Challenging courses in JWOC Middle Qualification

Posted on | July 25, 2014 | Category: News

It was back in action today for runners in the Junior World Orienteering Championships, with up to six women and six men from each nation taking part in the Middle Distance qualification races. There were 3 women’s and 3 men’s heats, with the top 20 from each heat going through to tomorrow’s final.

The terrain at Zheleznica, north of the Event Centre Borovets in Bulgaria, proved especially challenging technically, and some who had success earlier in the week were unable to make the cut today. Sprint champion Sara Hagström, Sweden had another good day, winning her heat and thus guaranteeing one of the last start slots in the start list tomorrow. All the women’s heats were in fact won by Swedish athletes, the most impressive being Johanna Öberg who had a winning margin of 2.14. Andrea Svensson completes the trio of women’s heat winners. However the Norwegians Heidi Mårtensson, silver medallist in Sprint, and Mathilde Runhaug, 5th at Long Distance, both failed to qualify.

The men’s heats were won by Patrik Horák, Czech Republic and Topi Raitanen, Finland sharing top spot in Heat 1, Miika Kirmula, Finland (6th in both Sprint and Long) in Heat 2 and Dmitry Polyakov, Russia in Heat 3. Kirmula had the biggest lead, 47 seconds. Sprint champion Tim Robertson, New Zealand failed to qualify today, as did Long Distance silver medallist Assar Hellström, Sweden, and Tristan Bloemen, Belgium, 4th in the Sprint.

The Middle Final starts at 10.00 local time tomorrow, also at Zheleznica.

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