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World Cup Round 1 starts Thursday
By Malcolm Ingham - Wed 25 May 2022 10:03am

With WOC only a month away the first round of the World Cup (all sprint) in Boras, Sweden, which starts on Thursday, will be the first major pointer for some of the NZL team. With Laura Roberston stranded in the UK by visa difficulties, and Lizzie Ingham, Imogene Scott, Gene Beveridge and Tommy Hayes yet to depart for Europe, NZL will be represented by Tim Robertson, Joseph Lynch and Penelope Salmon.

In Thursday’s individual sprint, after his win in the Danish Test Race, followed by a 5k PB last weekend, Tim will be looking to lay down another early marker as he seeks to add a WOC gold to his collection of silver (2018) and bronze (2021). For Joseph and Penelope this will be their first real taste of the big time and confidence building is the name of the game as they face a really top class field for the first time. Unlike WOC, the World Cup sprint has no qualification race and start order will be based entirely on reverse World Ranking order. The men start at 8.30 pm NZ time on Thursday, the women at 8.50 pm and live TV (with a fee), GPS tracking and live results can be found at https://orienteering.sport/event/orienteering-world-cup-round-1-2/sprint/.

Friday is a rest day after which Saturday has the Knock-out Sprint. The first goal for the 3 Kiwis will be qualification from one of three groups, with only the top 12 in each to proceed to the KO rounds. All three have so far been proficient in this format, with Tim and Penelope both making the KO final at the Danish Test Race. However, after what were essentially straight races in Denmark, it remains to be seen what, if any, forking method will be used in Sweden. The answer to that question may well have a significant impact. Qualification for the KO is from 6.30 pm NZ time on Saturday, quarter-finals from 12.30 am Sunday, followed by semis from 2 am and finals from 5.20 am. The link is https://orienteering.sport/event/orienteering-world-cup-round-1-2/knock-out-sprint/ with live GPS only for the semis and finals.

The World Cup round finishes on Sunday night NZ time with the sprint relay. In the absence of Laura the three Kiwis will be part of a combined team with Eef van Dongen from the Netherlands on the first leg. In the recent Swedish sprint champs Eef was a wonderful second place to World Champion Tove Alexandersson in the KO sprint and also took 6th place in the individual sprint, so this combination will be a top team that may not only give the big nations a run for their money, but provide a good pointer to NZL chances at WOC in the sprint relay. The sprint relay starts at 1 am NZ time on Monday morning: https://orienteering.sport/event/orienteering-world-cup-round-1-2/sprint-relay/ .

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