Tuesday, August 12, 2014

WUOC Sprint Mixed Relay

WUOC Sprint Relay:

It's Day 2 and the first WUOC 2014 medals have already been awarded here in the Czech Republic! In the Sprint Relay, staged around the town of Kromeriz, Switzerland takes the gold after leading the pack for almost the entirety of the competition. Quite an impressive team the one composed by Jenzer, Hubmann, Gross and Kyburz, with both of the men already part this year's Swiss gold at WOC 2014 - the first WOC-official Sprint orienteering relay in history. About a minute behind, Sweden takes second place, and, only after quite an intense and breathtaking battle with Norway and especially the strong relay from France, it's the home-team of the Czech Republic to secure the bronze. Team USA runs well and earns the 22nd place, +12.50 minutes behind Switzerland.

But before heading to sleep and turning our attention to tomorrow's tough Long Course, let's liger on some fun details! 

Technically quite an easy terrain today for our university athletes, and with no climb on the course the race remained really fast-paced and very physical all throughout. A large part of the map was covering the nearby city-park, a mostly open area with lakes and other water features dictating the main route-choices. In the second part of the courses, instead, the athletes faced some city running with small route-choices in the blocks around the main square. Fun and spectacular for both devoted fans and passerby's, the main technical difficulties for the runners were created by some interesting forkings, with the forked controls often quite far from each other, adding some confusion when picking which pack to follow. 

North America celebrates another great performance by Emily Kemp, able to stick around with Switzerland and Sweden for most of the race, and lose a bit of terrain only at the end, finishing just 38 seconds from the lead. But Team USA also put up a good fight, and it was fun to watch especially Tori (+1.53 min behind Switzerland) close our first leg in 16th place, beating teams like Spain and Italy (which will then close 9th and 10th after 4 legs) and remaining within sight of strong teams like Great Britain, Poland and Estonia. Congrats to Tori! 

Our other runners also performed quite well: Jake recovered from a difficult start under the pressure from all the other runner's company with an impeccable second half of the race, Alison was clean and smart, slightly tricked only by the long route-choice around the lake, and Charles finished it off with a nice run, strong of his past experience running these important types of competitions and able to keep up the focus and speed all the way to the finish line.

Also spectating was quite fun, with me, Mckenzie, Ken and Hans following our team around the square, taking some pics with the other teams, and enjoying the atmosphere in the WUOC arena. 

Only negative note today was the main-dish at dinner: looked a lot like chicken fingers and potatoes form afar (#awesome), only to reveal its true vegetable nature of fried cauliflower. Ketchup, though, did help us finish the plate.

Mixed Relay Recap:

1st Switzerland
2nd Sweden
3rd Czech Republic
17th Canada
22nd USA

Good luck to everyone running the Long tomorrow!

Results and details will follow sometimes afterwards; )

DISCLAIMER: google+ is going crazy on my pc trying to translate things from Czech and capitalizing / miss-spelling random things on our post. i guess extra capital letters never hurt nobody ...

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