Sunday, October 27, 2013

EYOC 2013: Relay's medals well distributed

After the Switzerland, Sweden, Finland and Denmark's dominance on the first two days of the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2013, the last day allowed to add the names of Russia and the Czech Republic to the set of the big winners. Individually, Sara Hagstrom won everything there was to win and she is, undeniably, the “queen” of these Championships. Succeeding the Czech Republic, Finland was the winner overall.

The 15th edition of the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2013 came to the end this morning, in Vale Benfeito, Óbidos. An edition marked by the excellence of maps and terrains, an organization attentive and fully available to the 362 athletes from 32 countries presents, overcoming moments of enormous significance and value to the participants and, last but not least , warm weather and bright sunshine, to put even more colour and life on everyone's faces.

Eagerly awaited, the Relay ended the Championships with an atmosphere of party and joy. Involving a total of 92 teams spread over four levels of competition, the courses were marked by the uncertainty about the winner until the final second, involving some surprising twists and a couple of unexpected results. In terms of twists, the most fantastic was led by Sweden in W18 Class, while the biggest surprise was eventually carried by Hungary, silver medallist in the W16 Class. As for the Portuguese, again, the last day of doesn't add something substantive in terms of results, and the M16 team achieved the best result, finishing in 12th position.

Russia wins

Starting by “waves”, according to each class of competition, the M16 Class was the first to show a winner today. With a very strong beginning, the Russia team took over the race right in the first round and never dropped it. Big star of the two previous days of the Championships, the Finnish Olli Ojanaho still managed to shorten the gap by more than two minutes in the final leg, but Aleksandr Pavlenko managed well the advantage, reaching the Finnish in the lead.

“It was fantastic , like a dream.” These were the first words of Pavlenko, the man who had the privilege to offer Russia its only gold medal in these Championships. Admitting that to win the race was in the plans of the Russians, Pavlenko praises the excellent teamwork, “against a very strong Finland, which further enhances our result.” Concluding with a particular reference to its course and how was it to deal with the pressure of knowing Ojanaho behind him, the Russian said: “I tried to do my own race and forget about everything else. Into the forest, it was just me, the map and the course.”

The most confortable victory

In the W16 Class, it moved to the Czech Republic rather what happened to Russia in Men's Relay M16. By registering the fastest times in the two first legs, Tereza Cechova and Barbora Vyhnálková offered a comfortable advantage to Barbara Vavrysová, that the she knew intelligently manage, and even expand it up to more than five and a half minutes late on Hungary, in what was the most advantaged victory of the journey.

Barbara Vavrysová that in the end was absolutely overjoyed: “It was my first presence on a EYOC and this victory is awsome”, she says. Although a comfortable advantage to manage on the last leg, the athlete assumes that “I had to win , I had to do this for me and for my teammates.” And she adds: “This was our goal , the goal of the Czech Republic and I am very happy to have been realized.” But this is just the beginning of a career that expects full success: “Me and my colleagues will certainly the opportunity to participate more often in EYOC and this gold medal gives us the strength to think of new triumphs in the future.”

The best ending for Sweden

Starting for the third leg in a disadvantage agains the powerful teams of Switzerland and Russia, the Swedish team had in Sara Hagstrom a real talisman. After the victories of last Friday and yesterday that earned her the European titles of Sprint and Long Distance, the Swedish athlete eventually turn the result, making a 'full' of gold medals and becaming the biggest star of these Championships. Sara Hagstrom impressed all who had the chance to follow closely this EYOC 2013, either by their physical and technichal capabilities, both for their winning attitude, being a name to hold in the future and which the Orienteering can have much to expect for.

Between screams of satisfaction and many greetings from opponents and teammates, Sara confesses that this was “a tasteful victory.” The athlete confesses to be “very confident when I left for my course, knowing beforehand that the Relay would be different from what I did before. The only strategy to follow was to do my race and not think about my opponents; the key to victory would be in there.” With Russia out of the race early in the last leg due to a huge mistake by Marina Trubkina, the struggle was confined to Swedish and Swiss: “While recognizing that the silver nedal would already be great, when I went to the last 'loop' I decided to take the risk and I ended up putting the pressure out of my side.” By the end she knew how to manage her course and this win is actually a lock with gold key of the Championships that, in this Class, couldn't have been more successful.

