With all her success over the years, few would likely be surprised if she swam there.
Whitehorse’s Nesta Leduc, 76, is currently in Sydney, Australia, showing an international crowd that Yukoners know their orienteering.
Competing in the World Masters Orienteering Championships, Leduc won a silver medal in the sprint event for the women’s 75-79 division
“The course was pretty intricate, took lots of concentration, but got pretty wild as I started to pass some of the others,” said Leduc in a press release. “Coming into the arena was amazing, all the Canadians screaming as I was the first in. I think I was encouraged to run faster than I ever had for the last 70 metres.”
Leduc “took it easy” in the sprint qualifying, taking sixth, knowing that with only 12 competitors in her class she guaranteed a spot in the finals.
The championships are a part of the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games, consisting of 28 sports with 27,000 athletes (aged 26 to 101) from 95 countries participating.
Like in the sprint, Leduc qualified sixth in the long-distance event, the finals of which will take place Saturday near Lithgow, approximately 130 kilometres from Sydney.
Leduc had gained experience with the Australian climate and terrain winning the multi pack of medals at the Bushrangers 2009 Australian Orienteering Championships, September 26-October 4. Trying each step of the podium, Leduc won a bronze in the sprint, silver in the long and gold in the middle distance events.
Like many years before, Leduc had a profitable showing at the Canadian Orienteering Championships in Manitoba’s Spruce Woods Provincial Park at the start of September. At the event, Leduc won gold in all her events, surpassing her previous year’s total of two golds and a silver.
Leduc attributes her orienteering prowess to a number of factors, such as the tenacity and focus that comes from being a doctor for 35 years.
“The job I’ve had all my life I’ve had to stay focused and I can’t be distracted,” said Leduc in a recent interview with the News. “I was a GP and had to be on the ball all the time, and that’s a skill I’ve maintained.
“So I’m not distracted by other people on the course and things not going well. If you’re doing an operation, you have to keep going until it’s finished – the same with orienteering.”
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