Friday, August 26, 2016

WTOC 2016: Double gold for Sweden



Martin Fredholm and Michael Johansson got the PreO World gold in the Open and Paralympic classes, respectively. Both athletes repeated the excellent performances from the first day of this competition, tasting once more the sweet flavour of success.


The World Trail Orienteering Championships 2016 knew today its last individual winners. The aeolic park of Tolvmanstegen hosted the decisive course, which offered 28 controls and the extra of a three-task timed station. Quite long and physically demanding, the course proved to be very selective, with different types of tasks exploring the competitors' skills and allowing to select the best of the best.

With twenty points after the first day of competition, a leading group of eight competitors fought for the medals very thoroughly, with just one of them performing perfectly once again, which allowed him to get the gold. With 48 points and 40,5 seconds overall, the Swedish Martin Fredholm completed his thirteenth presence in as much editions of the World Trail Orienteering Championships in the best way, recovering, in front of his public, a gold that he hadn't won for ten years. After the bronze medal reached last year in Croatia, the Norwegian Martin Jullum climbed one step on the podium, leading a six-competitors group with 47 points and 34,5 seconds. With more 9,5 seconds than Jullum, the Latvian Janis Ruksans got the bronze medal. Stig Gerdtman and Marit Wiksell, both from Sweden, reached the fourth and fifth positions, and the Finn Pinja Mäkinen closed the podium in the sixth place. Jens Andersson, from Sweden, stayed out of the podium by narrow six seconds.

In the Paralympic class, the Russian Pavel Shmatov wasn't able to deal with the pressure of a two-point advantage reached on the first day and, with two mistakes today, dropped to the second position with 46 points and 122 seconds overall. With a clean race, the Swedish Michael Johansson joined Shmatov in the lead, but a better performance in the timed stations eventually gave him the gold for the second time in his career. Ola Jansson, Sweden, finished third, one point behind the winner. The fight for the immediate positions was really tight, with two athletes counting 44 points. Faster in the timed stations, the Czech Jana Kostová finished fourth with 66 seconds, just half of a second (!) better than the Ukranian Vladislav Vovk, the World Champion in 2015. The last place of the podium was occupied by the Dane Søren Saxtorph with 42 points.


Results

Open class
1. Martin Fredholm SWE 48 points / 40,5 seconds
2. Martin Jullum NOR 47 / 34,5
3. Janis Ruksans LAT 47 / 44
4. Stig Gerdtman SWE 47 / 47,5
5. Marit Wiksell SWE 47 / 91
6. Pinja Mäkinen SWE 47 / 112,5

Paralympic class
1. Michael Johansson SWE 46 points / 74,5 seconds
2. Pavel Shmatov RUS 46 / 122
3. Ola Jansson SWE 45 / 44,5
4. Jana Kostová CZE 44 / 66
5. Vladislav Vovk UKR 44 / 66,5
6. Søren Saxtorph DEN 42 / 89,5

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WTOC 2016: Jullum and Shmatov lead the PreO



The beautiful forest of Saltö hosted the PreO competition’s first day. After twenty challenging controls, Martin Jullum and Pavel Shmatov are in the lead of the Open and the Paralympic classes respectively.


The PreO competition of the 13th World Trail Orienteering Championships started today, with a demanding course in the idyllic forest of Saltö, beside the sea. 61 competitors in the Open class and 38 in the Paralympic class faced a really challenging course, with twenty one controls and a bonus three-task timed station. With one control voided, there were eight competitors in the Open class who solved all the tasks successfully, with Martin Jullum, Norway being the fastest in the timed station and so taking the lead. With the first and the seventh competitors 15 seconds apart from each other, Sweden has four athletes in the ‘pole position’ for the decisive day on Friday, including the current European Champion, Stig Gerdtman and the former World Champion, Martin Fredholm. Defending his World title, the Italian Michele Cera is also in the leading group.

In the Paralympic class, the Russian Pavel Shmatov was the only one who answered correctly to all the tasks, having a comfortable two-point lead over three former World Champions: Jana Kostová, Czech Republic (2013), Michael Johansson, Sweden (2014) and Vladislav Vovk, Ukraine (2015). How will Shmatov deal with the pressure? Five years later, the world title is close to return to Russia, but there’s still half of the game to play.


Results

Open class
1. Martin Jullum NOR 20 points/15 seconds
2. Marit Wiksell SWE 20/16
3. Martin Fredholm SWE 20/19
4. Janis Ruksans LAT 20/25
5. Stig Gerdtman SWE 20 / 25.5
6. Ivo Tisljar CRO 20/29.5
7. Michele Cera ITA 20/30
8. Jens Andersson SWE 20/89
9. Pinja Mäkinen FIN 19/18
10. Johanne Biering DEN 19/19.5

Paralympic class
1. Pavel Shmatov RUS 20 points/95 seconds
2. Vladislav Vovk UKR 18/31
3. Michael Johansson SWE 18/33.5
4. Jana Kostová CZE 18/37.5
5. Ola Jansson SWE 17/21.5
6. Søren Saxtorph DEN 17/48.5
7. Yehor Surkov UKR 17/49
8. Arne Ask NOR 16/35
9. Laima Lazinskiene LTU 16/48.5
10. Pekka Seppä FIN 16/110

To see the complete results, please visit the event's webpage at http://live.woc2016.se/blog/2016/08/24/official-preliminary-results-of-day-1/.

Joaquim Margarido