Saturday, February 15, 2014

Andalucia O' Meeting 2014: Lena Eliasson dominates the first day

The Andalucia O' Meeting's fifth edition started today at Punta Umbría, Spain. Intense and exciting, the first day was marked by two stages counting for the world ranking, the Middle Distance in the morning and, in the afternoon, the Sprint stage. In the competition program, the common denominator is named Lena Eliasson, the winner of both stages.

Sun-O, Punta Umbria Municipality, Spanish Orienteering Federation and a set of institutional entities more, join hands in organizing the AOM 2014. After four consecutive years based in Canos de Meca (Barbate), the organization turns now to the western part of Andalucia, specifically to Punta Umbria, a municipality sport friendly and used to host some major international competitions. Forest, sand dunes and urbanized areas, with a greater than 13 km2, were mapped to host the event, offering to the more than nine hundred participants the ideal conditions in this time of the year.

The competition program got its start this morning with the Middle Distance WRE course in El Portil map. In the Men Super Elite class, Gustav Bergman (OK Ravinen - Nacka) was the fastest, running the 7.2 km (29 control points) in 33:28 and leaving Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) at the distance of 1:31. Gernot Kerschbaumer (Pan Kristiansand OK) completed the podium with a record of 35:19, while Antonio Martinez Perez was the best Spanish athlete, reaching the 11th position, 3:33 behind the winner. In the women's Elite, Lena Eliasson (Domnarvets GoIF) finished the 5 km of her course (24 control points) in 27:52, relegating to the second and third positions, with more 0:52 and 1:43 respectively, Annica Gustafsson and Ausrine Kutkaite, both representing the IFK Lidingo SOK. Highlight for the Portuguese Vera Alvarez (CPOC), the best Iberian athlete, finishing in the 12th place with more 5:10 than Lena Eliasson.

In the afternoon, the urban center of Punta Umbría received the Sprint stage and Lena Eliasson showed up again being the strongest one. The Swedish athlete spent 13:05 for a distance of 2.5 km (15 control points), leaving behind her the British Catherine Taylor (OK Linné) and Maija Sianoja (Team Finland), who spent more 0:12 and 0:29 than the winner. The Portuguese Mariana Moreira (CPOC) was the best Iberian athlete, finishing in the 24th position with a record of 14:34. As for the Men Super Elite class, Gustav Bergman was “only” the 2nd placed, ex-aequo with Antti Anttonen (Team Finland), spending 13:48 to complete the 2.9 km of his course (19 control points). The winner was the Belgian Yannick Michiels (OK Ravinen - Nacka), with the record of 13:27. The Spanish Andreu Blanes Reig (Colivenc) showed up again in a really good shape, finishing 5th, 0:35 behind the winner.

The Andalucia O' Meeting 2014 will end tomorrow with the Long Distance stage in Punta Umbría. All information at

Joaquim Margarido

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