Anton Foliforov and Marika Hara won the opening stage of the MTB orienteering World Cup 2014 held yesterday in North Zealand, Denmark. Davide Machado was the best portuguese athlete, finishing in the 16th position.
Winners of the MTB orienteering World Cup in the last season, the Russian Anton Foliforov and the Finnish Marika Hara started on the best way the defense of their titles, winning the first stage of the MTBO World Cup 2014's inaugural round. Tied in the Sprint distance, the course took place at the Science and Technology Park Scion DTU in Hørsholm and counted with the participation of 68 male and 45 female athletes.
In a distance of 7.0 km, the men's course was tightly contested, with Anton Foliforov to get the win with a record of 23:36. On his Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/anton.foliforov - Foliforov speaks about a Sprint “very fast, challenging and thrilling” in which “to lose the concentration for one second and to follow in the wrong direction” would be fatal. Putting aside some minor errors, the great Russian athlete highlights a big day “with a victory as result. Super!”
Davide Machado better than in 2013
Winner of the World Cup in 2011 and largely absent of the international MTBO scene in the two following seasons, the Danish Erik Skovgaard Knudsen returned auspiciously, ensuring the second place with 0:09 more than the winner. The third place fell to the Estonian Lauri Malsroos, 23 seconds behind Foliforov. One last note to the Swiss Christian Wüthrich, getting a surprising 5th place and for the Norwegian Jans Jørgen Kvåle, with an excellent achievement but with a “mp” also and, with it, let to escape a hypothetical second place.
Among the Portuguese, Davide Machado start his participation in the MTBO World Cup this season with a 16th place, seven “holes” above what he had done in the first round of the World Cup 2013, at the opening stage of the European Championships, at Zamosc (Poland). Showing himself in a good shape , the Portuguese athlete may complain of a couple of hesitations but he made a very regular race, achieving the time of 25:02, a few 17 seconds to the top 10. Remembering some nice moments - his 9th place in the Long Distance of the JWOC 2009 is, still today, the best result ever of a Portuguese athlete in Junior World Championship -, João Ferreira was the second best portuguese athlete, finishing in the 31th place with a time of 26:54.
Hara hits Benham
In the Women Elite , the struggle for victory was particularly fierce. Marika Hara would end up being the fastest, managing to complete the 5.7 km of her course in 21:48. In the end, the Finnish athlete would refer tthat “the course was interesting, with both short and long legs with route choices”, as it is stated in the International Orienteering Federation webpage, at http://orienteering.org/hara-and-foliforov-strongest-at-world-cup-opening/.
After the great campaign of 2013, only “spotted” by the absence of the World Cup's final round, held in Portugal, the British Emily Benham is back in a big way, having reached the second place, just five seconds after the winner. In the third position, a special word to the very young Eeva-Liisa Hakala (Finland ), followed by three, all equally young, Russian athletes: Olga Vinogradova, Svetlana Poverina and Tatiana Repina. Great sensation of the previous season and second placed at the World Cup 2013, the Swedish Cecilia Thomasson takedown by the ninth position, 1:53 behind the winner.
1 . Anton Foliforov (Russia) 23:36
2 . Erik Skovgaard Knudsen (Denmark) 23:45 (+ 0:09)
3 . Lauri Malsroos (Estonia) 23:59 (+ 0:23)
4 . Ruslan Gritsan (Russia) 24:01 (+ 0:25)
5 . Christian Wüthrich (Switzerland) 24:16 (+ 0.40)
6 . Frantisek Bogar (Czech Republic) 00:27 (+ 0:51 )
6 . Valerii Glukhov (Russia) 24:27 (+ 0:51)
8 . Jussi Laurila (Finland) 24:39 (+ 1:03)
9 . Pekka Niemi (Finland) 24:44 (+ 1:08)
10 . Tuomo Lahtinen (Finland) 24:45 (+ 1:09)
( ... )
16 . Davide Machado (Portugal) 25:02 (+ 1:26)
31 . João Ferreira (Portugal) 26:54 (+ 3:18)
44 . Carlos Simões (Portugal) 27:50 (+ 4:14)
55 . Guilherme Marques (Portugal) 30:12 (+ 6:36)
58 . Daniel Marques (Portugal) 30:58 (+ 7:22)
1. Marika Hara (Finland) 21:48
2 . Emily Benham (Great Britain) 21:53 (+ 0:05)
3 . Eeva-Liisa Hakala Finland) 22:14 (+ 0:26)
4 . Olga Vinogradova (Russia) 22:44 (+ 0:56)
5 . Svetlana Poverina (Russia) 23:08 (+ 1:20)
5 . Tatiana Repina (Russia) 23:08 (+ 1:20)
7 . Gaëlle Barlet France) 23:17 (+ 1:29)
8 . Maja Rothweiler (Switzerland) 23:20 (+ 1:32)
9 . Cecilia Thomasson (Sweden) 23:41 (+ 1:53)
10 . Renata Paulickova (Czech Republic) 23:42 (+ 1:54)
The World Cup continues today with the Long Distance Mass Start. Everything to follow at http://okoest.dk/wc2014/.
[Photo: Suomen Suunnistusliitto / facebook.com/suunnistusliitto]