Anton Foliforov and Emily Benham were the winners of the Middle Distance stage that opened, in Sweden, the program of MTB orienteering World Cup 2014's second round. A stage in which the Portuguese presence was quoted by mediocrity, with Carlos Simões in 36th position,being our best athlete.
It wasn't auspicious the Portuguese premiere in the second round of the MTB orienteering World Cup 2014, which started today in Kristianstad, in southern Sweden. Constituted by Davide Machado, João Ferreira, Carlos Simões, Guilherme Marques, Daniel Marques and Inácio Serralheiro, the Portuguese team had in the triple world champion of masters, Carlos Simões, its best representative, finishing in 36th position with a time of 1:03:34. Leader of the IOF's world ranking, the Russian Anton Foliforov was the big winner with a record of 51:24, after an exciting fight with his compatriot Ruslan Gritsan and the Finnish Pekka Niemi, ranked second and third, respectively.
In the women's class, the winner was the British Emily Benham with a time of 51:07, against 52:08 of the Finnish Marika Hara, the leader of the IOF's world ranking. The third place fell to the very young Russian Svetlana Poverina, 1:15 behind the winner, in what constituted her first presence on the podium of a MTB orienteering World Cup.
“One of the most demanding maps ever”
Ranking third in MTB orienteering World Cup 2014 before this stage, Davide Machado had a performance below what would be expected, not going beyond the 47th place, with 16:01 more than Foliforov. To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, Machado classified his race as “terrible from the start to the finish.” A bad entry in the map, combined with the difficulty in taking advantage of the physical ability, weas fatal to the portuguese athlete's wishes. Machado states that “technically, this was one of the most demanding maps ever, requiring a very careful reading.” After the results get in Denmark, the goals for this round of the World Cup were clearly identified: “Top10 in the Middle, top20 in the Sprint and try a little more in Long Distance”, recalls Machado. The flop in the Middle Distance turns out to be clear, but it's time now to think about tomorrow. “There are still two races and it's on it that I will focus now”, he concludes.
João Ferreira, 48th ranked with six more seconds than Davide Machado, has the same oppinion. In a message left on his Facebook page, the athlete asserts that “after seven years of MTB orienteering, I can say it was the most technical map that I've found until now”. He explains why: “The tracks' density was large, the contour lines made it difficult to map reading and a confusing layout and intersections were a real challenge”. Tomorrow we'll have the second stage, with the Sprint race taking place next Kristianstad University and the start of the first athletes scheduled for 11:30 am (an hour less in Portugal). A race about which João Ferreira assures: “I'll do my best!”
1. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 51:24
2. Ruslan Gritsan (Russia) 51:32 (+ 0:08)
3. Pekka Niemi (Finland) 51:45 (+ 0:21)
4. Kevin Haselsberger (Austria) 53:39 (+ 2:15)
5. Hans Jørgen Kvåle (Norway) 53:47 (+ 2:23)
6. Lauri Malsroos (Estonia) 53:58 (+ 2:34)
7. Vojtech Stransky (Czech Republic) 54:14 (+ 2:50)
8. Cedric Beill (France) 54:45 (+ 3:21)
9. Valerii Glukhov (Russia) 55:28 (+ 4:04)
10. Jiri Hradil (Czech Republic) 56:01 (+ 4:37)
36. Carlos Simões (Portugal) 1:03:34 (+ 12:10)
42. Guilherme Marques (Portugal) 1:05:50 (+ 14:26)
47. Davide Machado (Portugal) 1:07:25 (+ 16:01)
48. João Ferreira (Portugal) 1:07:31 (+ 16:07)
53. Daniel Marques (Portugal) 1:10:29 (+ 19:05)
70. Inácio Serralheio (Portugal) 1:47:26 (+ 56:02)
1. Emily Benham (Britain) 51:07
2. Marika Hara (Finland) 52:08 (+ 01:01)
3. Svetlana Poverina (Russia) 52:22 (+ 1:15)
4. Olga Vinogradova (Russia) 53:18 (+ 2:11)
5. Michaela Gigon (Austria) 54:02 (+ 2:55)
6. Martina Tichovska (Czech Republic) 54:06 (+ 2:59)
7. Hanna Garde (France) 55:02 (+ 3:55)
8. Tatiana Repina (Russia) 55:13 (+ 4:06)
9. Susanna Laurila (Finland) 55:16 (+ 4:09)
10. Laura Scaravonati (Italy) 56:19 (+ 5:12)
Full results and other information at http://www.oringen.se/worldcup.
[Foto: Kevin Haselsberger / facebook.com/HaselsbergerKevin]