Narrow victory for Finland

Finally the M18 Class, the one where the most tough dispute was and where the uncertainty as to the winner took longer to unravel. Finland, France, Norway and Switzerland have managed to stay together during the first two legs, ending the course for solving in favour of two Nordic countries, with Finland surpassing Norway at the end and getting the gold with an advantage over than one minute.

Responsible for the decisive leg, the Finnish Aleksi Niemi lived with this victory “a time of great excitement and joy”, especially after the frustrating course yesterday in which he made “a huge amount of mistakes”, he says. Seeking to develop his course “by thinking only on my job and forgetting the others" the Finnish athlete acknowledges that this victory “means a lot to me and to my country.”


1 Czech Republic 1:19:27
2 Hungary 1:24:55
3 Denmark 1:26:52
4 France 1:29:24
5 Finland 1:29:34
6 Lithuania 1:32:58

1 Russia 1:18:59
2 Finland 1:20:54
3 Switzerland 1:23:15
4 Latvia 1:24:18
5 Hungary 1:26:12
6 Great Britain 1:26:55

1 Sweden 1:20:14
2 Switzerland 1:20:34
3 Russia 1:25:55
4 Poland 1:29:50
5 Hungary 1:30:17
6 Norway 1:31:17

1 Finland 1:30:03
2 Norway 1:31:20
3 Switzerland 1:33:25
4 Sweden 1:33:30
5 Belgium 1:38:57
6 Italy 1:39:32

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Joaquim Margarido

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

EYOC 2013: Another day, (almost) the same winners!

Almost a “remake” of yesterday’s journey. On the second day of the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2013, Sara Hagstrom, Tobia Pezatti and Olli Ojanaho repeated the gold. Josefine Lind gave the note of sensation, offering to Denmark the most desired medal.

Sun and warm weather in a perfect morning, the beauty of a fresh and fragrant forest and challenging courses, both technically and physically. These were the ingredients that put a smile on the faces of more than three hundred and fifty participants at EYOC 2013's Long Distance course, held this morning in Ferrel, municipality of Peniche. With mapping by Luís Sérgio and courses setted by José Fernandes, the competition turned out to be almost a 'remake' of what happened on the start of the Championships, yesterday afternoon, in Óbidos.

The Swiss Tobia Pezzati and the Swedish Sara Hagstrom repeated their victories in M18 and W18 Classes, respectively. Two days, two victories and this feeling that seems to be easy to win, is something that Sara is keen to reject outright: “Actually, it was anything but easy”, began by explain the Swedish athlete, reminding one of the less good moments of her course: “It finally join several athletes that formed a 'train' and I felt very uncomfortable in front of this column, quite nervous, and I ended up making several small mistakes”. Praising the terrains and the green áreas, “technically very demanding”, Sara also highlights the “intense and motivating” struggle waged with her teammate, Johanna Oberg, who stayed just two seconds ahead. A fact that further grows the favoritism of the Swedish team in the Relay that will end the Championships, tomorrow morning, in Vale Benfeito: “I think so, I think that we have a good chance to close the season with a golden key”, she says.

Beatriz Moreira , once again the best Portuguese athlete

Also Tobia Pezatti refuses the idea of ​​an easy victory: “It was a very interesting course, very fast in the beginning and with a second half very demanding technically and requiring enormous concentration.” Some small mistakes throughout the race does not erase the pleasure of a new victory and new responsibilities: “It’s a big motivation to set new goals and to be able to keep focused on it”.  Olli Ojanaho, another of the “repeaters” in gold, talk about a course very similar to the Swiss Pezzati, admitting also  to have committed “some small mistakes, especially in route choices decisions.” The truth is that his victory, with a time of 37:24, turned out to be the most robust of all how many have registered today, with more than two minutes ahead of the Russian Aleksandr Pavlenko. For the athlete – that competes in Portugal for the very first time - the future opens up in front of him now, full of opportunities: “I don’t feel that the two gold medals are too heavy. Acually , I think that I can withstand once more and if I get another gold medal tomorrow, I don’t mind at all.”

Finally Josefine Lind , the Danish athlete that knew how to break the hegemony of the first day’s winners, meddling into this restricted “Gold Club”. With a smile of joy in her face, the athlete began to refer to “a nice victory in terrains that I like in particular because we can run very fast, which is good to me.” It was on a fast run – reflected in a time of 35:23, against 36:13 of the German Dorothea Muller - who lived the secret of the success, confessing to be “super – motivated now to continue to fight for my goals.” Among the Portuguese, the results weren’t as good as you could expect and, here too, Beatriz Moreira repeated the title of our best athlete, thanks to her 17th place in the W16 Class.



