Saturday, February 22, 2014

MCO 2014: Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli, the stars of Middle Distance

What a wonderful orienteering morning, today, at Nosso Senhor da Agonia, Satão, in the central part of Portugal. Challenging courses, demanding terrains and a a map close to the perfection, were offered to the almost one thousand participants in the 3rd Mediterranean Championships in Orienteering. In the end, Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli showed the reason why they are the IOF's World Ranking's leaders, winning the Men Super Elite class and the Women Elite class, respectively. As for the COMOF Cup, Spain is in the lead in the end of the first stage, but the portuguese team is really closed, just one single point behind.

Starting this morning, the 3rd Mediterranean Championships in Orienteering saw Thierry Gueorgiou and Simone Niggli to win the first stage. In the Men Super Elite class, the “king” of the Middle Distance managed to keep focused all the time in a really challenging course, winning with a record of 34:33. With an excellent start, William Lind gave the note of sensation in the spectators control, but some mistakes close to the end were responsible for his second place, 1:07 behind the winner. “I wasn't surprised with the quality of the terrains as I could run close to this place two years ago, but it's always a pleasure to be here, in this fantastic terrains”, started to say Thierry Gueorgiou. For the winner today, “you have to do an aggressive orienteering, always have good mental images of the controls and the nearby. The things went quite well today, I'm happy with my way of being concentrated, but I made some small mistakes, no big thing, 10 seconds here, 20 seconds there.” The secret of the victory, for Thierry Gueorgiou, was in the last part of the course: “I knew that it was a more technical part but I needed to be fast. I did an aggressive orienteering, I wanted to take the risk and I'm very happy with the result”, he concludes.

In the Women Elite class, Simone Niggli was incredible, once again. Her victory was concludent, with an advantage of almost three minuts over Anna Nähri. “It's very good to return every year to Portugal. I'm retired now, I don't train too much orienteering and I was really eager to come here and to do some really nice orienteering and courses”, were the first words of Simone Niggli. Talking about her course, the Swiss said: “Today it was absolutely fantastic, in a really demanding course, with a lot of tricky short controls but also long legs with many route choices. For me it was also quite demanding because of the greens, you couldn't see so far and I needed to be really concentrated, to read carefully the countour details, to watch the right directions with the compass, well, to do orienteering all the way.” And a final comment: “I think that I still have a good level but I needed some time to get into the course. I managed to made some mistakes quite small. I believe it was there the secret of my victory.”

As for the COMOF Cup, Portugal and Spain get two individual victories each and they are very close in the lead. The Spanish team has the first position with 39 points and the Portuguese team is in the second position with 40 points. With 66 points, Italy is in the third position.


Men Super Elite
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 34:33
2. William Lind (MOKS) 35:40 (+1:07)
3. Eskil Kinneberg (IFK Göteborg) 36:04 (+1:31)
4. Martins Sirmais (TuMe) 37:18 (+2:45)
5. Anton Östlin (MOKS) 38:01 (+3:28)
6. Douglas Tullie (TuMe) 38:12 (+3:39)
7. Edgars Bertuks (TuMe) 38:14 (+3:41)
8. Hannu Airila (Kalevan Rasti) 38:18 (+3:45)
9. Lauri Sild (HIKI) 39:00 (+4:27)
10. Valentin Novikov (CSP Novgorod) 39:04 (+4:31)

Women Elite
1. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) 38:05
2. Anna Närhi (IFK Göteborg) 41:00 (+2:55)
3. Helen Palmer (Lillomarka OL) 41:15 (+3:10)
4. Yulia Novikova (CSP Novgorod) 41:16 (+3:11)
5. Ida Marie Naess Bjøergul (Halden SK) 41:25 (+3:20)
6. Emma Johansson (NTNUI) 41:31 (+3:26)
7. Isia Basset (JOG) 41:56 (+3:51)
8. Mari Fasting (Halden SK) 42:07 (+4:02)
8. Irina Nyberg (Individual) 42:07 (+4:02)
10. Galina Vinogradova (Individual) 42:19 (+4:14)

Joaquim Margarido

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