World Orienteering Championships: long distance qualification

Posted on | August 17, 2009 | Category: News


A big audience witnessed a tough long distance qualification race on Monday in Hungary. The six heat winners were more or less expected: Minna Kauppi FIN, Simone Niggli SUI, Marianne Andersen NOR, Graham Gristwood GBR, Baptiste Rollier SUI and Thierry Gueorgiou FRA. Graham Gristwood’s result was particularly impressive, as he spoke afterwards of two mistakes of 45 and 30 seconds, yet he was faster in his heat than Daniel Hubmann and Matthias Merz.

The Norwegian Carl Waaler Kaas missed a place in the final, while Mats Haldin (FIN) scraped through in 15th place. Five runners from the home nation Hungary reached the final, to strong support from the big home crowd. Also notable are two women from both China and Spain in the final which will be run on Sunday.

For the second day in succession, USA got a finallist, this time Samantha Saeger, and Chris Forne of New Zealand has now qualified for both middle and long finals.

There were again impressive performances from runners in nations bordering Hungary – they have clearly prepared themselves especially well for these championships. Perhaps the most impressive is Ionut Zinca from Romania who today finished 5th in his heat.
Full results can be found on the World Championships website. The Opening Ceremony takes place tomorrow afternoon and the next race is the middle distance final, starting on Wednesday morning at 9:30.

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