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Tough going for New Zealanders at World Orienteering Championships.
Lizzie Ingham followed up her superb 11th place in the sprint with an equally impressive 13th place in a tough 10.3 km long distance race at the 2011 World Orienteering Championships.
Soaring temperatures of 30 degrees plus and a steep, physical 10.3 km course on the hillsides across from Mount Blanc in La Féclaz, France pushed the 45 female finalists from 50 countries right to their limits.
Ingham’s performance in the long distance - the original - format of orienteering has been bettered by a New Zealander only once: Katie Fettes who finished 10th in Czechoslovakia in 1991.
As one of only two women to qualify for all three finals at the 2011 Championships, Ingham gets a welcome rest day before tackling her least favoured format, the middle distance.
The NZ long and sprint distance champion will have her teammates to race against though, as NZ middle distance champion and fellow Wellingtonian Penny Kane, and Hawkes Bay’s Amber Morrison also qualified strongly for the middle final.
New Zealand’s best performed male at sprint, middle and long distance Worlds, Norwegian-based Cantabrian Chris Forne, drew on all of his renowned endurance skills to finish the extreme 15.8 km mens course where only the top ten finished in under two hours.
The former World Adventure racing champion finished strongly in 2 hours and 13 minutes for 28th place, with his 17th long placing in 2009 still standing as the best by a NZ male at any distance.
Forne also has a rest day before tackling the middle distance final and then the relay, where this year New Zealand fields exceptionally strong and talented male and female teams.
Host country France were dominant in the mens with Thierry Geourgeou picking up his first long distance title and his seventh in total; teammate Francois Gonon was third.
Sweden came close to another clean sweep of the top three places, with Annika Billstam taking first and Helena Jansson third.
Results: World Orienteering Championships, Savoie Grand Revard, France Long distance, La Féclaz, August 17
1 Annika BILLSTAM SWE 1:22:26 0:00
2 Dana BROZKOVA CZE 1:26:54
3 Helena JANSSON SWE 1:29:55
4 Eva JURENIKOVA CZE 1:30:58
5 Heidi Østlid BAGSTEVOLD NOR 1:31:57
6 Anni-Maija FINCKE FIN 1:34:06
13 Lizzie INGHAM NZL 1:39:42
Men 15.8 km
1 Thierry GUEORGIOU FRA 1:47:29
2 Pasi IKONEN FIN 1:51:56
3 François GONON FRA 1:53:35
4 Baptiste ROLLIER SUI 1:55:26 +
5 Daniel HUBMANN SUI 1:57:05
6 Olle BOSTRÖM SWE 1:57:
28. Chris FORNE NZL 2:13:38