Elgin streets used for final world championships selection race

Catherine Taylor leads the way in Elgin on Sunday
Catherine Taylor leads the way in Elgin on Sunday

ELGIN HAD A GLIMPSE of what is to come for Moray and the Highlands later this month when the World Orienteering Championships get under way.

The final test race for WOC2015, which will see thousands of athletes from around the globe descend on the region from July 31 until August 7, took place on the streets of Elgin on Sunday morning.

Around 20 of the top athletes in the UK were joined by dozens more from teams around the world in the race that was also the last chance for home athletes to gain a place in the British team for the championships.

In Elgin Cat Taylor – who has already been selected for the mixed sprint relay event at WOC2015 – won the women’s race after finishing 22 seconds ahead of Ruth Holmes, while Charlotte Ward, who has been selected for the individual sprint race which will be held in Forres, recorded a time of 13.59 in Elgin – almost 40 seconds behind the winner.

In the Men’s race Scott Fraser finished ahead of the pack with a time of 12.55 for the 3.8km course through Elgin, around 37 seconds ahead of Dave Scorah. Murray Strain, one of Scotland’s leading contenders at the championships and already selected for at least the individual sprint relay team, was some 50 second behind after taking a wrong turning on the course and having to retrace his steps.

Many of the events at WOC2015 – including the sprint finals taking place in Forres on Sunday, August 2 – are being broadcast live by BBC Alba.

British Orienteering’s chief executive Mike Hamilton said: “The whole week promises to be a fantastic celebration of our sport.  As well as seeing some of the world’s best in action we hope that the fun and excitement will encourage newcomers to give it a try.”

For detailed information on the World Orienteering Championships visit them online.  The final selections for the GB team will be announced on Tuesday.