Grace Molloy, photo: Jiri Cech, Český svaz orientačních sportů
After the Sprint and Sprint Relay the World Cup Round in Czechia switched to the forest. On Saturday 5th August it was a Middle Distance, and on Sunday 6th August a Long Distance. These were the last forest races in the World Cup until after next year's Sprint World Championships in Edinburgh. The next 10 international races, four competition rounds, at World Cup / World Champs level, are in Sprint of one sort or another.
In general in the forest the GB athletes had quite good technical races, but the physicality of the courses did not suit them. Almost all the running required climb or descent (and often both) or contouring on often steep slopes.
The GB team announcement had been clear that the sprint races were viewed as more important than these forest races:
"World Cup 2 provides the opportunity for British Orienteering to field a sprint focused team and the opportunity for some high level racing develop for our younger athletes."
With GB having medal chances in Sprint, and the European Champs and the World Champs in Edinburgh now coming before any further forest races at this level, you can understand this. So for most of the team (Jo and Joshua did not run the sprint) it was a case of doing good orienteering and perhaps getting experience and ranking points.
In the men's middle race Jannis Bonek of Austria built on his bronze medal at the World Champs. He took the win from the more familiar names, Albin Ridefelt (the European Champion) and Matthias Kyburz (the World Champion).
Incidentally Jannis (b.1999) and Albin (b.1991) are teammates with the Scandinavian club OK Linné, where Albin (b.1991) has been his whole orienteering career. For much of that time he has been the leading runner and very much part of "the project" to build the Uppsala club, and which triumphed when OK Linné won TioMila last year. Albin, running the final leg, successfully defended a two and a half minute lead from second placed OK Ravinen, who had Gustav Bergman doing the fastest time on that leg. Jannis had run leg 7. Jannis's bronze medal in the World Champs was in the Middle Distance; fourth, 25 seconds slower, was Albin. OK Linné didn't win tioMila this year but were close: Jannis didn't run as he was preparing for the World Champs, maybe he'll be back for them next year, possibly on the final leg.
Jannis Bonek, photo by Petr Kadeřávek
Albin Ridefelt and a running cameraman, photo: Tomáš Bubela
In the men's long race Kasper Fosser and Matthias Kyburz were nearly five minutes quicker than anyone else; they were the only ones to run under 100 minutes. Kasper took the win with Matthias making a small mistake and losing direction on a shorter leg, where a lot of runners also lost some time. Third was Gustav Bergman.
The highest placed British man was Ralph Street in 40th. There were 7 Swiss (4 in the top 10) and 7 Swedes ahead of him.
In the women's middle distance Tove Alexandersson of Sweden won from Simona Aebersold of Switzerland, and in third place was Sanna Fast of Sweden, whose first World Cup races were last year's European Champs. Seven of the top 12 were Swedes.
In the women's long distance Tove and Simona were over six minutes ahead of anyone else. The race for third was won by Sarah Hagstrom of Sweden, just 11 seconds ahead of Natalia Gemperle of Switzerland.
The highest placed British runner was Grace Molloy in 60th.
A Swede who didn't make the top 12 in the middle was Karolin Ohlsson pictured here (with wound) with teammate Lisa Risby. Lisa's final international race for Sweden was the long - she finished with 7th in the middle and 5th in the long. Lisa was 4th and 6th in the individual forest World Champs races in 2021, and won gold in the relay. She intends to stay in the sport, running with her club OK Kåre.
Karolin Ohlsson and Lisa Risby, photo: Jiri Cech.
Cecilie Andersen Cecilie Andersen was 56th in the Middle and 69th in the Long. The middle result is not currently a counting score for Cecilie's World Ranking but it may be in a year's time, photo: Tomáš Bubela.
Rachel Brown Rachel Brown was 98th in the Middle and 78th in the Long. This was her senior debut. The middle result is Rachel's second best score in forest orienteering (after the World Universities Middle last year), photo: Petr Háp
Laura King Laura King was 57th in the Middle and 88th in the Long. The middle was a good result for Laura, her best result in points terms for 2022. photo: Petr Kadeřávek.
Grace Molloy Grace Molloy was 49th in the Middle and 60th in the Long, photo: Jiri Cech.
Chloe Potter Chloe Potter was 86th in the Middle and 92nd in the Long. Points-wise these results were not quite as strong as the forest races of World Cup Round 1 in Norway, but the middle is now one of Chloe's counting scores. photo: Tomáš Bubela.
Jo Shepherd Jo Shepherd was 63rd in the Middle and 66th in the Long, photo: Tomáš Bubela.
Jonathan Crickmore Jonathan Crickmore was 64th in the Middle, 9 seconds slower than Joshua, and 83rd in the Long. These are similar to Jonny's results in the World Cup Final races at the end of last year, and now join them in counting for his World Ranking. photo: Tomáš Bubela.
Joshua Dudley Joshua Dudley was 63rd in the Middle and 93rd in the Long. Unfortunately neither run did anything for Joshua's World Ranking. As he suggested in interview it could well be for him these races came too soon after the recent World Champs. photo: Petr Hap.
Nathan Lawson Nathan Lawson was 85th in the Middle and 101st in the Long. The middle is now a counting score of Nathan's World Ranking. photo: Petr Kadeřávek.
Peter Molloy Peter Molloy was 104th in the Middle and 74th in the Long. It was useful experience (watch his Twitter interview) and both results now count for Peter's World Ranking, photo: Petr Kadeřávek.
Chris Smithard Chris Smithard was 70th in the Middle and 60th in the Long, both results now contributing to Chris's forest World Ranking, photo: Petr Kadeřávek.
Ralph Street Ralph Street had a pretty good race to 20th position in the middle and a less good race to 40th in the long. The middle score may be useful in a year's time when the World Cup rounds return to the forest, photo: Jiri Cech.