Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A Qualified Success

GB JWOC 2008 Team signalling for help
After a brief interlude for the Model Event yesterday it was back to real business today with the Middle Race Qualifier. The Sprint and Long are run as straight finals (on the basis that there isn't time to stage the necessary qualification races) but the Middle has a proper Qualifier with the added pressure that brings. Nobody won a medal today, but some may have lost one by not making the final. The JWOC Rules allow everybody to run everything, so with a possible team of six men and six women several countries were aiming to get twelve runners into the A Final by finishing in the top 20 of their heat.

The sun shone down on the Race Arena in a shooting range that was doubling as a commercial stinging nettle plantation. As ever at Qualifiers the atmosphere was restrained, and even the Danish fans seemed to have stayed away for this one. The normal stream of runners emerged at various speeds down the hill and into the field, and the confident ones then jogged effortlessly to the Finish. For most people this was a last chance to pick up one or two seconds that might be vital at the end of the day, even if it would have been easier to save the one or two minutes that had disappeared at controls in the forest.

And as ever the question was simply how many people did you get in the final? A quick look at the results (helped by using some of the clever analysis features of Winsplits Pro) produced the table below. Norway managed a perfect 12 and I would probably have guessed the top eight countries correctly beforehand. Great Britain look to have had a pretty good day (helped by what seems to have been a late disqualification), and ended up doing better than the in-form Danes. Further down a few things strike me It seems odd that France only have a team of nine. Three Belarus qualifiers out of five looks like a pretty good performance. Canada and the Netherlands will probably be pretty pleased to get runners to an A Final, but Australia look like they had a bad day, especially when New Zealand ended up doing better. The Ukraine are probably the most surprising absentees from the A Final. And as a final note it seems like this is a very similar set of results to what you would get at a full World Championships. Is the terrain here in Sweden just too technical, or is there really no change in prospect to the world order just now?

CountryQualifiedRan
Norway1212
Finland1112
Sweden1112
Russia1012
Switzerland1012
Great Britain812
Czech Republic712
Denmark712
Estonia611
France59
Germany46
Poland48
Hungary49
Belarus35
Lithuania312
Belgium26
Austria210
Italy210
New Zealand210
Spain210
Netherlands13
Bulgaria14
Canada18
Latvia110
Australia112
Croatia01
Slovakia01
Romania02
South Africa02
Slovenia03
Ireland04
Hong Kong05
Portugal05
Ukraine07
USA09
Japan012
Turkey012

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

> "...and the Netherlands will probably be pretty pleased to get runners to an A Final".
Actually, the Netherlands qualified 0.5 runner, and Norway 12.5. Olav Johannes Deelstra (like Jonn Are Myhren) is Norwegian breed with double citizenship.