World Orienteering Championships – Middle Final

Today saw the Middle Distance finals of the World Orienteering Championships in Kiev.Amazing victories to the top runners today as both former world champions pulled it out of the bag to get the gold medals; Simone Niggli (SUI) and Thierry Gueorgiou (FRA), managed to catch up their nearest rivals and lead into the finish in some very fast times.This will be Simone´s 11th Gold Medal at the World Orienteering Championships, a feat that will probably not be repeated until many years to come. Thierry was the World Champion in ´03, ´04 and ´05, but missed out last year by a matter of seconds to come 4th behind Holger Hott-Johansson (NOR) and Great Britain´s Jamie Stevenson. Today´s courses seemed extremely tough and technical as the gaps between finish times for the runners in both Men´s and Women´s Finals were larger than normal, nearly 10 minutes separating the top 20 female runners. Helen Winskill on the way from the last control at the Middle Qualifier Maksim Kovalenko ( Britain managed some great results with Rachael Elder and planetFear´s Jenny Johnson finishing in exactly the same time as each other in 23rd equal position! Not very easy to do, especialy over the 5.1km course through tough terrain. Helen Winskill made some early errors but finished strongly in 35th position. Matt Crane was the only GB man to qualify for the Final and he started near the front of the pack, achieving the early lead to the 1st Radio Control. Finishing in 26th place, he managed to pick up some big scalps in the form of Mats Haldin and Emil Wingstedt, two of Scandanavias best athletes.Women´s Overall Results1 Simone Niggli (Switzerland) 32:13 2 Heli Jukkola (Finland) 33:18 3 Marianne Andersen (Norway) 34_1423= Rachael Elder (Great Britain) 43:32 23= Jenny Johnson (Great Britain) 43:32 35 Helen Winskill (Great Britain) 46:13Men´s Overall Results1 Thierry Gueorgiou (France) 32:21 2 Tero Fohr (Finland) 34:22 3 Valentin Novikov (Russia) 34:30 26. Matthew Crane (Great Britain) 38:34