1 Josefine Lind (Denmark) 35:23
2 Dorothea Muller (Germany) 36:13
3 Barbora Vyhnálková (Czech Republic) 38:38
4 Florence Hanauer (France) 38:41
5 Noora Koskinen (Finland) 38:56
6 Tereza Cechova (Czech Republic) 39:23

1 Olli Ojanaho (Finland) 37:24
2 Aleksandr Pavlenko (Russia) 39:37
3 Joey Hadom (Switzerland) 40:06
4 Vladislav Kiselev (Russia) 41:29
5 Daniel Vandas (Czech Republic) 41:36
6 Mate Dalos (Hungary) 41:41

1 Sara Hagstrom (Sweden) 43:18
2 Johanna Oberg (Sweden) 43:20
3 Anna Haataja (Finland) 43:54
4 Felicia Stuhlhofer (Sweden) 44:36
5 Daria Korobeynik (Russia) 44:38
6 Heidi Martensson (Norway) 45:12


1 Tobia Pezzati (Switzerland) 46:26
2 Krzysztof Wolowczyk (Poland) 47:03
3 Algirdas Bartkevicius (Lithuania) 47:18
4 Nicolas Rio (France) 47:21
5 Jens Ronnols (Sweden) 47:36
6 Topias Ahola (Finland) 47:44

More information at
Joaquim Margarido

[Sponsorized by Orievents and EDP renewals]

Friday, October 25, 2013

EYOC 2013: Swiss stronger on the first day


By winning two gold medals, Switzerland was the main figure of the first day of the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2013 which starts today in Obidos, Portugal. Beatriz Moreira, placed 9th in W16 Class, was the portuguese's best athlete.

Óbidos was the venue chosen for the “kick off” the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2013. In a town that has in the chocolate one of its ex-libris, the courses were anything but “sweet” for the 361 athletes participating in the four competition classes. Made of streets and alleys, stairs and corners with much unevenness in the between, the map was a huge headache for the participants, requiring maximum concentration and a continuos focus on the map.

At M16 and W16 Classes, the Finnish Olli Ojahano and the Swiss Simona Aebersold were the big winners, imposing unambiguously to the concurrency. Ojahano - who left the Swiss Florian Attinger at “distant” 34 seconds - confess to expect such result: “I know that I am in good shape and that doing what I can do I could win.” Assigning the secret of his victory to the fact that “keep me focused on the map and have not committed big mistakes”, Ojahano already thinks of tomorrow’s Long Distance equally successful: “I think I am able to win again.” As for the Swiss athlete, the gold medal caught her completely by surprise: “I didn’t really expect, especially after having made ​​a big mistake that cost me some time.” Naturally delighted with his first victory on the international scene, Simona admits not to have high expectations for the next two days: “What I had to do I still did and I am very happy with this medal.”

Switzerland wins a second gold medal

As for the W18 Class, the Swedish Sara Hagstrom was at her best, beating the Finnish Anna Haataja by 18 seconds of difference. A victory that corresponds absolutely to the athlete's goals: “I’m really happy because I’m looking forward this competition for a long time, I had a plan to take it slow and I did”. For her, the secret of victory , for Sara was “to take it so slowly as possible, focus on the technic and just run in the right way”. Despite admitting that “it was not much fun to have to go down so much slopes”, Sara Hagstrom highlights “the quality of the map and the pleasure that she felt running here”, referring to the medieval atmosphere of the town of Óbidos.

But it was in the M18 Class that we saw the most intense struggle, with the top two to finish separated by a single second. Tobia Pezatti offered to Switzerland his second gold medal of the day, in front of the Polish Krzysztof Rzenca, ont he second position. In the end, Pezatti showed himself very happy for this victory: “I made some small mistakes and was not expecting to win”, were his first words, revealing to have been of particular concern in “do not go too fast and keep always focused on the map”. As for the Portuguese, Beatriz Moreira was our best athlete, finishing in 9th place in the W16 Class. Ricardo Esteves had also a valuable results, ranked 15th in the M16 Class.



