Sunday, February 23, 2014

MCO 2014: Portugal was second behind the Spain



Held all over the weekend in the municipalities of Satão and Aguiar da Beira, in the central part of Portugal, the third edition of the Mediterranean Championships in Orienteering finished in the best way. In the final stage, a top level Long Distance WRE, the Spanish team confirmed the leadership, getting the third victory in three editions of the Champoionships. In the Open course, Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou shine again, repeating the victories of the Middle Distance.


It was a weekend party memorable, that lived in the Event Arena on the southwestern part of the Quinta da Estrada map, in the municipality of Aguiar da Beira. In the Long Distance WRE, Simone Niggli and Thierry Gueorgiou proved to be unbeatable once again in a terrain of high physical demand and, technically, the most challenging that can be found in Portugal. At least that is the opinion of the winner in the Men Super Elite class, which states: “At the beginning, I felt some difficulties in choosing the best routes, but things were improving and I was also feeling physically better. But it's difficult to understand the terrain, much harder than yesterday, but absolutely perfect. I often come to Portugal and I continue to be surprised with the quality of the terrains. This terrain, today, can be even better than the others I know, a little bit like the terrains in Australia, extremely demanding, and I'm particularly pleased to have been able to run this race today.”

Thierry Gueorgiou , which will be in Portugal for a few more days, also designs the next week: “It's an important week for my preparation, a mixture of training and competition. The Portugal O' Meeting will also be very interesting in challenging terrains. We train hard, of course, but it's great also to push a little more in the 'competition mode'. It is important to focus on quality and Portugal offer the ideal conditions to prepare the season.” Finally, a short approach to the next European Championships, which will take place in Palmela: “If I have my head in the European Championships yet? Not exactly. It's true that I think about it from time to time but the most important is to concentrate on the day to day, have good feelings and successfully train and compete within established. This is the best way to reach the European Championships and the World Championships well prepared.”


I will not run the European Championships, that's for sure!”

In the Women Elite class, Simone Niggli won again this last stage, but the things weren't easy as we could imagine: “At the beginning, I felt some difficulties in choosing the best routes, but things were improving and I was also feeling physically better. But it's difficult to understand the terrain, much harder than yesterday, but absolutely perfect. I often come to Portugal and I continue to be surprised with the quality of the terrains. This terrain, today, can be even better than the others I know, a little bit like the terrains in Australia, extremely demanding, and I'm particularly pleased to have been able to run this race today.” Being such an extraordinary athlete, showing to be in good shape, how can we imagine Simone Niggli out of the European Championships? “I will not run the European Championships, that's for sure! I have decided this way and, until now, I don't regret my option. I will follow the European Championships, I'll be there as a spectator, running the spectators races and cheering for Swiss.”

One last word about the COMOF Cup and the results of this third stage that eventually confirm the Spain as the winner. Portugal had only two presences on the podium - third places to Patricia Casalinho and Tiago Romão -, while the Spanish team took to the podium seven of its eight athletes, with three wins and three second places. Spain reached 105 points in all three stages, against 143 points of Portugal and 190 points of Italy, ranked second and third respectively. Serbia took the 4th position with 230 points, while Turkey was ranked fifth with 268 points. Israel closed the standings with a total of 270 points.


Results Long Distance WRE

Men Super Elite
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 1:22:06
2. Olav Lundanes (Halden SK) 1:25:03 (+2:57)
3. Douglas Tullie (TuMe) 1:31:58 (+9:52)
4. Jan Prochazka (Kalevan Rasti) 1:32:20 (+10:14)
5. Eskil Kinneberg (IFK Göteborg) 1:33:06 (+11:00)
6. Olli-Markus Taivanen (PelPo) 1:34:04 (+11:58)
7. William Lind (MOKS) 1:34:51 (+12:45)
8. Bjørn Ekeberg (IL Tyrving) 1:35:31 (+13:25)
9. Matthew Speake (Lillomarka OL) 1:35:53 (+13:47)
10. Ionut Alin Zinca (Farra-O) 1:36:38 (+14:32)

Women Elite
1. Simone Niggli (OK Tisaren) 1:10:42
2. Mari Fasting (Halden SK) 1:12:24 (+1:42)
3. Irina Nyberg (Individual) 1:16:11 (+5:29)
4. Galina Vinogradova (Individual) 1:17:36 (+6:54)
5. Outi Ojanen (Kangasala SK) 1:18:34 (+7:52)
6. Kine Hallan Steiwer (Halden SK) 1:21:18 (+10:36)
7. Gabija Razaityte (IGTISA) 1:21:50 (+11:08)
8. Maren Janssen Haverstad (NTNUI) 1:22:15 (+11:33)
9. Svetlana Mironova (Individual) 1:22:57 (+12:15)
10. Hanna Raitanen (Rajamäen Rykmentti) 1:23:54 (+13:12)


Joaquim Margarido

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