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Oceania Orienteering Championships summary
The Oceania Orienteering Championships took place 14-17 April in Auckland, New Zealand. Despite the severe weather conditions in the area, the competitions could go ahead as planned, and the Oceanian orienteers battled it out for titles in Sprint, Middle, Long and Relay.
The event kicked off with an action-packed Sprint at the Unitec Institute of Technology (Te Whare Wānanga o Wairaka). In the men’s class, Ross Morrison of New Zealand came out on top, followed by fellow New Zealander Cameron Tier in second and Australian Simon Uppill in third. In the women’s class, the results were a bit more complicated. The race was won by Charlotte Watson, Great Britain, followed by Liis Johanson, Estonia, but since they do not represent an Oceanian federation, the Oceania title went to Imogene Scott of New Zealand, who placed third. The Oceania silver was jointly awarded to Belinda Lawford and Natasha Key, both representing Australia, who both placed fifth in the race, after Susen Lösch of Germany.
The Sprint was followed by the Long Distance, which took place at Lake Rototoa, which is on the beautiful South Kaipara Head Peninsula, outside central Auckland. The location offered challenging navigation and beautiful scenery. Australia’s Jo Allison claimed the victory in the women’s class. She was followed by Susen Lösch of Germany in second, meaning that the Oceania silver went to Imogene Scott of New Zealand in third place, and the bronze to Krystal Neumann of Australia who placed fourth. In the men’s class, Gene Beveridge, New Zealand, claimed the victory, followed by Matt Ogden, also New Zealand, and Simon Uppill, Australia.
On the third day of the event, it was time for the Relay. For this race, the competitors stayed on the South Kaipara Head Peninsula, but moved to nearby Lake Kereta. In the women’s relay, it was the Australians who were victorious, with Natasha Key, Belinda Lawford and Jo Allison claiming the gold. New Zealanders Imogene Scott, Renee Beveridge and Georgia Whitla came second, followed by Australians Krystal Neumann, Lanita Steer and Bridget Anderson in third. In the men’s class, it was the host federation New Zealand that won, with Gene Beveridge, Matt Ogden and Nick Hann claiming the gold. They were followed by fellow New Zealanders Ross Morrison, Thomas Reynolds and Chris Forne in second, and Australians Simon Uppill Ian Lawford and Matthew Crane in third.
Finally, the last day of the championships saw the athletes racing for the Middle Distance titles. The Middle Distance was held at Ponganui Road, in the Onewhero area. Nick Hann, New Zealand, was fastet in the men’s class, followed by Matt Ogden, also New Zealand, in second and Simon Uppill, Australia, in third. Again, the results of the women’s class were influenced by non-Oceanians, with Charlotte Watson, Great Britain, in first and Susen Lösch, Germany, in second. Thus, the Oceania title and gold medal went to Renee Beveridge, New Zealand, who placed third, the silver went to Natasha Key, Australia, who placed fourth, and the bronze to Georgia Whitla, New Zealand, who placed sixth, after Liis Johanson, Estonia, who came in fifth.
Check out the maps and full results here.
Photos from the event and the ongoing orienteering carnival can be found on Facebook.