively good runs by Katie and Lara, neither team registered. Things were slightly better for the , although it was always going to be difficult to match the wonderful 8th pace achieved by Tommy, Shamus and Ed in 2016. As it was Tommy, Devon and Nick finished a creditable 18th (14th with second teams taken out) with NZL2 in the form of Cameron, Callum and Ed in 34th.

Men: 1. Norway 1:28:23, 2. Finland 1:29:58, 3. Russia 1:30:29, 14. (18) New Zealand 1 1:40:34, (34) New Zealand 2 1:52:58.

Women: 1. Sweden 1:34:15, 2. Switzerland 1:36:00, 3. Norway 1:39:21, New Zealand 1 DSQ New Zealand 2 DNF

World Games – Wroclaw, Poland

The World Games, the “Olympics for non-Olympic sports”, takes place every four years and for orienteering has an individual sprint, a middle distance and a sprint relay. Entry in each of the men’s and women’s fields is capped at 40, with invites for 2 men and 2 women from each of the top 16 nations from the previous year’s World championships, plus the requirement of there being representatives from each of the IOF regions. Thus New Zealand, having performed better than Australia in the combination of the three races at WOC in Sweden in 2015, filled this year’s Oceania place. Overall, with only 2 athletes per country, the field is not as strong as at WOC (maximum of 3 per country), andthis year with World Games clashing with O-Ringen the several top athletes passed it by either in favour of chasing the largest cash prizes on over in orienteering, or because the combination of races does not suit those who regard the forest as their forte. Nevertheless the field is still high quality.

The games started with the individual sprint which saw Laura Robertson produce her best result yet at elite international level with an excellent 11th place, just over a minute behind winner Maja Alm, who increasingly looks unbeatable over sprint distance. New Zealand’s other entrant in the women’s field was Kate Morrison, a late replacement for Lizzie Ingham, who came in 33rd.  In the men’s field Tim Robertson, although only 57 seconds behind gold medallist Jerker Lysell of Sweden, was 15th, while Ross Morrison was 34th.

Men: 1. Jerker Lysell (SWE) 14:40, 2. Yannick Michiels (BEL) 14:42, 3. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 14:57, 15. Tim Robertson (NZL) 15:37, 34. Ross Morrison (NZL) 16:44.

Women: 1. Maja Alm (DEN) 13:59, 2. Elena Roos (SUI) 14:32, 3. Lina Strand (SWE) 14:39, 11. Laura Robertson (NZL) 15:09, 33. Kate Morrison (NZL) 17:53.

World Games Men’s Middle Distance

Complex route choices in Wroclaw zoo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The middle distance took place in steep gully-spur beech forest riddled with multiple tracks that made picking the best route quite a mission. This was particularly true early on the leg from 1 to 2, common to both men and women, which had a big bearing on the overall positions. None of the NZL team really seemed to find the terrain to their liking with Laura again being the highest place, but back in 27th place only 40 seconds ahead of Kate.. In fact the two of them had similar splits nearly all the way through with Laura only edging ahead near the end. Helena Jansson of Sweden had a narrow win of Natalia Gemperle of Russia with bigger gaps behind. In the men’s race Ross and Tim were only a minute apart, with Tim finishing 30th to Ross’s 32nd, but both were over 8 minutes down on Matthis Kyburz who gained consolation for missing out on an individual medal at WOC with a clear victory over fellow Swiss Florian Howald.

Men: 1. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 34:05, 2. Florian Howald (SUI) 34:43, 3. Vojtech Kral (CZE) 35:20, 32. Tim Robertson (NZL) 42:07, 32. Ross Morrison 43:19.

Women: 1. Helena Jansson (SWE) 34:44, 2. Natalia Gemperle (RUS) 34:47, 3. Sabine Hauswirth (SUI) 35:54, 27. Laura Robertson (NZL) 44:17, 29. Kate Morrison (NZL) 44:57.

The final WG race, the sprint relay, held largely around Wroclaw zoo in heavy rain, was the highlight for NZL. Laura, on the first leg, ran a wonderful leg to come in only 26 seconds down in 8th pace, handing over to Tim. Tim then produced probably the best sprint performance yet seen from a Kiwi. By mid-leg he had overhauled all those in front to take the lead and was looking increasingly strong. Unfortunately, the arena run through seems to have been confusingly marked on both the ground and the map, and Tim, having punched the spectator control, started to run back the way he had come rather than following the marked route. Although correcting reasonably quickly this put him out of the lead, though he again powered through the last loop to get back into 4th place, recording the fastest leg time and handing over to Ross. With the hot competition around them, realistically Ross, and then Kate, were always going to struggle to maintain this high position, and NZl gradually dropped back to finish 12th. However, the margin of only 5 minutes behind the winners Denmark (yes, Maja Alm ran down Switzerland on the last leg!) is probably New Zealand’s best ever sprint relay result.

