Sprint Relay

Last edited: 8:19 04th Aug

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19:49 – That's all from the LiveBlog for today! See you tomorrow for the Sprint Final in Forres: the first start is at 16:51 BST.

19:46 – Galina Vinogradova (Russia) was as surprised as the rest of us when she found herself bringing her team down the run-in in third position:

It was very fast – I didn't realise my position until the second half. I saw Judith [Wyder], but initially didn't believe I could catch her, or realise that I was in the running for the bronze medal!

19:38 – Danish coach Lars Lindström was thrilled with his team's performance:

It's fantastic! We've tried to do things our own way. We've been working hard since our success last year, so I'm very happy.

19:21 – I don't think many people would have expected Switzerland to finish without a medal here, but Hausken Nordberg for Norway and Galina Vinogradova for Russia just seemed to have the edge over Wyder in pure running speed through the last few hundred metres of the course.

19:16 – Sweden went out on last leg in third place, but a mistake from Karolin Ohlsson midway around allowed the chasing pack to close the gap, and they finish in fifth.

19:14 – The top six:

  1. Denmark – 60:54
  2. Norway – 62:15
  3. Russia – 62.20
  4. Switzerland – 62.25
  5. Sweden – 62.32
  6. Finland – 62:59

A big win for Denmark there.

19:10 – An ecstatic Maja Alm:

It was a lot of pressure for the start of the race. I couldn't believe I was in with a chance of gold, so there was a lot of pressure. I just want to thank everyone on the team.

19:08 – And silver goes to Norway! Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg closed the gap Wyder and passed her on the final loop through pure running speed, and finish ten seconds ahead of the Swiss and 1m21s behind Alm. The Russians take bronze.

19:05 – Denmark are the winners! A superb run by Alm!

19:03 – And a poor route choice here from Wyder between controls 9, 10 and 11! That has allowed Alm to open the lead up to just over a minute.

18:59 – It looks like Maja Alm may be pulling away from Wyder – the Dane has a 19-second lead at the spectator control.

18:57 – Soren Bobach of Denmark:

I had a big lead at the beginning – my goal was just to arrive first at the changeover and I did that so I'm happy.

Matthias Kyburz of Switzerland:

I found the map reading difficult at the start – I wasn't comfortable with the map. But I think that Judith is fighting for the gold medal!

18:54 – Denmark and Switzerland are still neck-and-neck – even different gaffles can't separate them!

18:52 – And a single second separates Denmark and Switzerland at the changeover!

18:48 – The lead is down to nine seconds now. We could be looking a repeat of last year's last-lap battle between Maja Alm of Denmark and Judith Wyder of Switzerland. Wyder won last time, but Alm was 12 seconds faster in their individual Sprint Qualifier heat yesterday.

18:42 – The Danish lead is down to 16 seconds at the spectator control. This is shaping up to be an exciting last leg.

18:42 – The chasing pack are closing the gap on last year's individual Sprint champion Soren Bobach, with Jonas Leandersson of Sweden just 21 seconds down, and Switzerland and France not far behind. Lithuania have dropped back a bit.

18:40 – Tue Lassen is happy with his run:

It was tricky in the sand dunes, but I was prepared for the extra barrier fences. It was difficult to run with such a big gap behind me, so I had to concentrate a lot.

18:36 – Tue Lassen brings Denmark back in the lead, but Martin Hubmann of Switzerland and the other three in that little pack have closed the gap to 32 seconds at the changeover.

18:33 – Lassen stretches Denmark's lead to over 50 seconds. Lithuania, Switzerland, France and Sweden have pulled away from the rest of the chasing pack.

18:30 – Lia Patscheider, who brought Italy back in a surprise second position on first leg:

The first part of the race on the sand was slow running. I started slowly and assessed the options. The course was very challenging, and I made some mistaes in the city centre. I didn't know I was in the leading group. We have a very young team with two of us still juniors, and I think we could do very well.

18:27 – Tue Lassen is maintaining Denmark's lead, 45 seconds ahead of Martin Hubmann of Switzerland, with Russia third – the same order as last year's result.

18:23 – Emma Klingenberg:

My race was good. I actually stopped to look at the map several times to make sure I got the right route choice.

18:23 – Emma Klingenberg brings Denmark home with a 46-second lead on first leg, handing over to Tue Lassen. Behind them is a big pack, including Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Poland, Russia, and China.

18:17 – Denmark have a big lead now, with several of the other teams losing time on the way to control 10.

18:12 – The long routechoice leg to 8 has split the pack up a bit. Emma Klingenberg is still leading as they com through the spectator run through, followed by Rahel Friederich of Switzerland, then Russia and Italy.

18:11 – Russia, New Zealand, Switzerland and Italy are also pulling away from the front of the pack.

18:10 – And they're off! Emma Klingenberg of Denmark ahead of the pack at control 6.

17:55 – The race map is now available on the World Championships website. The courses look very varied, with a mixture of leg lengths requiring changes in navigation and running speed. Athletes will have a few controls in the coastal sand dunes before coming back into the town of Nairn and then going back into the dunes for a few more short legs.

The second half of the course looks equally varied, with some urban terrain followed by a section of open land before the finish.

17:31 – The race is currently being pre-run by the Scottish Junior Squad.

Callum Hunter from Loch Eck Orienteers:

There was lots of route choice, and I  made a mistake on number 7. I'd say Denmark for the win.

Jenny Ricketts from Mar Orienteering Club:

It was moderately tricky. The mass start through the dunes will be "elbows out". I'm saying GB for the win!

Graeme Ackland, planner for the Middle and Relay:

It was excellent. Good gaffling – I never felt comfortable enough to follow. I think mistakes will be made because of the pressure. I'd tip Great Britain for the win, with Denmark second.

17:05 – With an hour to go until the start of the Sprint Relay – and with the traditional Scottish sound of Nairn Pipe Band ringing out around the arena – we think the Swiss and the Danes will be the favourites going into this race.

The Swiss are the reigning champions, and will field the same team as last year. So will last year's silver medallists from Denmark, strengthened by the return of Emma Klingenberg, who missed yesterday's individual Sprint Qualifier with achilles trouble.

Sweden may miss Tove Alexandersson, who looked in impressive form when she won her heat yesterday, but is carrying an injury and won't race today.

16:50 – We've spoken to a few spectators about today's race and who they think stands the best chance of winning.

Patricia Casalinho from Portugal:

I'm tipping Switzerland for the win. Enjoying the green landscape around here.

Thomas and Philip from Switzerland:

So far it's just anticipation. My heart says Switzerland for the win, but my head says Sweden! But Denmark also have a great chance.

Leif Mattsson from Sweden:

Three members of my club – Järla – are running today, all from different countries: Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. But my head says Switzerland for the win!

Daniel from Nairn:

I came along because I read about it in the local newspaper. But I have no idea who'll win!

16:40 – Spectators and athletes are gathering on the grassy bank near the bandstand, ready for the opening ceremony to begin in a few minutes' time.

16:00 – Hello from sunny Nairn! This spectacular arena location, right on the Moray coast with spectacular views across the Firth, is currently bathed in sunshine, although a couple of hours ago we had a sudden burst of torrential rain which has left a lot of puddles in the streets. There's a brisk breeze, so fingers crossed everything will have dried out nicely in time for the Sprint Relay start at 18:05.