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20 July 2018 | in Orienteering, World University Championships

Close finish in Sprint Race at WUC Orienteering

Sprinting never felt so good!

 

 

KUORTANE — Day 3 of the World University Orienteering Championship meant it was time for the Sprint Race. Fortunately for the student athletes, the morning weather in Seinäjoki was considerably cooler than the day before and that led to a fast-paced, exciting race.

 

In men’s race, Henry McNulty from Australia held his lead almost throughout until the very end, but Tim Robertson from New Zealand sprinted to first place and Norwegian Trond Einar Moen Pedersli grabbed second place.

 

 

“I knew going into the race that I had good chances, but in Sprint Orienteering you make one mistake and you’re a long way down on the field,” winner Tim Robertson described his race. “I wasn’t sure what to expect after the Sprint Relay so it was nice to pick up the map and see all the technical areas. I took the beginning a little bit slower and pushed harder towards the end.”

 

Clearly, the strategy worked for him but Robertson is still unsure if he will run the Long Distance race. His focus is already on the World Championships coming up in Latvia. Robertson is a two-time Junior World Champion in Sprint from 2014 and 2015.

 

The women’s race was another nail-biter. First Virág Weiler from Hungary took the lead from Poland’s Alexandra Hornik, but she was pushed to the limit Swiss Martina Ruch accelerated to the finish line. Eventually Weiler’s time was 0.5 seconds better than Ruch’s and 10.5 seconds better than Hornik’s.

 

“I was watching Martina’s run and I was really nervous,” Weiler revealed after the race. “I can’t believe I won! I knew I was in a good shape but I didn’t expect to win. I really enjoyed the conditions here, they suit me because the terrain is flat and I’m fast.”

 

Weiler will race again over the weekend, in both the Long Distance race as well as Saturday’s Relay, which is a mixed event featuring teams of male and female athletes. Much to look forward to!

 

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