Best in the world turn their attention on Darnaway Forest

World championships move from Forres to Darnaway today
World championships move from Forres to Darnaway today

THE DARNAWAY ESTATE near Forres will become the focus of world orienteering attention today as Moray continues to host thousands of visitors.

After hailing the success of urban races in Forres and Nairn that brought out thousands of people in support of the event, organisers switch their attention to the forest races.

A total of 150 athletes from over 50 countries will compete at Darnaway – including six UK athletes.

The home interest includes Graeme Gristwood – who has already tasted world championship success as a member of the successful British relay team in 2008. Graeme will be joined at Darnaway by Evanton athlete Ali McLeod on his world championship debut, while Hector Haines will also be competed in his fifth world championships.

In the women’s race Grantown-on-Spey based athlete Jessica Tullie has an opportunity to shine at world level alongside Catherine Taylor and Hollie Orr.

Medal favourites include Switzerland’s Daniel Hubmann who was squeezed out of the medal positions in the urban sprint race in Forres on Sunday, while one of the favourites will also be Thierry Gueorgiou from France who has won the world title seven times.

Leading contenders for the women’s race are Denmark’s Ida Bobach and Finland’s Minna Kauppi, a three-time middle distance champion.