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WMOC: Aussie gold rush in Sprint

The Sprint Final in the World Masters Orienteering Championships was held today in Auckland, New Zealand as part of the World Masters Games. Twelve of the twenty-three gold medals went to Australia.

There were in fact forty-six gold medals awarded, because every winner received both a WMG and an IOF gold medal. Many well-known names, elite orienteers of their day, figure in the medals lists. Athletes from 10 nations won gold medals today, but none were from the host nation; closest here were Yvette Baker and Marquita Gelderman, 16 and 20 seconds away from gold respectively in W50. Oldest winner was Hermann Wehner in M90 (pictured) who beat Rune Isaksson SWE by 2.52.

Natasha Key AUS was the one woman to retain her title from the 2016 race in Estonia. She won by an impressive 2.52 on the parkland and university campus course, regarded as faster and less technical than the qualification race. Inger Vamnes NOR won W80 by 7.35! Narrowest women’s win was by Jana Hankovska in W75, just 7 seconds quicker than Liudmila Labutina RUS.

W35 and M35 medalists in Sprint: from left Shannon Jones AUS & Rune Olsen NOR (Silver), Anna Sheldon AUS & Matt Crane AUS (Gold), Paivi Autio FIN & Markus Plohn AUT (Bronze).                   Photos: Malin Fuhr

Tightest victory in the men’s classes was that of Matt Crane AUS in M35, who beat Rune Olsen NOR by 4 seconds. Tsvetan Todorov BUL now has the distinction of being the only athlete to win the WMOC Sprint three years in succession, taking M50 by 57 seconds. Petteri Muukkonen FIN also won the Sprint (and Long) in 2016, whilst three athletes – Geoff Lawford AUS (M60), Keld Johnsen DEN (M65) and Peo Bengtsson SWE (M80) won the Sprint in 2015.

Next up in WMOC is the first of two qualification races in Long Distance, on Wednesday. Follow all the action on and live on

Gold medalists – Sprint

W35 Anne Sheldon AUS

W40 Jo Allison AUS

W45 Natasha Key AUS

W50 Su Yan Tay AUS

W55 Pavlina Brautigam USA

W60 Jenny Bourne AUS

W65 Silvia Baumann SUI

W70 Birgitta Billstam SWE

W75 Jana Hankovska CZE

W80 Inger Vamnes NOR

W85 Sue Healy AUS


M35 Matthew Crane AUS

M40 Petteri Muukkonen FIN

M45 Grant Bluett AUS

M50 Tsvetan Todorov BUL

M55 Warren Key AUS

M60 Geoff Lawford AUS

M65 Keld Johnsen DEN

M70 Greg Chatfield AUS

M75 Toshio Onoe JPN

M80 Peo Bengtsson SWE

M85 Paul Forseth NOR

M90 Hermann Wehner AUS


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