What an amazing day of orienteering! My third attempt at the middle distance at WOC, I finally qualified for the final which was a nice start. I had a good race, my only time loss was a safe route choice to the 3rd control. I was 1 minute behind the best on that control. I finished 2 minutes behind the winner of my heat in 8th place.
The final we suspected was going to have something special, and that was proved right as soon as I picked up the map at the start. I reverted to point to point navigation, and I was doing really well for the first 8 controls. I caught Tsvetkov up 6 minutes at number 4 which was a nice boost, although I lost him at number 7 already. Number 9 I just lost contact slightly, and had to go almost out to the ride to relocate. 1 minute lost, but almost acceptable in that detail. Then we left the rock labyrinth and entered the more familiar stuff. I identified immediately that 13 was going to be possibly the hardest control on the course, and then read everything along the slope until I got to the green - then at the last minute as I plunged in, I misread the clearing before the green, thinking I was just below the wrong one, and hence 50m too high up the slope. Nice little parallel error in the green/white veg changes, then out to the ride to relocate. 2 minutes lost. After that stormed round, maybe lost 10 seconds at 22, but otherwise really pleased. A quick split analysis shows that I dropped from 11th to 27th at number 9, and then down to 36th at number 13. I managed to climb back up to number 26, including 5 places from the spectator control to the finish, and 2 of those on the run-in! On a really tricky course, I nailed 23 of the controls, lost 10 seconds on 2, and then had 2 bigger mistakes which really punished me. Physically I was really happy, and my best splits were mostly in the last loop, so there are a lot of positives even if the result is not quite as good as I would have liked.
Bring on the relay!
Results and splits from qualifier
Results from final