Orienteering World Cup |Round 1 Olten, Switzerland
By Christo Peters - Fri 31 May 2024 6:49pm
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Laura’s pre-competition training has been remarkably successful, resulting in a strong performance representing New Zealand. Reflecting on her progress, Laura noted, “This is the first year since my move to the UK in 2015 that I’ve managed to navigate through winter without injury. Usually, I’m scrambling to build speed before major competitions, but this year, I’ve established a solid foundation and am in the best shape I’ve been in for years.” While her training routine for sprint orienteering remained unchanged, Laura did participate in several training camps with the GB team.

Despite facing challenges this past year with a re-built leg, and a recurring swollen knee, Tim managed to achieve fairly good results even if his training hadn’t been ideal.

Joseph focused heavily on sprint training in preparation before Olten, seizing the opportunity to hone his skills during a lull in New Zealand’s sprint events by competing in Brisbane for four days. Although he encountered setbacks in the results with a mispunch, a younger competitor outpacing in the knockout rounds, Joseph received valuable feedback from racing with the top Australian sprinters.

Nathan has eagerly anticipated the elite competition and pressure of the Orienteering World Cup events. He views them as opportunities to identify areas for improvement and fine-tune his preparation, which is crucial preparation for upcoming competitions in Plzen and Edinburgh.

Briana has highlighted the positive impact of the Christchurch Southerly Storm group on  her training and for those athletes from Christchurch and Nelson. They have been working on improvements in speed and performance  using sprint training and interval sessions. This progress has inspired them to try and surpass their performances from the previous year.

The Olten Round one  Orienteering World Cup event provided a competitive start and now NZ team now have their eyes on further challenges awaiting them next weekend in Genoa, Italy.

Orienteering World Cup results – Olten, Switzerland 25-26 May
Knockout Qualification –  Friday 24 May 

The Knockout Qualification that started in the sunshine, had a short thunderstorm and hail dampen the middle races, and forced the women’s race back by 30 minutes to clearer skies again. An incredibly tricky artificial maze coupled with the old town section in Zofingen challenged everyone. Laura ran strong through the drizzle to a safe 5th equal in Heat 1, landing in QF2 with Hanna Lundberg tomorrow.
Laura said “I committed to a route choice quickly and stuck with it through the complex areas”. Tim and his knee held up for an impressive 11th in Heat 2 despite coming from months of nearly no running. Tim said “I was surprised to make it through considering the circumstances but ecstatic to be back in the running shoes”.

 Amber finished her debut elite race in high spirits, reporting back that it was very fun! Amber said “I really enjoyed running again and it was very cool to run a town sprint which I don’t get much of at home”.

11th  Tim Robertson 11:43 +0:40
28th Nathan  Borton  12:50  +1:47
36th Toby Scott 12:54 +1:49 
MP Joseph Lynch 11:28 +0:52

5th Laura Robertson  11:43 +0:16
30th Briana Steven  14:38  +3:03 
33rd Amber Riddle  14:24 +2:39

Knockout Quarter Final –  Saturday 25 May 

Laura and Tim put on strong performances around the streets of Olten but were not able to make it past the quarterfinals. With no splitting or forking in the QF, and hardly any splits in the groups during long routechoice legs, it was a runners course. Laura survived two collisions to power into 4th only 1 second behind 3rd, and Tim’s time off running meant it was difficult to keep hold of the pack. He tried his successful play of splitting from the group on a long leg but unfortunately it didn’t pay off this time.

Timo Suter (SUI) had a successful day landing 5th in the KO Final. Timo visited New Zealand over the summer and coached at both the Under 23 Camp and the Junior Camp in 2023.

MEN’S KO QUARTER FINAL 6 – Qualified(H2)  11th  Tim Robertson 11:43 +0:40
WOMEN’S KO QUARTER FINAL 2 – Qualified (H1)  5th Laura Robertson 11:43 +0:16

Sprint –  Sunday 26 May 

A successful day from Team NZ, on some longer and simpler courses compared to Friday’s KO qual. Everyone got to enjoy the old town section this time and wrap their brains around a trickly multilevel section right at the end in maximum oxygen-debt. Some big names crumbled here but our runners kept their heads screwed on right. Some reviews from the athletes:

Briana “I felt much more confident during my route selection today, and was really happy to have sorted the last section out before I got to all the multilevel bits.”

Joseph: “It was a stable race and I felt more like my normal self while orienteering. I am looking forward to the rest of the races this summer.”

Nathan: “There were lots of supporters out on course which was really cool to hear, but the 5 hours in quarantine wasn’t quite as fun.”


24th Tim Robertson 14:58 +0:46
42nd Joseph Lynch 15:15 +1:03
80th Toby Scott 16:01 +1:49
110th Nathan Borton  17:28 +3:16

35th Laura Robertson 15:15  +1:35
94th Briana Steven  18:16 +4:01
103rd Amber Riddle 19:10 +4:55

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