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The New Zealand women finished their Junior World Championships campaign in Italy with a strong relay race to finish 13th country, and lead the men and women to a best ever 10th place overall for the Championships.
After a strong start by Kate Morrison, the pressure was on Georgia Whitla to keep the New Zealand team in touch with the Italians and Austrians and ahead of the Germans and Australians.
Whitla did not disappoint, pulling the team ahead two places before handing over to Angela Simpson for the third leg.
The anchor leg was marked by high-pressure navigation through technical rocky sections immediately after the changeover, with the Swedish women losing a three and a half minute lead to the gutsy charge of Swiss Julia Gross.
Gross, who took the Swiss team from 4th to 1st, had no problems finding any of the controls at high speed and turned the deficit into a two minute victory over Norway.
Angela Simpson handled the pressure well, staying clear of the catching Austrians, Germans and Aussies, with only the Hungarian women slipping past on a separate split.
The result - 13th country (not counting B-teams) - combined with the mens result of 21st country, gave the New Zealand team an overall placing of 10th for the Junior World Championships week.
Other highlights of the week counting towards this excellent overall result included Great Knarston's 19th in the Long distance, Tom Reynolds 31st (Long), Angela Simpson's and Kate Morrison's top-30 placings, and the three Final qualifications by Morrison, Angela Simpson and Georgia Whitla in the Middle distance.
With 4 gold medals and a silver, the Swedish team were clearly the top team at the Championships, an unsurprising result given the origins of Orienteering in Sweden.
The 2010 Junior World Orienteering Championships will be held in Denmark, former home of the New Zealand High performance Director and former World Champion Carsten Joergensen (Christchurch).
Junior Elite Men
1) Team Sweden 2.08.51 (Boström Olle, Ridefelt Albin, Bergman Gustav); 2) Team Switzerland 2.09.34 (Sauter Philipp, Kyburz Matthias, Hubmann Martin); 3) Team Denmark 2.12.03 (Ødum Marius Thrane, Hansen Rasmus Thrane, Bobach Søren); 4) Team Sweden2 2.12.23 (Lysell Jerker, Tynong Anton, Johansson Kalle); 5) Team Norway 2.15.44 (Bjugan Mathias, Nørbech Torgeir, Indgaard Ulf Forseth); 21) Team New Zealand 2:41:31 (Thomas Reynolds, Scott Mcdonald, Simon Jager).
Junior Elite Women
1) Team Switzerland 1.44.42; (Kirk Fiona, Tritschler Sophie, Gross Julia); 2) Team Norway 1.46.29 (Nydal Britt Ingunn, Skjerve Elen Katrine, Arnesen Mari Jevne); 3) Team Denmark 1.46.39 (Klingenberg Emma, Bobach Ida, Klinting Signe); 4) Team Sweden 1.47.28 (Alexandersson Tove, Löfgren Kristin, Lönnkvist Jenny); 5) Team Czech Republic 1.51.12 (Bochenkova Ivana, Madlova Vera, Petrzelova Tereza); 13) Team New Zealand 2:05:56 (Kate Morrison, Georgia Whitla, Angela Simpson).