1st Olli Ojanaho (Finland) 11:05
2nd Florian Attinger (Switzerland) 11:39
3rd Aleksandr Pavlenko (Russia) 11:42
4th Mate Dalos (Hungary) 11:44
5th Pascal Buchs (Switzerland) 11:57
6th Pierre Martinez (France) 12:00

1st Simona Aebersold (Switzerland) 24:27
2nd Dorothea Muller (Germany) 12:44
3rd Sonja Borner (Switzerland) 12:46
4th Veera Klemettinen (Finland) 12:55
5th Anna Dvorinskaia ( Russia) 13:05
6th Sofie Bachmann (Switzerland) 13:09

1st Tobia Pezzati (Switzerland) 12:57
2nd Rzenca Krzysztof (Poland) 24:58
3rd Scalet Riccardo (Italy) 13:16
4th Erik Berzell ( Sweden) 13:21
5th Aleksi Niemi (Finland) 13:22
5th Algirdas Bartkevicius (Lithuania) 13:22


1st Sara Hagstrom (Sweden) 13:24
2nd Anna Haataja (Finland) 13:42
3rd Weronika Cych (Poland) 13:43
4th Heidi Martensson (Norway) 13:53
5th Lisa Schubnell (Switzerland) 14:15
6th Lenka Svobodová (Czech Republic) 14:20
6th Sandrine Muller (Switzerland) 14:20

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Joaquim Margarido

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

EYOC 2013: Let the party begin!

For the second time in this year, the Portuguese Orienteering wears its best suit to receive an international event entirely directed to the youngsters. After the unforgetable World School Sports Orienteering Championships ISF, held in eastern Algarve on last April, is now the turn of the municipalities of Peniche, Caldas da Rainha and Óbidos to receive the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2013. Let the party begin!

Portugal was the country chosen to replace Israel in the organization of the EYOC's 15th edition. Due to political instability in that country of the Middle East and for safety reasons, the European Working Group was forced to return to the “ground zero”, early on this year, a process that was “almost done”. The first contact to see the possibility of Portugal organize EYOC 2013 was on beginning of 2013. On two or three weeks, an application was prepared, conclusive enough, leading the EWG to select Portugal as the EYOC 2013's organizer. “This was on the end of February, only eight months from the beginning of the event”, recalls Antonio Amador, EYOC 2013's Event Director, adding that "on this short time we do all the necessary to have a great event, not only technically with good terrains and courses but also with all necessary logistics for the participants have an unforgettable stay in Portugal”.

And this is, precisely, what is expected to happen on EYOC 2013. With the “headquarters” settled at the fantastic place of INATEL Foz do Arelho, to the participants is offered the possibility to enjoy a stunning view over the Obidos Lagoon, on its confluence with the vastness of the Ocean, margins by green covered, the Berlengas islands well in the distance. And if this set of buildings - once the Francisco Almeida Grandella's magnificent palace - made History during the First Portuguese Republic, it is about History and stories that will make the three-day EYOC 2013, an event that will hopefully be a milestone in life of 362 athletes from 32 countries that will be present here (responsible for organizing the EYOC 2014, Macedonia was the last country to entry for the event).

The program

The Sprint final, within the walls of the medieval town of Óbidos, open the hostilities next Friday afternoon. Saturday morning will be devoted to the Long Distance race, in Ferrel's forests. And again Óbidos, on the map of Vale Benfeito on terrains in all similar to the day before, to the EYOC 2013's epilogue, with the Relay race on Sunday morning.

The competition will be held in four different classes (M/W16 , for those born in 1997 or later, and M/W18, for those born in the years 1995 and 1996), with each country submiting a maximum of four athletes per event and by class, excluding the Relay, where this number is confined to three athletes in each team. It should also be noted that the mapping of the event has the signature of Luís Sérgio, also the responsible for setting the course of Sprint. José Fernandes and Bruno Nazario are the course setters of Long Distance and Relay, respectively.

The athletes

Last but not least, the athletes. They are the soul of any event and this, in particular, is of particular importance in the life of any young orienteer. Just ask the Swiss Daniel Hubmann or Matthias Kyburz, the Russian Andrey Khramov or the Danish Emma Klingenberg, who here won the first medals on their remarkable international careers. Just ask also Diogo Miguel, extraordinary winner on that eventful journey of Eger (Hungary ), on June 22, 2007, providing to the Portuguese Orienteering the first gold of its history.

