rachel-brown-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLRachel Brown made it through to the knockout stages, photo: Rob Lines

Friday was the heats in nearby Zofingen. Saturday was the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, in Olten.

Twelve GB runners took part. Rachel Brown, Cecilie Andersen, Nathan Lawson and Ralph Street got through the heats to the knockout stages. Jonny Crickmore missed out by 2 seconds. On Saturday Ralph made it through to the semi-finals.

Heats

It was the usual pattern of three parallel heats with the first twelve in each heat to qualify. The startlist was in order of World Ranking.

There was a heavy rainstorm during the heats. Later running men were caught in it, and the subsequent women's starts were delayed 30 minutes.

KO_Sprint-49_SilvanSchlettiNathan Marchand of France was a later starter, photo: Silvan Schletti

GB Men

In Heat 1, Nathan Lawson was 11th, Freddie Carcas mispunched. The Belgian runner Yannick Michiels commented that he missed control 10 as did several others in the heat. 10 out of 43 runners mispunched in this heat (vs 8 in the other two heats combined.) As well as Freddie and Yannick the list included Havard Sandstad Eidsmo, Akseli Ruohola, Isac von Krusenstierna and Andreas Bock Bjoernsen.

On The Red Line Update to original post: the mispunches were most/all missing the control after a map flip, where the first two controls were in a straight line, and many athletes did not see the first of the two controls. Map for Men Heat A, Olten Knockou Sprint Qualification

nathan=lawson-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLNathan Lawson, photo: Rob Lines


In Heat 2, Jonny Crickmore was 13th and Peter Hodkinson 15th.

jonathan-crickmore-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLJonathan Crickmore, photo: Rob Lines


In Heat 3, Ralph Street was 8th and Will Gardner was 23rd. Max Peter Bejmer missed out with the same time as Will.

RSTR4876_sm_RemySteinegger ZOFINGEN/SWITZERLAND, 24.05.2024 - Ralph Street, GBR, captured during the KO-Sprint Qualifications Men at the Oriienteering World Cup 2024 Round 1 / Switzerland. copyright by steineggerpix.com + owc 2024 / photo remy steinegger


GB Women

Megan Carter-Davies was unwell and unable to run.

In Heat 1, Rachel Brown was 11th and Fiona Bunn was 16th.

fiona-bunn-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLFiona Bunn, photo: Rob Lines


In Heat 2, Grace Molloy was 20th and Mairi Eades 36th.

In Heat 3, Cecilie Andersen was 12th. 7 seconds behind was Charlotte Ward in 15th.

charlotte-ward-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLCharlotte Ward, photo: Rob Lines


Knockout Rounds

So 36 women and 36 women qualified for knockout races on Saturday. 45 of the 72 runners were from the big countries: 14 from home country Switzerland, 12 from Norway, 10 from Sweden and 9 from Finland. 13 countries were represented in the other 27 runners.

Men and women ran the same courses at each round. The quarters and the finals did not use a splitting mechanism, the semi's used runner's choice.

Olten Knockout Sporint - Semi-finals map, with the three runner's choice options between controls 5 and 9.

Nathan, Rachel and Cecilie did not make it through the quarter-final stage. Ralph did, but only in a photo finish in what was the slowest quarter-final. He edged out Emil Svensk, who would win the next day.

ralph-street-OWCup2024KOQFfinish_Olten_RLThe run-in of men's quarter-final 3, L-R: Mathias Barros Vallet, Joey Hadorn, Emil Svensk and Ralph Street, photo: Rob Lines


Cecilie ran in the first quarter-final with Tove Alexanersson.

cecilie-andersen-OWCup2024KOSprint_Olten_RLWomen's Quarter-Final 1 just after the start, L-R: Deborah Stadler, Cecilie Andersen, Paula Gross, Alva Sonessen, Tove Alexandersson, Andrine Benjaminsen, photo: Rob Lines


Ralph was fifth in his semi-final, the first two,,who qualified for the final, were Joey Hadorn and Marin Regborn.

Joey went on to win the final - which was of course very well-received by the large crowd. Jonatan Gustafsson was second, Tuomas Heikkila third.

Official Results - Olten Knockout Sprint, World Cup Round 1, 2024.

Olten_KOSprint_Prizes_SimonBuserMen's Prizegiving, L-R - Jonatan Gustafsson, Joey Hadorn, Tuomas Heikkila, Martin Regborn, Timo Suter, Teemu Oksanen, photo: Simon Buser

Unlike the men's race, where the absence of Matthias Kyburz had removed the favourite and commentators had put several names in the frame there were only two in their sights for the women's race: Tove Alexandersoon and Simona Aebersold. And so it proved; Tove took the win by a second. Natalia Gemperle ran very well for third, with quite a big margin back to 4th place.

Olten_KOSprint_Flowers_SilvanSchlettiphoto: Silvan Schletti

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