Settlement, courage, strength and to believe until the end. With this ingredients, Ricardo Esteves achieved the title of Sprint in the European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2014, in M16 class, disputed this morning in the town of Strumica, Macedonia. A result of enormous value and meaning for the athlete and for the Portuguese Orienteering, a "punch on the table" creasing, again and loudly, that sport in Portugal is not only Football.
Seven years after Eger, Hungary, and the winning of the European Youth title of Sprint by Diogo Miguel – and, with it, the historic first gold medal ever for the Portuguese orienteering -, Ricardo Esteves repeated the achievement, by winning the Sprint course in M16 class. A very well designed course in the beautiful town of Strumica, and an absolutely perfect race for the Portuguese athlete, fulfilling the 1800 meters of his course in the fantastic time of 11:51 and leaving behind him the Finnish Tuomas Heikillä and the Czech Vojtěch Sýkora, with more 30 and 34 seconds, respectively.
In the W16 class, the Swiss Simona Aebersold was the big winner, running 1600 meters in 11:51, ahead of the Czech athletes Tereza Janošíkova and Tereza Čechova, with more 16 and 30 seconds, respectively. In M18 class, we could see the replay of the intense duel in the Sprint race of last EYOC, held in Portugal, then in the M16 class. Against the Finnish Olli Ojanaho, the Swiss Florian Attinger was again defeated by a margin of 21 seconds, with Ojanaho proving himself as one of the most promising names in world orienteering and winning with a time of 12:15 for 1800 meters. Finally, in the W18 class, the Polish Weronika Cych, EYOC bronze medallist in 2013, was the big winner, spending 13:29 to 1800 meters of her course. The Ukrainian Olena Postelniak ranked in the second position with eight seconds more than the winner, while the Norwegian Ingrid Lundanes was third with 13:42.
For the remaining Portuguese athletes, the results can be considered modest, with Beatriz Sanguino (30th ranked in W16), João Bernardino (41st overall in M16) and João Novo (37th place in M18) to get positions in the first half of the respective leader boards. The competition continues tomorrow with the Long Distance final starting at 09:00 local time, least one hour than in Portugal.
1. Ricardo Esteves (Portugal) 11:51
2. Tuomas Heikkilä (Finland) 12:21 (+ 0:30)
3. Vojtěch Sýkora (Czech Republic) 12:25 (+ 0:34)
4. Antonie Guenin (France) 12:34 (+ 0:43)
4. Ondřej Vystavěl (Czech Republic) 12:34 (+ 0:43)
6. Nicola Banfi (Switzerland) 12:41 (+ 0:50)
41. João Bernardino (Portugal) 14:10 (+ 2:19)
61. António Ferreira (Portugal) 15:05 (+ 3:14)
67. João Casal (Portugal) 15:24 (+ 3:33)
1. Simona Aebersold (Switzerland) 11:51
2. Tereza Janošíkova (Czech Republic a) 12:07 (+ 0:16)
3. Tereza Čechova ( Czech Republic) 12:21 (+ 0:30)
4. Barbora Vyhnálkova (Czech Republic) 12:24 (+ 0:33)
5. Veera Klemettinen (Finland) 12:29 (+ 0:38)
6. Lise Termansen (Denmark) 12:55 (+ 1:04)
30. Beatriz Sanguino (Portugal) 14:30 (+ 2:39)
1. Olli Ojanaho (Finland) 12:15
2. Florian Attinger (Switzerland) 12:36 (+ 0:21)
3. Krzysztof Rzenca (Poland) 12:39 (+ 0:24)
4. Ville Johansson (Sweden) 12:44 (+ 0:29)
5. Anton Forsberg (Sweden) 12:46 (+ 0:31)
6. Dimitar Jeliazkov (Bulgaria) 12:54 (+ 0:39)
37. João Novo (Portugal) 13:54 (+ 1:39)
60. Daniel Catarino (Portugal) 14:35 (+ 2:20)
71. André Esteves (Portugal) 14:56 (+ 2:41)
90. Bernardo Pereira (Portugal) 16:16 (+ 4:01)
1. Weronika Cych (Poland) 13:29
2. Olena Postelniak (Ukraine) 13:37 (+ 0:08)
3. Ingrid Lundanes (Norway) 13:42 (+ 0:13)
4. Anna Haataja (Finland) 13:47 (+ 0:18)
5. Karoliina Ukskoski (Finland) 13:56 (+ 0:27)
6. Simona Chládková (Czech Republic) 13:58 (+ 0:29)
53. Beatriz Moreira (Portugal) 16:19 (+ 2:50)
74. Catarina Reis (Portugal) 18:04 (+ 4:35)
Complete results and further information at http://eyoc2014.mk/.