It is therefore with a sense of victory that all participants, without exception, will be at the EYOC 2013. Although, we should allocate some favouritism to the Czech Republic, great dominator of previous editions of the event, followed by Switzerland, Sweden and Russia. Among the “remarkable " presences here, a special mention to the Polish Anjelika Maciejewska, gold medal twice in EYOC 2012 and one of the stars of the recent World School Sports Orienteering Championships ISF. Also the Latvian Uldis Upitis, the Spanish Yara Bores Escudero, the Slovaks Dusan Slama and Martin Smelik or the British Dane Blomquist are names to be taken into account, especially after their recent victories in WSOC ISF 2013. But our attention goes, justifiably, for the World Champion of School Sports on Middle Distance, António Ferreira, sure that he'll seek to repeat in Peniche and Óbidos that same gold that made him to chance to achieve the top of the podium in Monte Gordo (Vila Real de Santo António), last April 17th.

Joaquim Margarido

[Sponsorized by Orievents and EDP renewals]

Sunday, October 13, 2013

MTBO World Cup / WMMTBOC'2013: Anton Foliforov and Marika Hara, winners of the World Cup 2013

With the victory of the Czech team in the Mixed Relay race, held today in Santiago do Cacém, the final round of the MTB orienteering World Cup 2013 came to an end. Anton Foliforov and Marika Hara were the big winners of the World Cup while the Portuguese Carlos Simões was in focus in the World Masters Championships, reaching the gold medal for the third time.

The MTB orienteering World Cup 2013 came to an end. The event brought to the beautiful Alentejo coast all the biggest names of the MTB orienteering world, beeing a huge success, both in a sportive and social way. Congratulations to the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, as well as close to a hundred volunteers, led by Augusto Almeida and supported by the municipalities of Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Grândola, by the success of such a demanding and important initiative.

In today's course, a Mixed Relay full of emotion, the Czech Republic was the big winner. With Olga Vinogradova in top form now, the Russian team got the lead on the first leg, but Jiri Hradil, first and finally Krystof Bogar, were stronger than Ruslan Gritsan and Anton Foliforov, recovering from the initial disadvantage of three and a half minutes to get the victory in 2:15:52, against 2:19:46 of their direct rivals. Great sensation of the season, the Finns - with Susanna Laurila , Tuomo Lahtinen and Pekka Niemi - ended on the third place, ten seconds ahead of the Russians. Rita Gomes, João Ferreira and Davide Machado, the best Portuguese team ranked, took the 16th position.

Carlos, Carlos, Carlos!

In the World Masters MTB orienteering Championships, the Portuguese Carlos Simões was again in focus, winning the Sprint world title. Simões starred another historic journey to Portugal in the H40 Class, looming against opponents of recognized value and completing the 5.8 km of his course in the first position, with the time of 17:39. With this victory today, Simões gives to Portugal three gold medals, something unique and that reflects the value and quality of the Portuguese athlete, born precisely here, in Santiago do Cacém, 41 years ago.

But Simões was not the only Portuguese to climb up the podium in this final stage of the World Masters Championships. Also Susana Pontes knew how to "break the curse" of the two fourth previous places, finishing in the third position and repeating the place achieved in 2012 in Veszprém, Hungary, also in the Sprint's final. A race won by the Danish Nina Hoffmann with a time of 17:56, the Portuguese athlete needed 3:27 more to complete the five kilometres of her course. In the remaining classes, the Australian Carolyn Jackson did, as Carlos Simões, a 'full' of titles in the W50 Class, as the Swiss Monika Bonafini in W60 and the Finns Heikki Saarinen (M60) and Pertti Nyberg (M70). In M50 Class, the Frenchman Jean-Charles Lalevée took the highest place on the podium, repeating the result of the last Championships, in Hungary.

Anton Foliforov and Marika Hara win the World Cup 2013

From yesterday, came the victories of Anton Foliforov and Marika Hara in the MTB orienteering World Cup 2013. In the decisive race, a Long Distance held in Sines – as a curiosity, the number 50 since the first stage, in Hungary, in April 2010 -, the doubt as to the winner was a constant, with the Russian Anton Foliforov and the Estonian Tõnis Erm by one hand, and the Finnish Marika Hara and the Swedish Cecilia Thomasson, by another, to wage private duels in search of the intended title.

Fruit of the victory achieved on the eve, Foliforov starts with a little advantage of six points over his direct opponent. Erm's hopes lived in a victory, the only result that guaranteed immediately to overcome Foliforov and take the World Cup to Estonia. But the truth is that the athlete did not achieve to put on the ground the qualities and capabilities that make him the current World Champion of Sprint and Middle Distance, not going beyond the eighth position and leaving away the title to Foliforov. The Russian's second place - the winner was the Czech Krystof Bogar , a colossus of strength and a true expert in Long Distance, whose World title he owns – was enough to increase the World Cup's leadership, arriving for the first time in his career to the most desired place. Third in the course, the Finnish Jussi Laurila wasn't able to renew the victory of 2012, but achieves the necessary points to overtake Tõnis Erm and finish in the second place.

