Edinburgh Southern Orienteering Club

European Orienteering Championships 2012Falun, Sweden, 14-20 May

Follow Claire and Helen’s progress at the EOC.

ESOC’s Claire Ward and Helen Bridle competed at the European Championships, a whole week of events.

Monday 14 May saw them competing in the qualification race for the Middle Distance event. The first 17 out of each heat qualified for the A final, with 3 heats. Claire ran in Heat A. She had a storming run and qualified for the A final in 4th place, 2:27 mins behind the runaway winner, Minna Kauppi (FIN), who was nearly 2 minutes ahead of the second place runner. Helen ran in heat B, and missed out on qualifying for the A final by 1:36 mins, after an error at control 11, whilst lying in a qualifying position; bad luck Helen.

On Tuesday 15 May, the focus of the EOC turned to Long Distance qualification. As with the Middle Distance, the first 17 in each heat qualified for the A final. Helen and Claire were in Heat A, and both qualified for the A final, albeit Helen by only 1 second. Heat A was by far the most evenly contested; Helen finished 6:15 mins behind the winner, Tatiana Ryabkina (RUS), compared to the last qualifier in B who was 13:55 mins behind the runaway victor, Simone Niggli (SUI), who flew round in 38:16. In the C heat, the last qualifier was 11:07 mins behind the winner, Merja Rantanen (FIN). All the British women who ran qualified for the final, which is on Friday.

On Wednesday 16 May, it was the qualification races for the Sprint Distance event. As with the other disciplines, the top 17 in each heat qualified for the A final. Helen was in heat B and had a great run to finish in 9th place, 1:07 mins behind the winner, Judith Wyder (SUI). Claire was in heat C, and had an equally impressive run to finish 5th, 1:28 mins behind the scorching Swiss victor, Simone Niggli, who continued her series of outstanding races to win by 55 secs, a huge margin in Sprint orienteering.

The first finals were the Middle Distance, on Thursday 17 May. Helen was an early runner in the B Final and ended up 17th, 7:16 mins behind the winner, Léa Vercellotti (FRA). Claire was in the A final and finished in 20th place, 5:38 mins behind the clear winner, Simone Niggli (SUI). Both had steady runs on what looks to be technical terrain. The photos make it look very runnable though.

On Friday 18 May, it was the Long Distance finals, in the same area as the Middle Distance final. Both Claire and Helen were in the A Final. Claire continued her good form to finish 21st, 13:40 mins behind the winner, the amazing Simone Niggli (SUI) once again. Helen Bridle was 44th. Apparently it was quite slippery underfoot in the forest on the moss and lichen, more challenging than it looks in the photos.

The Sprint Distance final was on Saturday 19 May. Claire again showed her class in a very strong field, coming 11th, less than a minute behind the medals even with a bad mistake on the first control. Simone Niggli again stamped her authority in women’s orienteering, winning by 32 seconds. Helen finished in 35th place, 1min 15secs behind Claire.

The relays were on Sunday 20 May. Helen had a great run to bring her team up from 20th position to 15th. Ex-Edinburgh Uni athlete Heather Gardner anchored the team to finish in 20th position. Claire didn’t run in the relay.

Full results, reports and photos are available on the EOC 2012 website. There’s a tab for each day - just click on the appropriate one to see the details.

Crawford Lindsay
Club Captain

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