Coming soon: Hanny Allston and Heli Jukkola racing each other in New Zealand
In a couple of weeks (3-6 February), the second WRE (1st one is in Portugal) of the new year will be held in New Zealand. It looks like it will be an interesting competition with 2 TOP10 ranked women taking part!
The World Sprint Distance Champion, Hanny Allston (AUS), has entered Waitangi. Hanny has had some great results over the last year, including being the first non-european participant to win the Junior World Orienteering Championships (JWOC) in the long distance. Hanny is also the first competitor to ever win both a senior and junior World Championship in the same year.
The W21E grade is definitely taking good shape. Along with Hanny is another female ranked in the top-10, being Heli Jukkola from Finland. Heli is currently ranked 4th in the World, having recently at the last round of the World Cup in France won the sprint distance. She is consistently in the top 10 results of all major events in the World.
Other competitors to make this grade very competitive include Tania Robinson, who holds the record for the most NZ titles in W21E. Tania is currently the NZ Long and Middle distance Champion. To go along with that is Penny Kane who is the current NZ Sprint Champion in W21E. The W21E Long Distance Champion from Australia is also coming over, being Anna Sheldon, as well as Grace Elson who is the Australian Sprint and Middle Distance Champion.
Adding further to the field is a strong group of juniors from 2006, which includes Amber Morrison (NZ W20 Long Champ), Lizzie Ingham (NZ W20 Sprint Champ), Tineke Berthelsen (NZ W20 Middle Champ) and Vanessa Round (Aus W20 Long and Sprint Champ). Also the remainder of the Australian Bushrangers and NZ Test team will make the field very strong, potentially the strongest female field seen since the World Cup in '94!
The M21E grade also looks very promising with Tero Fohr as the highest rank Male entered.
Fohr is currently ranked 30th in the World and placed recently at the World Cup round in France 10th in both the Sprint and Middle Distance events. He is also the middle distance champ from Finland (2006).
The next highest ranked male to enter is Carsten Joergensen (DEN) who has a ranking of 50th and is the current NZOF High Performance Manager.
Check out the website of the Waitangi weekend!
Text: Waitangi-organising team