Marika Hara renews victory in the World Cup

In the women's Elite class, the day was of Finland. Firstly because of Susanna Laurila's victory in the stage, ahead the French Laure Coupat. But it was Marika Hara, the current leader of the IOF's World Ranking, who benefited most from the result set, achieving a real volte-face in the final and, for the third consecutive year, getting the victory in the World Cup. The Swedish Cecilia Thomasson, ranked only 14th place in the decisive race, offers to the Finnish the possibility of recovering four points and came to the final victory. With six athletes still having the chance to achieve the third place, it was precisely Susanna Laurila that concluded in such position, relegating to the fourth place the British Emily Benham .

A word to the Portuguese athletes in competition, especially for this creditable 12th place achieved by Davide Machado, less than two and a half minutes of a position in the top-6. One place - so all we hope – that may be a real turning point in the misfortunes that have knocked the door of the best Portuguese MTBO athlete of all time, throughout the entire season. Luis Barreiro, in 30th place, was our Portuguese second best athlete, followed by João Ferreira, in 41st position. In the women's Elite class, Rita Gomes, Catarina Ruivo and Joana Frazão occupied, by this order, the last three places of the table.

What they said

Speaking to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, Anton Foliforov was not entirely happy with his performance, “especially with my option to the 5th control and other small mistakes”, but always said that his opponents “made more mistakes than me.” The exception was Krystof Bogar, who stole the Russian the possibility of reaching his seventh victory in a World Cup stage and thus join the Danish Erik Skovgaard Knudsen in the leadership of the winners ever in individual stages: “Krystof is very strong in Long Distance, he won today, he won well and he's an athlete with a huge future ahead, I believe. Of course my goal was to repeat yesterday's result, only it was not possible. But my victory in the World Cup makes me, naturally, very pleased.”

Although sparse in words, Marika Hara also left some impressions: “My goal today was to make a good race, without creating any kind of expectations for a position in the end. But I ended up committing some minor mistakes and they [Susanna Laurila and Laure Coupat] were better than me.” Analyzing her season, that culminated with the conquest of the World Cup as a corollary of a huge regularity, the Finnish athlete acknowledges: “I tried to give my best in every race and to make the best choices.” And weaves the highest praise to her great opponent of the season, Cecilia Thomasson, considered to be “a great athlete, very fast and very strong, an athlete that I respect and admire.” Finally, about the question regarding the goals for the next season and for an eventual return to Portugal: “I have no plans... Not yet!”

Joaquim Margarido

Sponsorized by Orievents and EDP renewals.

Friday, October 11, 2013

MTBO World Cup / WMMTBOC'2013: Russia Times Two

Anton Foliforov and Olga Vinogradova get the triumph on the opening stage of the MTB orienteering World Cup 2013’s final round, held in Portugal. In the World Masters Championships, event which takes place in parallel with the World Cup, the name of Portugal has been designed to the highest level by Carlos Simões, the H40 Class's big winner.

Held this morning the first of three stages of 
MTB orienteering World Cup 2013’s final round that, by these days, occurs on the municipalities of Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Sines . A Middle Distance tightly contested , with the first place on the podium, both male and female, colored similarly with the red, blue and white of the Russian Team. With a race superiorly controlled from start to finish, Anton Foliforov placed on the ground all his physical and technical skills, winning with a record of 47:31, 1:07 less than the Czech Krystof Bogar, the second placed. With this result - and even if only marginally - Foliforov takes the lead of the World Cup, revealing crucial the race tomorrow in order to determine the winner of the 2013’s edition .

"I had a good feeling throughout the race, I felt very well and , despite a small mistake that costs me about one minute, I'm very happy with this victory ," began by stating Foliforov. A victory that brings to the Russian athlete some nice memories of a past still closed: " I have achieved very good results in Portugal. I like the country, the maps, this amazing weather (laughs). Three years ago I ran here my best World Championships ever, I got my first gold medal, and now again the same gold. For me, Portugal is a kind of talisman ."

With the European Championships 2015 on the horizon

In the women's class, the winner was Olga Vinogradova with the time of 41:54 , just 20 seconds ahead of the current leader of the World Cup, the Swedish Cecilia Thomasson. A triumph with a special taste, since this was the first time that the young Russian outperformed all the competitors in a major international elite competition.

