World Orienteering Championships Sprint

Tuesday 16 August 2011, 4:20PM
By NZ Orienteering Federation

A strong start for some of the New Zealand team and a rest day leads to tactical team changes before the sprints start today.

Chris Forne, after qualifying for both the middle and long distance finals, is taking an extra days rest to prepare and will sit out the sprint heats and finals.

Although New Zealand’s best at the sprint distance in previous Worlds, he leaves the sprint team in good hands with top ranked New Zealander Ross Morrison and current NZ sprint champion Toby Scott, and reserve Tane Cambridge.

After missing out on qualifying for the Middle distance final by 2 minutes, Tane had thought his Championships campaign was over, and he’s relishing his second chance: “Time for the bonus round for me! Can’t wait.”

Morrison is aiming high in the sprint where he has made a big impression on the European circuit over the past two years, and is hoping to improve on his World Games 10th placing of 2009 to make the podium (top 6).

After a top 10 against a “mean field” at the Swedish O-Ringen, Morrison was pleased with his quality racing buildup and lack of major injuries and is “looking good for the Worlds”.

Already making an impact at the Worlds is Ross’s sister Amber who in her middle distance debut qualified for the final comfortably in 5th place (first 15 to qualify).

Joining her in the final are the rest of the NZ womens team, Lizzie Ingham, in scintillating form after qualifying for the long distance, and several-times NZ middle distance champion Penny Kane.

They are up against a very strong Swedish team including favourite Linnea Gustafsson, and a strong Danish team.

The Swiss are strong favourites for the mens sprint with current world champion Matthias Müller the weakest of the Swiss team, but neither Russian Andrey Khramov nor the Swedish, French or Norwegian sprinters can be discounted for top placings.

Racing commences (heats) at 9am France time (7pm NZ time) Tuesday 16th August and finals at 3pm (1am NZ time) the same day.