Mark Heikoop and Julio Guerra were the big winners of the Portugal O’ Meeting’s Trail Orienteering course. Very challenging technically, the course was the biggest TrailO event ever in Portugal, both for the number of participants and for their expertise.
“The best Trail Orienteering course ever in Portugal”; that’s how Mark Heikoop, a ‘professional’ in this challenging discipline, expressed his opinion at the end. Ranked 6th in the Open Class in the last World Trail Orienteering Championships, Heikoop is a common visitor to Portugal and the POM since the late 90s, and has been following the evolution of Trail Orienteering in this country for some years now. Thus he hasn’t any doubt in saying that “it was a good and challenging course and Portuguese Trail Orienteering is in a good state”.
In the Open Class, Mark Heikoop was the only athlete to complete his course without error, answering the 18 problems correctly and having also the third best time in the timed controls with two answers in 19 seconds. The fastest was the Hungarian Zoltan Mihaczi, with 15 seconds, which, added to the 14 points scored on the course, earned him 3rd position. Second place went to the Portuguese Antonio Aires, with 15 points. In the Paralympic Class, the fight was among the five athletes of DAHP – Adapted Sports of Prelada’s Hospital. Newcomer to Trail Orienteering Julio Guerra was the winner with 8 points, 1 point ahead of Diana Coelho, the winner of the Portugal’s Cup 2012. In third position was Ricardo Pinto, three points behind the winner.
“Both frustrated and satisfied”
On a course set by Joaquim Margarido and Luís Sérgio, 88 athletes have taken part, which makes this event the biggest TrailO event ever in Portugal. Names such as Thierry Gueorgiou, Annika Billstam, Kiril Nikolov, Frédéric Tranchand, Philippe Adamski and the winners of the FootO Portugal Cup 2012, Tiago Aires and Raquel Costa, were a significant presence in an event that came in danger of being cancelled due to the thick fog that suddenly enveloped Idanha-a-Nova.
The well-known Jan Kocbach (worldofo.com) also took part. He said at the end that he felt himself “both frustrated and satisfied, as always in Trail Orienteering”. In his short life as a trail orienteer, Jan recognises the enormous merits of this discipline but, at the time of discussing options, “it is not always easy to see what were the criteria of the course planner, and which were the essential elements to resolve each problem, and the result can be, in fact, a little bit frustrating. But it was nice to have Trail Orienteering at the Portugal O’ Meeting and I enjoyed myself”.
1º Mark Heikoop (Aligots) 18/18 (00:19)
2º António Aires (Individual) 15/18 (01:29)
3º Zoltan Mihaczi (Pannonnian) 14/18 (00:15)
4º Luís Leite (GD4C) 14/18 (01:41)
5º Heather Walton (JOK) 13/18 (00:57)
6º Nuno Pedro (CAOS) 13/18 (01:31)
7º Kiril Nikolov (Kalevan Rasti) 13/18 (02:15)
8º Tiago Aires (GafanhOri) 12/18 (01:05)
9º Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) 12/18 (01:07)
10º Urtzi Mota (Columbia) 12/18 (01:50)
1º Júlio Guerra (DAHP) 08/18 (01:34)
2º Diana Coelho (DAHP) 07/18 (01:45)
3º Ricardo Pinto (DAHP) 05/18 (01:53)
4º António Novais (DAHP) 02/18 (02:05)
5º Ana Paula Marques (DAHP) -02/18 (03:00)