The World Games: -I’m getting to be more a navigator than a competitor

Posted on | July 18, 2009 | Category: News

Hanny Allston won The World Games middle distance by the impressive margin of 76.4 seconds. The Australian showed remarkable strength at Chengcing Lake. She has taken new steps forward since she became a World Champion.


Photo: Erik Borg

–I had a good race. I followed my plan exactly, she says.

–And that was?

– I should run carefully and not at full speed, and look for the fastest route choices and take the safest of them. I ran for example to the corners of buildings or the tops of hills instead of taking short cuts, says Hanny.

A different focus for a while

Three years ago she won the sprint at the World Championships in Denmark. She was still a junior at that time, but she beat all the senior stars. That was a surprise, even though she had demonstrated her great strength at the junior world championships some weeks earlier.

Since then she has had a year with very little orienteering at all. Last year she wasn’t seen at international level. – But I have never felt that I have been away from orienteering. I just had a different focus for a while, she says.

Stronger in every way

– How is your standard now, compared to the time when you won the sprint at the World Championships?

– I orienteer more safely. I have become more a navigator than a competitor. I have more control in my way of orienteering. I have also improved my running and I am stronger, she says.

The conclusion: Hanny is stronger in all ways. She will certainly be a good person to have on the last leg in the relay tomorrow, where first it is a man, then on second leg a woman, then the other man, and the last leg runner is the second woman.

Hanny feels it’s impossible to compare the World Championships gold and the gold at The World Games. Both are big successes, but they are very different events. While she was the first Australian to win at the World Championships, she is the second to win at The World Games; Grant Bluett won the individual distance in Akita in 2001. It’s a bit special to follow in his footsteps. – He has been an idol for me when I started orienteering, says Hanny.

Tired silver medallist

Second place in today’s race was taken by Minna Kauppi. She felt a bit tired. – My condition wasn’t at all like it was at the sprint, she says. Linnea Gustafsson from Sweden got her first individual international medal with bronze; she is getting better and better.


Three best women
Photo: Erik Borg

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