As Foliforov, also Olga Vinogradova begins by appealing to her memories of 2010 and the World Championships in Montalegre, refering to her victory today: "Three years ago, I managed to take a few titles won at the World Championship [on occasion in Junior class] and today I felt the same joy with my first victory within the Elite." Speaking of her race, the athlete believes that, despite some mechanical troubles and few small mistakes that costs about two minutes, "I did everything I could to win . I like mountain biking, but I like especially orienteering and today I felt very happy in this way, in these terrains, with this 'summer' and this amazing atmosphere of the great moments. It was very exciting. " To conclude, she make a wish : "I want to return to Portugal in 2015, for the European Championships, and to win again, as happened in 2010 and today. This is my dream."

Carlos Simões offers historic gold to Portugal

It was under the best auspices that Portugal made ​​its debut in the World Masters MTB orienteering Championships 2013. In the opening course of the competition, a Middle Distance on the Grandola’s map, Carlos Simões was the big winner at the H40 Class, finishing his course in 49:34. A superb victory against notorious opponents, such as the Russian Maxim Zhurkin and the Hungarian Daniel Marosffy, respectively ranked second and third today.

"I’m very pleased with my performance", began by noting Carlos Simões, to meet what were his goals: "Getting the title was actually one of my big goals and I did it right now. This partly relieves the pressure to the next races and makes me even more confident to achieve something more." Being the first Portuguese to reach the world title for the first time is seen by Simões as "a proud", adding that "the Portuguese orienteering, for what we have done, is also to be congratulated ." Carlos Simões admits that "it was not easy to win today" , referring that the secret of his victory was "in a good final part and to be always focused on the course, despite some mistakes ."

In the women's sector, the Portuguese Susana Pontes was 4th, missing the podium in the D40 Class for a little over than two minutes, while Francisco Moura, in M50 Class, was in the 5th place, 52 seconds away from the bronze medal. The World Masters titles in the Middle Distance, smiled to Michel Denaix (M50), Heikki Saarinen (M60), Ronny Hedlund (M70), Nina Hoffman (W40) , Carolyn Jackson (W50) and Monika Bonafini (W60).

Detailed information on

Joaquim Margarido

Sponsorized by Orievents and EDP renewals.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Simone Niggli: "I will surely run in the forest as much as possible"

Happy ending. After 23 World titles, 10 European titles, 65 victories in stages of the World Cup and nine great triumphs in World Cup Overall, among many other victories of great value and significance, Simone Niggli leaves the competition on its highest level. To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, the biggest star in the sport of orienteering ever talks about her incredible successful career and opens the eyes to the future, raising some other "flags" in the horizon.

When did you start to design in your mind the idea of saying goodbye to Orienteering?

Simone Niggli (S. N.) - The ideas had been in my mind for some years already. Because of the children, we had to decide from one year to another. But last winter I really thought about it more clearly because I had some injury problems and I wasn't sure if I would be ready for the WOC 2013 in the first place. After the successful WOC in Finland the idea became more realistic and I noticed that the time had come.

How important was family in your decision and how hard was it to turn your back to several years full of forests and emotions at the highest level?

S. N. - For sure it wasn't an easy decision. But for me it was always important to say goodbye on the top and therefore when if not now!? I have really achieved everything that is possible and I have so many nice memories. Certainly my family also had big influence in this decision because I want to spend more time with my children in the future without having the pressure in my mind to train and compete at a top level.

Among all the moments lived throughout your career, could you elect the most amazing? And the saddest one?

S. N. - There are so many emotional moments that it is hard to pick out one. For sure this year's WOC in Finland and also the World Cup Final in Baden were two of my most important and beautiful ones. There were so many emotions behind this performances! But I would like to point out also the two WOC on home-ground, 2003 and 2012, which were just amazing. Every (gold) medal has its own story and I'm really proud of every single medal! The saddest moment was perhaps at WOC 2009 in Hungary, where I went out to a medal position in relay and messed it up at one (green) control. I was very sad especially for my teammates.

When I interview someone, it is common to ask if there is a model, an idol on his/her orienteer's life and the answer often is “Simone Niggli.” And what about you? Did you have your own idol in this sport?

S. N. - No, I don't have any idol. But I'm impressed of several runners in different kinds.

I'm sorry but I have to ask you this: What does Portugal mean to you? Did you consider to come again next year, just for fun, for the Portugal O' Meeting, a competition that you won for the last four years (and also in 2002)?

