Matthias Kyburz and Simone Niggli were the big winners of the 14th edition of the MOC – Meeting de Orientação do Centro. In the fantastic land of dunes along the Osso da Baleia's beach, in the municipality of Pombal, the two Swiss athletes showed why they lead the IOF's world rankings and finished in the best way their stay in Portugal.
It's the ending of another great Orienteering marathon in Portugal. A set of three events – from Nisa to Pombal, passing by Idanha-a-Nova – that called to our country a huge number of athletes from everywhere, including many of the best world runners. Along three weekends in a row, the menu served by Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, Associação dos Deficientes das Forças Armadas and Clube de Orientação do Centro had the virtue to match high organizational quality with a great variety of competitions.
Those who were moving from event to event had the opportunity to compete in five Middle Distance races, three Long Distance races, four Sprint races (three of them at night) and a Trail-O race, with this increase of interest to concentrate here the first eight stages of the Foot-O Portugal Cup 2013, the first stage of the Trail-O Portugal Cup 2013 and still three races counting to the IOF's World Rankings. Added to this, once again, the excellent weather, we can easily understand why there is so much interest for Portugal and why so many people look for us at this time of the season.
Kyburz has the last laugh
Looking now to the cycle's ending and to the XIV MOC - WRE 2013, in the Men Super-Elite class Olav Lundanes (Halden SK) and Matthias Kyburz (Swiss O 'Team) reissued today the duel that made them the big players of the day before. And if yesterday Lundanes got the advantage of 26 seconds over the Swiss, today was Kyburz's day. It was his the last laugh, adding to the victory in this stage the triumph at MOC's overall. Kyburz fulfilled the 7.4 km of his course in 33:45, one second ahead of a surprising Latvian Kalvis Mihailovs (IKHP) and with less 32 seconds than the Russian Valentin Novikov (CSP V. Novgorod), third. Lundanes couldn't get better than the fourth place, 42 seconds behind the winner. With a high level race, with the excellent time of 37:50, Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) achieved the 18th position today and he was the best Portuguese runner.
For Matthias Kyburz, “it was a really fast terrain today, perfect for a full speed race all the way. I did some small mistakes, I've lost maybe twenty, thirty seconds... In such a flat terrain, you must be very concentrated. Otherwise, it's a really nice terrain, much more runnable than yesterday.” Evaluating almost two weeks in Portugal he says: “It was really good to be here at this time of the season. I could do a lot of kilometres, a lot of controls. It's always a good start of the season to get technically use of your skills, we had good trainings and it was a very good decision to come to Portugal.” For Kyburz, “it's always good to see that the shape is already quite good and technically it fits. And it's good to win, of course, despite being really early in the season.” The next three weeks will be in a Training Camp in Italy but we can see, right now, the goals of the season: “The next one will be the World Cup at the Nordic Orienteering Tour, and some other races like Tiomila or Jukola. And then the World Championships, of course!”
Still and always, Simone
As for the Women Elite, Simone Niggli was again at a higher level, winning with a time of 33:39 for a 6.0 km race. Immediately after, were classified Eva Jurenikova (Halden SK) and Anastasia Tikhonova (MS Parma), with more 58 seconds and 2:21, respectively. Second placed at yesterday's stage, the Danish Ida Bobach stood today in the 4th position, at distant 3:07 of the winner. Among the Portuguese, we have to get down on the classification board until the 32nd place to see our best representative, Vera Alvarez (CPOC), registering at the Finish the time of 48:15.
At the end, Simone Niggli didn't hide her happiness: “For the middle distance, the race today was perfect because it was a little bit flat and there was a lot of directions. I enjoyed it a lot. It wasn't a clean race for me, I did some small mistakes but I'm happy and this was a good ending of my stay in Portugal.”
1st Matthias Kyburz (Swiss O' Team) 1995.17 points
2nd Olav Lundanes (Halden SK) 1979.68 points
3rd Valentin Novikov (CSP V. Novgorod) 1944.69 points
4th Leonid Novikov (Belgorod Spartak) 1944.63 points
5th Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 1925.78 points
6th Jani Lakanen (Terä) 1920.84 points
7th Tero Föhr (Individual FIN) 1920.59 points
8th Kalvis Mihailovs (IKHP) 1916.26 points
9th Tsvertkov Dmitriy (Russia The 'Team) 1887.64 points
10th Martin Hubmann (Swiss O'Team) 1874.10 points
29th Diogo Miguel (Ori-Estarreja) 1722.15 points
32nd Tiago Aires (GafanhOri) 1710.07 points
34th Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 1690.59 points
38th Miguel Silva (CPOC) 1655.19 points
39th Tiago Romão (ADFA) 1624.65 points
1st Simone Niggli (Swiss O' Team) 2000.00 points
2nd Eva Jurenikova (Halden SK) 1917.96 points
3rd Ida Bobach (OK PAN) 1868.36 points
4th Anastasiya Tikhonova (MS Parma) 1801.05 points
5th Catherine Taylor (GB O' Team) 1751.86 points
6th Dana Safka Brozkova (Individual CZE) 1746.39 points
7th Natalia Vinogradova (AngA) 1744.98 points
8th Riina Kuuselo (Individual FIN) 1726.14 points
9th Karoliina Sundberg (Lynx) 1715.27 points
10th Irina Nuberg (Hellas) 1672.42 points
31st Vera Alvarez (CPOC) 1354.72 points
33rd Magalie Mendes (COC) 1293.37 points
34th Mariana Moreira (CPOC) 1290.14 points
35th Maria Sá (GD4C) 1278.16 points
37th Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) 1257.81 points
Full results and other information at http://www.coc.pt/eventos/16fev2013/pt/.