Tommy Hayes – hard battles also on home ground

Posted on | July 12, 2017 | Category: Arena, News

Photo: Erik Borg

The Kiwis have done very well internationally for some years. In the Sprint, New Zealand got yet another medal at JWOC.

Tommy Hayes flew into the leader time and was in front in the men’s class, which had 173 participants, for almost 42 minutes. As one of the last starters, Olli Ojanaho managed to get the best time, and Tommy was beaten by eight seconds.

“I’m very happy with the silver,” the Kiwi smiles. During the 3.5 kilometre race with 23 controls he made just a few small mistakes. “At the end I was very tired,” he says.

All the Kiwis showed immense joy, but they are also quite used to doing well. “I have been inspired by good results in previous years, especially those of Tim Robertson,” Tommy tells.

Tim Robertson won the Sprint in both 2014 and 2015. Matt Ogden won the Middle Distance in 2012. Others have also done very well at international level. “It has been shown that we can do well! Tim is the one I look up to.”

– Why is it so many of the Kiwis are doing so well?

“I don’t really know, or maybe the hard battles in races at home are one reason. We are pushing each other. And there is also the positive rivalry with the Aussies, of course!”

Good in all kinds of orienteering

The 19-year-old is taking part in his third JWOC. He was also in the Final on the Middle. At that distance he made some mistakes. “You need some practice to be comfortable with European terrain. It’s a bit different from home,” he says.

The last-season junior arrived in Europe three weeks ago. Last week he was at WOC in Estonia. “It was great to be there and learn.” He also took part in the Sprint and was the first one not to reach the Final in his heat. “I hadn’t such a good qualification. Now I have got the revenge.”

Even though he is best in Sprint, he is also achieving high results in Nordic forest terrain. “With a good race I hope to be among the ten best on the Long Distance, he says.

Studying medicine

The young man from Auckland is studying medicine at home, and has high ambitions for orienteering.

– Are you wondering about going to Europe to get European experience?

“That could be interesting, but not now. Maybe it can fit into my studies at some point and I can take a year in Europe.”

– Why did you start orienteering?

“Friends of the family is the reason for me going to a race for the first time. I enjoyed it and continued.”

22 hours – 2 gold medals

Both in the men’s and the women’s class it was the same winners as on the Middle Distance. Simona Aebersold had a margin of seven seconds after a new top-class race. Olli Ojanaho was a bit behind in the start. “On the way to the first control I had to stand still to be sure what to do,” the winner says. After that, his race was near-perfect.


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