Anton Johansson and Gunvor Hov Høydal were the big stars of the second day of the Junior World Orienteering Championships JWOC 2014, conquering the Long Distance world title in what was the queen stage of the Championships. The Portuguese athletes were once again under the expected, unable to overcome the technical challenges and extreme hardness of their courses.
The Junior World Orienteering Championships JWOC 2014 proceed today with the Long Distance final. The courses took place in Malyovitsa, in a moderately hilly terrain, bringing out the physical and technical capabilities of the world's best athletes in this category. So it was with Anton Johansson, Swedish athlete who since 2013 had been preparing the assault on gold, having been presence on the yesterday's podium, thanks to his third place in the Sprint course. Johansson spent 1:15:17 to complete the 10.2 km of his course, beating his teammate, Assar Hellstrom, by a margin of 1:01. At the end, Johansson talked to Svensk Orientering about a race “tougher than I had imagined and I wasn't physically in the best day. But I fought all the way and it paid off to focus on orienteering and minimize mistakes”, he says. In third position, 3:28 behind the winner, stayed Marek Minar, from Czech Republic. Still one note for the excellent 5th place achieved by Finnish Olli Ojanaho, major figure of the recent European Youth Orienteering Championships EYOC 2014, and one of the greatest promises of Orienteering.
In the Women class, the Swedish Sara Hagström was very close to “encore” the gold in these Championships. After the World title in Sprint, the athlete had to settle today with the silver medal, behind the Norwegian Gunvor Hov Høydal by the narrow margin of three seconds. Høydal needed 1:08:15 to run the 7.2 km of her course, a time that far exceeds the organization's prognostics for the winner and that was of 55 minutes. Finland placed two athletes in the immediate positions, with Emmi Jokela winning the bronze medal with one minute more than the winner and Anna Haataja being ranked 4th, with a record of 1:11:45.
Despite the many difficulties that the journey may have ended, there would be few that would guess Luis Silva finished with a difference of more than 25 minutes to the winner. It was also hardly credible that Vera Alvarez, the winner of the Portuguese Cup's ranking in 2013, in Women Elite class, and a member of the Portuguese team present at the recent World Championships in Italy, completed his race with a lapse of time exceeding 35 minutes in relation to Gunvor Hov Høydal. The truth is that's exactly what happened with Luis Silva taking the 80th place among 150 athletes ranked in his class, while Vera Alvarez finished in 79th position in a race that saw 115 athletes reach the final in women class. Beatriz Moreira would be ranked 112th, spending more 1:26:49 (!) than the winner, while Joana Fernandes didn't finish the course.
1. Anton Johansson (Sweden) 1:15:17
2. Assar Hellstrom (Sweden) 1:16:18 (+ 01:01)
3. Marek Minar (Czech Republic) 1:18:45 (+ 03:28)
4. Ivan Kuchmenko (Russia) 1:19:36 (+ 04:19)
5. Olli Ojanaho (Finland) 1:19:39 (+ 04:22)
6. Mika Kirmula (Finland) 1:19:58 (+ 04:41)
7. Thor Nørskov (Denmark) 1:20:21 (+ 05:04)
8. Borger Melsom (Norway) 1:21:31 (+ 06:14)
9. Moritz Doellgast (Germany) 1:22:32 (+ 07:15)
10. Riccardo Scalet (Italy) 1:22:49 (+ 07:32)
80. Luís Silva (Portugal) 1:40:26 (+ 25:09)
1. Gunvor Hov Høydal (Norway) 1:08:15
2. Sara Hagström (Sweden) 1:08:18 (+ 00:03)
3. Emmi Jokela (Finland) 1:09:15 (+ 01:00)
4. Anna Haataja (Finland) 1:11:45 (+ 03:30)
5. Mathilde Rundhaug (Norway) 1:11:58 (+ 03:43)
6. Paula Gross (Switzerland) 1:13:15 (+ 05:00)
7. Sina Tommer (Switzerland) 1:13:31 (+ 05:16)
8. Sandrine Mueller (Switzerland) 1:14:26 (+ 06:11)
9. Frida Sandberg (Sweden) 1:15:30 (+ 07:15)
10. Heidi Mårtensson (Norway) 1:15:55 (+ 07:40)
79. Vera Alvarez (Portugal) 1:43:42 (+ 35:27)
112. Beatriz Moreira (Portugal) 2:35:04 (+ 1:26:49)
dnf Joana Fernandes
More information and full results at http://jwoc2014.bg/.
[Photo: JWOC 2014 Bulgaria | Junior World Orienteering Championships 2014 / facebook.com/jwoc2014]