Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sprint Qualification Debacle!!

This morning’s WOC Sprint Qualifications in Aix-Les-Bains has been shrouded in controversy with large numbers of athletes disqualified for crossing forbidden features.

Simon Uppill had a great run to qualify in his very competitive heat and is the only Aussie man to make the final. Julian Dent and Rob Preston lost a little time and finished outside the top 15. There is some controversy about the final results as Jules and Rob were also listed as disqualified despite not being aware of crossing any forbidden features. Hopefully this will be cleared up later on…

Grace Elson had a pretty clean run and qualified well for the women’s final. Rachel Effeney also had a pretty good run and was originally placed in equal 16th with a Chinese girl, but was reinstated to 14th place after a nail biting wait for Wendy and Rob to come out of the team leaders meeting with final start lists. A great result for Rach at her first WOC, she is excited and relieved to be running the final this afternoon! Mace run well in the first part of the course and was feeling good, but unfortunately lost too much time on a tricky leg towards the end to qualify.

There were 3 areas of infringements;
1. Jumping down an impassable cliff near men’s #5/women’s #4
2. Running through cafeteria’s in the town centre (marked as purple hash)
3. Running through olive green areas near the finish

Apparently 54 women and 41 men crossed the wall, but their results were allowed to stand due to it being  unclear where the wall ended. Nor were any people DSQ for crossing an uncrossable crag at no. 3 on the women's.

Starts have supposedly been delayed by 45minutes, and hopefully online coverage can be followed at the WOC2011 live website. It should be an exciting race once things get moving after this mornings kerfuffle! The rest of the team is getting ready to cheer our qualifiers on… GO SIMON, RACH AND GRACE!!!

And here are some pictures of our team from the opening ceremony and parade which was held last night, to a great local turnout!



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