Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Portugal O' Meeting 2013: Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli's Hat Trick

Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli win again on the third day of Portugal O 'Meeting. A full of victories until now on the most important Portuguese event and a demonstration of the superior qualities and capabilities of the two best orienteers ever.

Counting for the world ranking, the Middle Distance races that filled the morning of the third day of Portugal O' Meeting had two repeated winners. Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou continue to show their entire class, leading the «queen-race» of POM 2013.

The course took place on the map of Cidral, a small village northeast of Idanha-a-Nova, in unique terrains in Portugal for this sport, mixing the high technicality with enormous physical demand, which makes this map a wealth of challenges, especially when one considers the competition at the highest level. Adding an Arena in a fantastic place and the animation, normal in an event that attracts more than a thousand and a half of participants, we can easily be seen that were assembled all the ingredients for a memorable race.

«I had to fight from the beginning to end»

Confirming the excellent performance of the first half of POM 2013, Thierry Gueorgiou won the race in the time of 35:21, leaving behind him the Swiss Matthias Kyburz and Russian Dmitriy Tsvetkov, with more 1:41 and 1:54, respectively. For the 'super-champion' French «it's very unusual to see a terrain with so much slope, which makes me think at Aichi, in 2005, during the World Championships. It was really hard phisically and I had to fight from the beggining to the end. What interested me the most was some technical details in the map, very chalenging. I made some little mistakes mostly at the two last controls, and lost 30 seconds, but I'm very happy and waiting now for the Sprint at Monsanto, that I'm sure that will be special.»

Matthias Kyburz was also satisfied at the end: «It was quite good at the beginning, quite fast, but I made a small mistake for the second control, I misunderstood the map and I've lost maybe one minute. I always try to challenge Thierry but a mistake like that was too much and I'm very happy with the second position. Therefore, it's a good start of the season and a result like this, in such a technical terrain, it is very good.»

«I'll be at the starting line tomorrow»

In the female sector, Simone Niggli continues unbeatable and she was again the winner with a time of 35:12. The second position, also expected, was to Swedish Annika Billstam with over 1:32, while in third place was ranked the "little-big" Danish Ida Bobach, registering 2:34 more than the winner. In the end, Simone Niggli did not hide his satisfaction for another victory: «I'm very happy with this victory. Before the start I felt tired legs because the two competitions, but I told me yo just concentrate on the map and I managed it quite well. I made some small mistakes at the beginning for the second and third controls, but than it entered very well and I came in the orienteering flow in this challenging terrain. It was very nice because of the tricky stones and phisically it was tough, which is obvious. I was quite open about the race today, I can't say that I expected this terrains, exactly, but I expected something special as usual on Portugal O' Meeting. Yes I will! I think I've quite a big lead and so I can run not at the maximum speed but I'll be at the starting line tomorrow.»

Another athlete heard in the aftermath of this third stage of the Portugal O 'Meeting was Annika Billstam, which would refer: «My aim is always doing very good technical races. I made some mistakes today but I'm happy with the result. It was a very good map and the course was very well setted, you had to fight hard all the way. I'm really happy with this POM overall and to be here in Portugal. It's particularly good in this time of the year, with such good terrains and races.»

Thierry and Simone will start with comfortable advantages

After Tiago Aires and João Mega Figueiredo, it was now time to fit Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) to be the best Portuguese today, with a time of 44:23 which corresponded the 42nd position. As for the ladies, Magalie Mendes (COC) took the time to 53:58, reaching No. 51, and relegating Vera Alvarez (CPOC) to the immediately position, with further 20 seconds.

And we arrive to the day of all decisions. The departure will follow the «chasing start» system. In Men Super-Elite, when the clock mark at 10:30 am, Thierry Gueorgiou will leave with the comfortable margin of 6:32 on Albin Ridefelt, while the French Philippe Adamski and Frédéric Tranchand will depart at the same time after 8:46 Thierry Gueorgiou output. The Women Elite's race will start soon, at 09:00 am, with Simone Niggli to present an advantage even more comfortable standing at 8:28 and 10:48 for their more direct rivals, Annika Billstam and Amélie Chataing, respectively.


1º Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 35:21
2º Matthias Kyburz (Swiss Team) 37:02
3º Dmitriy Tsvetkov (Russia O-Team) 37:15
4º Valentin Novikov (CSP V. Novgorod) 37:29
5º Martin Hubmann (Swiss Team) 37:30
6º Philippe Adamski (Kalevan Rasti) 37:41
7º Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) 37:42
8º Jarkko Huovila (Kalevan Rasti) 37:52
9º Olle Boström (Järla Orienteering) 38:24
10º Milos Nykodym (Kristiansand OK) 38:34

1º Simone Niggli (Swiss Team) 35:12
2º Annika Billstam (OK Linné) 36:44
3º Ida Bobach (OK Pan) 37:46
4º Dana Safka Brozkova (Domnarvets GoIF) 38:03
5º Amélie Chataing (Kalevan Rasti) 38:11
6º Svetlana Mironova (Hellas) 38:51
7º Maja Alm (OK Pan) 39:08
8º Natalia Vinogradova (AngA) 39:42
9º Eva Jurenikova (Halden SK) 39:46
10º Catherine Taylor (OK Linné) 39:56

All to check at http://www.pom.pt/en/.

Joaquim Margarido

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