Darnaway provides perfect stage for Swiss star Hubmann

Gold for Swiss star Daniel Hubmann at Darnaway
Gold for Swiss star Daniel Hubmann at Darnaway

MORAY WAS AGAIN the host for the fourth day in the World Orienteering Championships when the Earl of Moray provided Darnaway Castle as the backdrop for the middle distance events.

While there was no medal yet for the home squad there was a superb fifth place finish for Cleveland Orienteering Club’s Cat Taylor, who finished just out of the medals in fifth place behind Sweden’s Annika Billstam.

The Darnaway Estate near Forres proved to be very much of a liking for Switzerland’s Daniel Hubmann. The middle distance was the only Orienteering discipline in which the sport’s superstar had not won world championship gold – he put that to rights in Moray by clinching top place on the podium.

“I’m not sure that I always took the best routes,” Hubmann admitted, adding: “But overall I was happy with how it went, I felt in control throughout the race, it felt good.”

Surprise of the men’s race was Frenchman Lucas Basset who finished with a silver medal while Sweden’s Olle Bostrom took the bronze. Hector Haines claimed a top-10 finish for the UK with Graham Gristwood in 20th and Ali McLeod finishing 28th.

Taylor’s performance in the women’s event was a bonus for home supporters but there was no real surprise on the podium as Billstam retained the crown she won last year in Italy. Finn Merja Rantanen took silver while another Swede, Emma Johansson, collected the bronze.

There was a solid performance in her debut appearance at world championships level by Grantown athlete Jessica Tullie who finished 17th while Hollie Orr found the competition tough in her 57th place finish.

The final event in Moray takes place today with the Relay event taking place at Darnaway – viewers can see the outcome of that one live on BBC Alba from 4pm today.