Leduc golden in Australia

She was a doctor for 35 years, but she would have made a great postal employee because she always delivers.

She was a doctor for 35 years, but she would have made a great postal employee because she always delivers.

Competing in the World Masters Orienteering Championships in Sydney, Australia, Whitehorse’s Nesta Leduc, 76, finished the competition winning a gold medal in the long distance event in the women’s 75-79 division on Saturday.

Leduc finished the 2.3-kilometre course in 47 minutes and 51 seconds, 12 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher from Sweden.

Earlier in the week Leduc won a silver in the sprint. She qualified for the finals of both races with sixth-place finishes in the preliminaries.

“The course was pretty intricate, took lots of concentration, but got pretty wild as I started to pass some of the others,” said Leduc, commenting on the sprint in a news 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.”

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.

Leduc had gained experience with the Australian climate and terrain, winning three medals at the Bushrangers 2009 Australian Orienteering Championships, September 26 through October 4. Taking home a variety pack, 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 her time as a physician.

“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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