Scottish Elite
Development Squad

GB Team for World Champs Selected!

Alasdair Mcleod in action

Final selections for the World Championships have been made and there will be plenty of Scots to cheer on!

There had already been several selections, but the weekend saw the last chance for athletes to make the team. British Orienteering had found the most relevant areas for each discipline, which saw the forest races in Deeside and the sprint in Elgin.

A remapped Inchmarnoch was used for the middle, with similar navigational challenges to Darnaway. The Brits were set off first, in World Ranking order, with 2 minute start intervals. Jess Tullie won the women’s and Graham Gristwood (already selected) the men’s. Alasdair McLeod and Hector Haines were just behind, earning them the last 2 spots in the team. The Brits also fared fairly well against top international runners, with Tove Alexanderson (Swe) and Thierry Georgiou (Fra) winning the courses.

Next up was the long race, using Glen Tanar and Birsemore. This was a true test, both physically and technically. There was a mixture of long route choice legs, vague slopes, detailed rock and intricate contours. Competitors had to keep on their toes right up until the end, where there was the final hurdle of short legs on a steep, rocky slope. Jess Tullie again won the race, but with Charlotte Watson and Hollie Orr snapping at her heels. In the men’s, Hector won with 2nd place going to pre-selected Alasdair.

Both forest races were organised by MAROC and British Orienteering. From an athlete’s perspective, they were top class events, with slick organisation, great courses and plenty of support from the club. Massive thanks to all those involved.

Sunday morning (first start at 8am!!) the competitions moved to Elgin for the final test, the sprint race. Many Moravian orienteers were there even earlier to put out and then man controls – thank you for foregoing your Sunday lie-in! With both Murray Strain and Scott Fraser preselected in the men’s, there were some final selections and decisions to be made regarding the sprint relay and sprint final. For some, it’s a shame that the 2 races are so close. This means that the boys running the individual weren’t keen to do the sprint relay as well, so there were spaces up for grabs. Both Cat taylor and Hollie were preselected for the sprint relay, but there were still 2 spaces in the individual. After some incredibly close racing, these went to Ruth Holmes and Alice Leake (joining Charlotte Ward). In the men’s, Chris Smithard and Dave Schorah are joining the girls in the relay team. The press were out to watch and photograph the race, as well as many local orienteers standing in good vantage points.

All results can be seen on the British Orienteering website

In the final selections, we have 7 athletes who represent Scotland in the team; Scott Fraser, Murray Strain, Hector Haines, Alasdair McLeod, Hollie Orr, Claire Ward and Jessica Tullie. Congratulations to all of you and best of luck in your races. There are also other athletes who live in Scotland, so on behalf of the SOA, we would also like to congratulate and wish them every success in their races; Graham Gristwood (FVO), Fanni Gyurko (FVO and Hungary), Charlotte Watson (EUOC), Alison Campbell (EUOC and USA).

See you all there! -

Bring it on!!

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