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Great Britain secured the Gold medal in the Relay event at the World Orienteering Championships held in the Czech Republic.
The team of Graham Gristwood, Jon Duncan and Jamie Stevenson became World Champions after outstanding runs that saw them battling in the forests against the World’s elite.

Graham Gristwood led Great Britain out on first leg and had a storming race making virtually no errors. He handed over to Jon Duncan in 4th place, just 30 seconds off the pace after 30 minutes of hard running in the forest.

Jon soon made up ground to catch the leading French team and kept ahead of the chasing pack to hand over to the 2003 World Champion Jamie Stevenson in first place.

Jon was thrilled with his run, “Graham did a fantastic job on first leg and put me in the best possible position to make up some places. I felt strong and comfortable right from the start. Handing over to Jamie in first place was the perfect scenario.

With the World’s elite all racing for glory on the final leg, Jamie Stevenson had to ensure he ran a solid, error – free race to keep GB in the medals. But, after a small mistake, the French and the Russians both closed in and Jamie slipped to third place with a strong closing pack.
Jamie adds, “When l neared the end of the race, l could see the Russian and French team just ahead and I knew I could catch them. The Russian and French seemed to just stand still as l raced passed them, so I knew that my decision to concentrate more this year on my fitness rather than competing had paid off.”

“Winning the medal was fantastic. It was a dream to win the relay Gold as it is a real team effort. It was a surprise to win the Sprint Gold in 2003 but this one was different. When l set off in the lead l felt there was a real possibility of a medal, I knew I was at my peak physically and that I had the ability to secure the title alongside my team mates.”

GB Team Coach Dave Peel is ecstatic at the team winning the World Championships. “I knew the GB Team had the potential to win a medal and could make it happen due to all the hard training. For me, Gold in the relay is the best medal to win as it shows a solid team performance.”

With thanks to British Orienteering

Photo courtesy of Digisport