MONTALEGRE, PORTUGAL — Adrian Jackson is kicking ass and taking names at the 2010 WOC! Maybe it’s the ascent, maybe it’s because we have a soft place in our heart’s for Australia, or maybe its because we feel Australia always gets the shaft in MTBO reporting, but regardless we found the untold story of this year’s World MTB Orienteering Championships to be the continuing ascension of Australia’s top MTBO athlete (and our favorite), Adrian Jackson (AUS). Jackson, with another career best with 3 more WOC Medals (1-Gold, 2-Silver), put Australia in 3rd Place overall with his wins alone. Jackson was unable repeat his Long Distance 1st Place victory in last year’s WOC in Israel, but was able to take 2nd Place with only 2-minutes separating Jackson from Anton Foliforov of Russia.
Although he doesn’t appear to pursuing the World Cup title, his performance at this year’s Championship events gave him enough World Cup points for an 11th Place standing in the Top 25 Men world wide — a distant 151 points behind the leader — but still a respectable position. It’s unclear if Jackson is interested in competing in the final World Cup event, but if he was able to repeat his WOC performance in Italy next month, he could possibly be in contention for the World Cup podium (Note: the math works out to a possible 3rd Place finish at best but still fun to what-if). Simply put, if Jackson had been racing in the World Cup all along, he would currently be the leader going into Italy and would have most likely taken the World Cup title with points to spare.
It’s too bad that Jackson is not competing in this year’s World Cup, but its clear that he is one of the top MTBO athletes in the world regardless of a World Cup victory. We can’t imagine the travel expenses and time required to compete in one major competition in Europe, let alone a dozen or more. We Americans can understand why the IOF has yet to hold a World Ranking Event in Australia considering how few compete in world class MTBO events and how many Europeans would have to travel a long way to race. However, if Australian MTBO via Jackson continues to crush the Euro-centric competition, the IOF is going to have to reconsider their future venues. Maybe one day in the not so distant future, we can have Europeans MTBO athletes fly “down under” for at least one of the World Cup events. This way Jackson and the whole Australian MTBO Team can finally save some money and time away from home while continuing to stomp the competition into that tasty Australian dirt! We can only hope a day like that will happen sooner rather than later!
From all of us at MTBO America, we would like to wish Adrian Jackson (can we call you AJ now?) a congratulatory “Great Job!” We look forward to seeing more from you next year!
Meanwhile, for all you IOF officials out there reading our blog (we know you’re out there), we hear Victoria is nice this time of year. Think about it!