1. Denmark 1:02:57, 2. Switzerland 1:03:23, 3. Russia 1:03:37, 4. Sweden 1:04:13m 5. Great Britain 1:04:18, 6. Czech Republic 1:05:20, 12. New Zealand 1:07:57

 Following Taiwan in 2009, Columbia in 2013, Wroclaw this year, the next World games will be in Birmingham, USA in 2017.

SuperSeries 2017

For those who missed the June HP Supplement posted on the ONZ website….

The 2017 SuperSeries rounded off on a very cold, very wet Queen’s Birthday Weekend in Canterbury, with snow actually falling in the assembly area at Butlers Bush on Sunday. Going into the weekend Gene Beveridge, Imogene Scott, Tommy Hayes and Alice Tilley were leading M21E, W21E, M20 and W20 respectively. After the three tough days down south only Imogene of these remained at the top of the list.

In M21E Gene had held a 50 point lead over Ross Morrison with Nick Hann a further 10 points behind. With Ross not entering it became a 2-horse race. The Day 1 win in M21E actually went to Tommy who stepped up from M20 to push Nick into 2nd place with Gene in 4th. The nature of the scoring system meant that this left Gene still on top, although having competed in every round he was having to drop scores off meaning that his 4th place points were actually diminished. As it turned out Nick then powered to wins on days 2 and 3 to establish a healthy winning margin over Gene. Tommy, continuing in M21E, pushed Ross back into 4th, while Alistair Richardson, with three good runs over the weekend, moved into 5th.

Like Gene, Imogene ran in all 4 rounds and was having to drop her worst scores throughout the weekend. Although Renee Beveridge threatened to make things interesting when she won day 1, Imogene made sure of the title with a convincing win on day 2 in the extreme cold. 2016 W20 winner Danielle Goodall made her first appearances at elite level on the two shorter days (1 and 3) producing two excellent results, including victory on day 3, which pushed her into 3rd place overall overtaking non-entrant Sarah O’Sullivan.

With only 18 points separating Tommy and Cameron de L’Isle at the start of the weekend, Tommy’s decision to run elite possibly cost him the M20 title when Cameron won day 1, promptly joining Tommy in elite thereafter! Ed Cory-Wright, in 3rd place at the start of the weekend did not run, but with his nearest challengers also passing he retained his place.

Although not running at QB, with Kayla Fairbairn and Lara Molloy also absent, it looked for a long while as if Alice Tilley would still take out the W20 title. However wins for Katie Cory-Wright on days 1 and 3 propelled her up the field from nearly 150 points back. Heidi Stolberger and Sophie Harrison were also big movers with good weekend results.

The 2016 teams competition was extremely tight between Northern and Southern with Northern winning by only 45 points. This year it was again Northern coming out on top with not even home advantage for the final round enabling Southern to close a much larger gap. Again, Central, with many of its top athletes (think Lizzie, Laura, Kate, Tim) living overseas, were well out of the picture.

Overall 64 athletes earned points in M21E, 45 in W21E, 36 in M20 and 27 in W20. Gene and Imogene were only ones to compete in every event in the same grade, and 17 athletes competed in 8 or more of the races. Presentations for the 2017 SuperSeries will take place at Labour Weekend at the ONZ Champs in Hawkes Bay. There will also be a review of the format, possibly including changes to the scoring system, to try and raise SS2018 to a new level.

JWOC2021 for NZL?

Orienteering New Zealand has been asked by IOF to consider an application to host JWOC in 2021. A feasibility study on this is under way with primary considerations being the appropriate time of year, appropriate location, person power required, and the financial implications, not least of which is the possibly having to provide live tracking, if not TV coverage. Watch this space….

More from overseas

 Several Kiwi athletes have been racing overseas both before and post WOC/JWOC. Before heading to Finland for JWOC Katie Cory-Wright, Dani Goodall and Jenna Tidswell joined a group of Australian juniors at the European Youth Championships, where Katie in particular was a top performer.

Tommy Hayes, Cameron de L’isle and Kayla Fairbairn have all been at O-Ringen over the last week, racing in the junior elite grades, while Jonty Oram has been testing himself in M21.

Finally…

Some of you will have seen Lizzie Ingham’s Facebook post of 21 July in which she spoke openly about her ongoing problems with breathing difficulties which led her to withdraw from the World games team. Two days after this, after running unofficially on the first day of O-Ringen, Lizzie collapsed in the finish and was rushed to hospital where she spent two nights and underwent a battery of tests. Lizzie is now back in Halden resting and trying to work out what both the immediate and longer term future holds. Everyone at ONZ wishes her a speedy recovery.

 

 

 

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