Fine finish for New Zealand at Junior World Orienteering Champs.

Sunday 11 July 2010, 1:32PM
By NZ Orienteering Federation

New Zealand's junior orienteers were in fine form in the Relay race of the Junior Worlds as they looked to finish their week long campaign in style.

The Scandinavian countries dominated the top places again, with Norway and Denmark winning gold, leaving the rest of the world to battle for the minor placings.

Led out by the in-form Angela Simpson, the New Zealand women got off a great start, changing over amongst the chasing nations - with the Scandinavians out of sight in the lead.

Kate Morrison kept the team in touch by staying composed when the Australians and French passed, and then easing ahead of Switzerland.

It was up to Laura Robertson, in her debut year at the Worlds to run a mistake- free race while chasing down the Australian and Italian final leg runners.

With the Estonian orienteer Piibe Tammemäe hot on her heels, Robertson navigated smoothly around the hilly course passing both Burrill (Aus) and Papandrea (Ita) before reaching the spectator control in sight of the finish.

It was here that the pressure piled on with Burrill only six seconds back and Tammemäe closing fast.

But in true Kiwi style, Robertson poured everything into her finishing sprint to hold off the Estonian and Australian while passing the Dutch and South African orienteers for a final placing of 13th.

This team result has only been bettered once, in 2006, when Morrison, Lizzie Ingham and Tinkeke Berthelsen placed 12th in Lithuania.

The mens team were also in fine form, starting strong and then improving steadily with each leg.

A good start for Jourdan Harvey saw the New Zealand men also back from the first leg amongst the chasing nations.

Toby Scott then set out on the middle leg looking to hold position and in the process passed Aussie Ian Lawford.

Middle distance finalist Matt Ogden then brought the team home, not just holding off the Australians but passing the Spanish orienteer Ricardo Garcia Dengra.

Also finishing 13th, the mens team picked up the best Relay results for New Zealand in 12 years, since Brent Edwards, Fraser Mills and Karl Dravitzki placed 9th in France.

The team will stay in Europe for some more international experience having achieved excellent results against the Scandinavians on their home ground and close to the best ever for New Zealand juniors.

2010 Junior World Orienteering Championships, Aalborg, Denmark.
Relay, 10 July.
Only the result of nations fastest team is counted.

1 Denmark, 2:02:20;
2 Czech Republic, 2:05:32;
3 Russia, 2:06:00;
4 Poland, 2:06:34;
5 Sweden, 2:08:21;
6 Finland, 2:11:05;
13 New Zealand (Angela Simpson, Kate Morrison, Laura Robertson) 2:33:57.

1 Norway, 2:20:44,
2. Sweden 2:21:48;
3 Denmark 2:26:13;
4 Switzerland 2:27:19;
5 Poland 2:29:03;
6 Czech Republic 2:29:57;
13 New Zealand (Jourdan Harvey, Toby Scott, Matt Ogden) 2:44:05.