S. N. - Portugal was and will always be a very nice place for me. I enjoyed so many nice and good races there and for me it was always the best preparation for the upcoming season. For sure I will come back and run in Portugal again!

You leave Orienteering on the lead of the World Ranking. Do you want to highlight two or three names as your natural successors?

S. N. - For sure the Swede Tove Alexandersson will be "the girl to beat" next season. But there are many good runners (also from Switzerland) who will fight for the medals as well.

How do you intend to keep following our sport? Are your future plans to take in your hands the Swiss Team's technical direction, together with your husband Matthias?

S. N. - I'm looking forward to train and compete just for fun. I love orienteering and therefore I will surely run in the forests as much as possible. There are also some thoughts on being a coach sometimes... In 2016 my husband and I will be the event director for the JWOC in Switzerland, that will be a great project!

You are, definitely, a source of inspiration for everyone and you'll be remembered for many, many years. On this particular moment, I would like to ask you to leave a message to all orienteers, specially to the youngsters.

S. N. - Thank you very much for your support during all these years. I got so many nice reactions after my retiring, it was just great! I do love orienteering and I hope you do it as well. Therefore: keep going on and see you in the forest!

Joaquim Margarido

[Photo by Rémy Steinegger /]

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

MTBO World Cup / WMMTBOC'2013: Portugal, the stage of all emotions

Three years after the World Championships, at Montalegre, the MTB orienteering at the highest level is back to Portugal. From 9th to 13th October, the municipalities of Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Grândola receive the World Cup 2013's final round and also the World Masters Championships' fourth edition. Await three days of hard and exciting competition, with the unknown as the winners remaining until the last second.

Portugal welcomes the more than two hundred athletes from 22 countries that, from 9 th to 13th October, will bring the MTB orienteering' on its highest level to the Alentejo Coast. In dispute will be the Masters World titles in the distances of Sprint, Middle and Long and still the winners of the World Cup 2013.

Seeking to answer to such intense challenges, the Portuguese Orienteering Federation, with the support of the municipalities of Sines, Santiago do Cacém and Grândola, the Alentejo Coast Tourism and the Portuguese Institute of Sport and Youth, kept the best that the region has, promising interesting terrains, breathtaking scenery and the most intense challenges for MTB orienteering lovers. The competition starts on Friday, October 11th, with the Middle Distance race, both scoring for the World Cup and the World Masters Championship. The next day will be time to witness the Long Distance race and everything will end on Sunday with the World Cup's Mixed Relay and the World Masters titles in Sprint.

“Good competition in beautiful terrain and nice sunshine weather”

The entries on the World Cup's final round shows that we'll have 83 athletes (49 men and 34 women)  in competition. The World Cup's current leader, the Estonian Tõnis Erm, talked to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog about his purpose of fighting with all the strength to keep the lead, even knowing that “the races in Portugal will come to show if this wish is fulfilled or not”. With his preparation somewhat disturbed by “a virus and the first snowflakes falling in Estonia”, the Sprint and Middle Distance's World Champion in title looks forward to the competition: “We shall see whether I am fit enough to properly defend this position or will it be up for the rivals to grab.” With the Sprint's silver medal at the World Championships, in Montalegre, still fresh in his memory, Tõnis Erm adds that “the sample maps from Portugal look very interesting and very strange at the same time. It will be quite the opposite of what was the WMTBOC in Estonia – well defined tracks, long climbs and route choices, where you can loose (or win) a lot of time.”

The Portuguese Orienteering Blog also heard the World Rankings' current leaders, the Russian Valeriy Glukhov and the Finnish Marika Hara. Glukhov's looks anxiously on the Portuguese event, partly because “the last September was very cold and rainy in Moscow.” So, he waits “warmer weather, mountainous terrains and interesting technically distances”. Glukhov knows that “the organization will be at a high level” and he wants “to enjoy the races.” What will the results be? “Let's see...”, he says. Marika Hara's words aren't far from this tone. In Portugal, the athlete would like to make “some good races, enjoy the driving and minimize the mistakes”. Getting to victory in the World Cup seems to be away of her concerns since, as she says, “you need good success during the whole seasonand I've had some bad luck this summer.” Finally, the wish of “good competition in beautiful terrain and nice sunshine weather.”

Joaquim Margarido

Sponsorized by Orievents and EDP renewals.