Lizzie Ingham and Tim Robertson will be NZL’s representatives in Friday’s WOC middle distance final following this morning’s qualification heats at Knatterudfjellet north of Sarpsborg. Lizzie finished a reasonably comfortable 11th in Heat 2 although not admitting to a clean run. Tim, having been in 7th place in Men’s Heat 3 at the split time with 1km to go then made a reasonably big mistake and ended up 14thof the 15 qualifiers, giving the rest of team NZL (and no doubt many at home) some anxious moments. In
Women’s heat 1 Greta Knarston made a big error on control 3, misreading a series of iffs and overshooting the control as a result. This effectively put he rout of qualification, finishing ultimately in 22nd place justunder 3 minutes behind 15th. In Heat 3 Kate Morrison felt she had a relatively clean run but found it hard going physically and was 2 and a half minutes and 4 places off the cut. Indeed all the winners times in the women’s heats were about 4 minutes longer than the expected 25 minutes. For quite some time it looked as if Tommy Hayes in Heat 1 might squeak in, but with several of the fastest starters late off he ended up 22nd and a similar time off as Greta. In Mens 2, Cameron de L’isle was well outsidqualifying finishing in 31st place.
Men Heat 1: 1. Olav Lundanes (NOR) 24:20, 2. Daniel Hubmann (SUI) 25:12, 3. Oleksandr Kratov (UKR) 26:25, 22. Tommy Hayes (NZL) 32:02, 26. Patrick Jaffe (AUS) 34:25.
Men Heat 2: 1. Lucas Basset (FRA) 24:49, 2. Magne Daehli (NOR) 25:40, 3. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys (LTH) 25:53, 18. Matt Doyle (AUS) 30:30, 31. Cameron de L’Isle (NZL) 35:40.
Men Heat 3: 1. Matthias Kyburz (SUI) 25:21, 2. Gustav Bergman (SWE) 25:38, 3. Aleksi Niemi (FIN) 26:17, 11. Simon Uppill (AUS) 28:26, 14. Tim Robertson (NZL) 29:04.
Women Heat 1: 1. Anne Margrethe Hasuken Nordberg (NOR) 28:59, 2. Natalie Gemperle (RUS) 29:28, 3. Evely Kaasiku (EST) 30:13, 12. Bridget Anderson (AUS) 34:35, 22. Greta Knarston (NZL) 38:42.
Women Heat 2: 1. Kamilla Olaussen (NOR) 29:16, 2. Lina Strand (SWE) 29:23, 3. Marika teini (FIN) 29:57, 11. Lizzie Ingham (NZL) 32:40, 13. Krystal Neumann (AUS) 33:04.
Women Heat 3: 1. Cecilie Friberg Klysner (DEN) 28:45, 2. Tove Alexandersson (SWE) 28:51, 3. Marianne Andersen (NOR) 29:20, 19. Kate Morrison (NZL) 38:59, 20. Belinda Lawford (AUS) 39:16
Elsewhere in the field there were no real surprises with most of the big names qualiying with relative ease, Paul Sirum from hosts Norway perhaps being the exception, missing out in Heat 3. This apart it was a successful day for the hosts with runers in the top 3 of 4 of the 6 heats. It was also a relatively good day for Australia with Simon Uppill, Krystal Neumann and Bridget Anderson all making Friday’s finals.
Attention now turns to tomorrow’s long distance where Lizzie, Greta and Cameron again front up and are joined by Gene Beveridge and Toby Scott. Gene, Toby and Cam are faced with 16.6 k and 530 m of climb, while Lizzie and Greta get 11.7 km and 300 m. Start times (NZ time) are Gene 2048, Cam 20:54, Toby 2142, Greta 2352, Lizzie 0104 Thurs am. It is the first time in many years that the men will run before the women with the first mens start is at 2024 (NZ time), and the women from 2314. It will be a long day.