The World Games Sprint Relay: Denmark back on winning form

Posted on | July 27, 2017 | Category: News

The first three runners from Denmark were able to stay with the pack before Maja Alm made a gap on the rest of the field in a fast and tight sprint relay race around the soggy Wroclaw Zoo. Their lead was 26 seconds over Switzerland, and Russia took third place, 40 seconds behind.

On the first leg, Cecilie Friberg Klysner (DEN) took an early lead, but Lina Strand (SWE) paced the race well and had a faster speed in the second part of the course once they had left the zoo. Sweden handed over to Martin Regborn in with a lead of 6 seconds. The first six teams (Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Finland, Austria and Denmark) came into the arena within 11 seconds of each other.

Cecilie Friberg Klysner said: “There were a lot of forkings, so already from the beginning, I felt like  I was running my own race and there were all these runners around me.”

Tim Robertson of New Zealand took to the front after control 7 on the second leg, catching up 26 seconds to the leaders from the changeover. But a mistake at the spectator run-through meant he lost the lead. Martin Regborn handed over to sprint champion Jerker Lysell in first place, 2 seconds ahead of Switzerland and 4 seconds ahead of Russia. New Zealand were fourth and Denmark 6th.

Andreas Hougaard Boesen, who ran second leg from Denmark said he preferred this terrain to that at WOC: “This suits me better than 230m of climb in 15 minutes. I can keep up better with the front”.

Some early route choices and different forkings put Matthias Kyburz of Switzerland into the lead by control 3, and he stayed in the lead for the rest of the course, eventually heading into the changeover with an 18 second lead. Ralph Street of Great Britain had a great run to climb from sixth to second place. Russia was third with Andrey Khramov on the last leg. At this point, Denmark, with Soren Bobach on third leg, were in fourth place. Maja Alm started 31 seconds behind Switzerland.

Soren Bobach has missed being a part of the Danish sprint relay team this year due to injury: “I’m really happy to be back, especially with this team. … It’s not like I have to do anything extraordinary because we know if Maja is close to the front, then she has the higher speed”.

Alm was catching up time throughout the first part of the course, and Sabine Hauswirth’s (SUI) mistake to control 10 allowed the Dane to take the lead. Galina Vinogradova (RUS) overtook Megan Carter-Davies at control 2 and, despite some mistakes, had a faster running speed than the Brit. A mistake after the spectator run-through also allowed Sweden to pass Carter-Davies, but Alm’s speed and accuracy meant no-one could catch her.

This victory was Denmark’s first in 2017.

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