Grace inspires Team GB to podium place at Worlds

Linlithgow's Grace Molloy (centre) with Team GB colleagues Chloe Potter, Fiona Bunn after the junior world championships in Hungary
Linlithgow's Grace Molloy (centre) with Team GB colleagues Chloe Potter, Fiona Bunn after the junior world championships in Hungary

Linlithgow’s Grace Molloy played a key role as Great Britain rounded off the Junior World Championships in Hungary with a superb fourth place in the forest relays.

The Forth Valey Orienteer member’s efforts helped them to record their best-ever finish at a world class event.

Going into the event, Great Britain were ranked a lowly 12th and not expected to make an impression on the race, anticipated as a contest between Denmark, the Czech Republic and hosts Hungary.

There was near-disaster on the very first leg, as opening runner Fiona Bunn (TVOC) underestimated the distance and ended up at the wrong checkpoint. A punch there would have resulted in disquaification, but Fiona had the wherewithal to correct her error and head to the correct control. The time lost, however, dropped GB back to 34th place.

Fiona kept her composure and began to claw the front runners back in. Having been 1.24 down at the second radio control, she managed to gain back 30 seconds over the next 3km and sent Grace out in joint eighth place.

Over the next 4km, Grace ran a superb race, reducing the gap to the leaders to just 34 seconds, and climbed to fifth as she headed through the arena and on to the final loop.

A small wobble saw her lose around a minute but the damage was minimal, as she handed over to Chloe Potter in sixth and only 40 seconds away from a medal.

Chloe, in her last international race as a junior, then ran the best race she’d ever had in a GB vest, as she climbed to third at the halfway point and even flirted with the lead as she approached the spectator control.

Some small misses meant the chasing pack reeled her in, but a turn of speed into the finish straight saw her hold off the challenge of both Sweden and Switzerland to claim fourth place and put the team on to the podium.