Unfortunately it was not Canada's day today in the men's relay. Patrick Goeres lead the team off with a strong start, but a problem with 2 controls left him in 29th place and 10 minutes back from the lead pack, but just under 2 minutes in front of Eric Bone of Team USA. Robbie Anderson had a "nervous and unfocused race", losing time here and there. He held on to the 29th place spot, but Boris Granovskiy of Team USA had a solid run, coming in a couple of seconds ahead of Robbie to trade off in 28th place. Will Critchley, Giacomo Barbone (USA), and Fatih Bodur of Turkey started together. It was a nail biting neck and neck race, but Will managed to pull away at control 11, and keep the lead to bring Team Canada in to a 28th place finish; 4 minutes ahead of Team USA and 5 minutes ahead of Team Turkey. You can watch the relay battle via GPS tracks, check out the splits, view the maps, and the full results!
After the race, Robbie commented that he felt the team was "prepared really well for today, but sometimes things just don't click. I was too nervous and unfocused, which led to numerous mistakes. All I can do is learn from my mistakes today and put this experience to prepare better for races down the road." Well said Robbie!
Overall in the men's race, the Czech Republic ran a fantastic race to clinch the gold medal, just 6 seconds ahead of Norway and 11 seconds ahead of Sweden! In the women's race, Switzerland won handily with a 2.5 minute lead over silver medalists Sweden; with Norway scooping the bronze medal. Shout out to Team USA, who had a great race. First leg runner Ali Crocker had an amazing run, passing off to Sandra Lauenstein in 3rd place; only 5 seconds behind first leg winner Sweden! Sandra ran a solid race, passing off to Samantha Saeger in 21st place. Samantha ran hard and brought the team home to a 15th place finish. Nice work ladies!
That concludes the 3 week European World Champs tour. Congratulations to all the athletes for their performances. Canada is proud to have such a great team of dedicated athletes to act as ambassadors for orienteering and Canada at the world championship level. You guys make us proud!