15 May 2008

Triple gold for Sheffield at orienteering championships

Students from the University of Sheffield have walked away with three gold medals after dominating the British Orienteering Championships, held in Culbin Forest near Inverness. Sheffield University Orienteering Club (ShUOC) was victorious, winning the men’s and women’s individual races and the women’s relay race.

Rachael Elder, who recently graduated from the University with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, stormed to victory in the individual long distance course with a time of 62:06 to take the gold medal.

In the men’s race it was two podium spots for Sheffield with Oli Johnson and Matt Crane taking gold and silver, just under two minutes apart. Both Oli and Matt recently completed their PhDs in Russian and Mathematics at the University.

The results earned Rachael, Oli and Matt places in the Great Britain team for the European Championships which are being held in Latvia at the end of May. All three are training hard for the competition and also aim to be part of the team for the World Championships which will take place in the Czech Republic in July.

Rachael, now a postdoctoral research associate at the University, said, “Winning two gold medals is brilliant. These races were a real confidence boost for the European Championships which are also being held on sand dune terrain - I'm really looking forward to it!”