New Zealand finalists in top form at World Orienteering Championships.
Lizzie Ingham set a new standard for New Zealand in the sprint running the race of her life at the World Orienteering Championships to finish 11th in Chambéry, France.
This is the best ever sprint performance by any New Zealander at World Orienteering Championships, and is tantalizingly close to the 10th place achieved in the long distance by Katie Fettes twenty years ago.
“Absolutely stoked” said Lizzie, who qualified for all three finals at the Worlds, “I had the fitness and I’m pleased my navigation was solid.”
Just 1.5 seconds separated Lizzie from the ranks of the top ten.
Ross Morrison also produced his best-ever World Championships race to place 25th in the final, the same placing achieved by team-mate Chris Forne in 2010; only Chris has placed higher, with 20th in 2009.
A flying start for Ross saw him in 5th place at the halfway point, dropping to 9th at the map change.
But a small 20 second navigational error at the 17th control was the end of Ross’s top-ten chances as he - and former sprint World Champion Andrey Khramov who was leading at this stage - both slipped out of the top ten to ultimately finish 25th and 26th.
The placings were also affected by a touch of controversy, after runners were disqualified in the heats, and then reinstated; Scott Fraser (Great Britain) benefited most to finish 9th.
The hot favourites – the Swedish women and Swiss men - were true to form with the women cleaning up 1st (Linnea Gustafsson), 2nd and 3rd place, and the Swiss men taking 1st (Daniel Hubmann), 3rd and 6th place.
Lizzie Ingham joins a well-rested Chris Forne, New Zealands other finalist, in the long distance at 11:55pm and 11:03pm (NZ time) Wednesday evening.
World Orienteering Championships, Savoie Grand Revard, France
Sprint distance, Chambéry
1 GUSTAFSSON Linnea SWE 13:14.3
2 JANSSON Helena SWE 13:22.7
3 ELIASSON Lena SWE 13:28.5
4 ALM Maja DEN 13:54.4
5 TIKHONOVA Anastasiya RUS 14:00.3
6 FINCKE Anni-Maija FIN 14:01.1
6 KLINGENBERG Emma DEN 14:01.1
8 VINOGRADOVA Galina RUS 14:04.5
9 FRIEDERICH Rahel SUI 14:05.7
10 JURENIKOVA Eva CZE 14:10.8
11 INGHAM Lizzie NZL 14:12.3
1 HUBMANN Daniel SUI 13:11.8 0
2 HOLMBERG Anders SWE 13:37.8
3 MUELLER Matthias SUI 13:41.2
4 GRISTWOOD Graham GBR 13:58.8
5 ZINCA Ionut ROU 14:05.1
6 MERZ Matthias SUI 14:07.1
7 MERL Robert AUT 14:11.6
8 PROCHAZKA Jan CZE 14:13.0
9 FRASER Scott GBR 14:14.8
10 TRANCHAND Frédéric FRA 14:15.7
25 MORRISON Ross NZL 14:42.8
26 KHRAMOV Andrey RUS 14:46.4