World Orienteering Championships: middle distance qualification

Posted on | August 16, 2009 | Category: News

The first competition of the World Orienteering Championships took place on Sunday morning in the beech-wooded hills near Miskolc, Hungary. Athletes fought in the middle distance qualification for places in the final, which will be held on Wednesday. The fast but tricky and physically tough courses ended in no big surprises, although one familiar name who got close to not qualifying for Wednesdays final was Emil Wingstedt, Sweden. Norway, Sweden, Finland and Switzerland got all their runners through to the final.

The biggest hard-luck story of the day belongs to Robert Banach, Poland, who missed a run in the final by just 1 second.

Heat winners were Simone Niggli SUI, Marianne Andersen NOR and Lea Muller SUI in the womens heats, and Pavlo Ushkvarok UKR, Matthias Merz SUI and Valentin Novikov RUS (bronze medallist in middle distance in 2007 and 2008) in the mens. Among the favourites this year, Minna Kauppi FIN, Thierry Gueorgiou FRA, Tero Föhr FIN and Matthias Müller SUI all had impressive runs.

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