The O-Ringen is celebrating 50 years of existence. With the favours of meteorology, about 20.000 orienteering lived a week of excitement, savouring the pleasures of the Southern Swedish forest, with the Baltic in the horizon. At the Foot orienteering competition, the French Thierry Gueorgiou and the Swedish Tove Alexandersson, repeated the 2013's achievements, winning their respective Elite classes.
Whatever the context, 50 years is always a milestone in the life of one person, one place, one institution. In the region of Skåne, in Sweden, the O-Ringen is blowing fifty candles this week, a celebration that involves about twenty thousand participants with interests shared by the disciplines of MTB orienteering, Trail orienteering and Foot orienteering.
Located at Norra Åsum, the O-Ringen Town 2014 opened its doors on July 14th, quickly filling up with a huge mole of athletes of all ages and places, looking forward to the start of the races. The competition of Foot orienteering began on Sunday, with a fiercely competitive sprint through the streets of Kristanstad and in which the current European Champion in Sprint, the Swedish Jonas Leandersson, shown his recognized qualities, winning the stage in Men class. In the following places were classified, by this order, Jerker Lysell and Emil Svensk, both Swedish also. The women's course had in the Danish Maja Alm the big winner, imposing herself to the Ukrainian Nadiya Volynska and the Swedish Tove Alexandersson, respectively second and third ranked.
In the next three stages, the Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou and the Swedish Tove Alexandersson gave no chances to the concurrence, achieving an extraordinary “hat-trick” and almost guaranteeing the victory in the competition. Second placed on second and third stages and third in the fourth stage, Jonas Leandersson struggled with all his strength trying not lose contact with the lead, aware that hardly could void the disadvantage of 3:37 to Gueorgiou. In the women's sector, Alexandersson took a comfortable lead in the second stage by winning with a difference of six minutes to the World Champion in Middle Distance, the Swedish Annika Billstam. This difference would double two stages later, with the Danish Ida Bobach being now in the second position, with more 12:23 than Alexandersson.
In the last stage, as predicted, there were no changes on top. Thierry Gueorgiou was third placed behind the Norwegian Magne Dæhli and the Austrian Gernot Kerschbaumer, concluding with the total time of 5:05:12. Leandersson held the second position, 4:50 behind Gueorgiou, while the third placed was the Swedish Jerker Lysell with 5:17:15. As for the Women class, Tove Alexandersson closed a remarkable week with another vistory, finishing with a total time of 4:23:16 against 4:37:37 and 4:42:51 of Ida Bobach and Maja Alm, respectively second and third classified.
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 5:05:12
2. Jonas Leandersson (Södertälje-Nykvarn) 5:10:02 (+ 04:50)
3. Jerker Lysell (Rehns Bandyklubb) 5:17:15 (+ 12:03)
4. Magne Dæhli (Halden SK) 5:20:19 (+ 15:07)
5. Gernot Kerschbaumer (OK Pan-Kristianstad) 5:21:28 (+ 16:16)
6. Tue Lassen (Vaajakosken TERA) 5:21:40 (+ 16:28)
7. Oleksandr Kratov (OK Orion) 5:23:06 (+ 17:54)
8. Fredrik Johansson (IFK Lidingös SOK) 5:25:38 (+ 20:26)
9. William Lind (Malungs OK) 5:26:05 (+ 20:53)
10. Filip Dahlgren (IFK Lidingös SOK) 5:26:39 (+ 21:27)
1. Tove Alexandersson (Stora Tuna OK) 4:23:16
2. Ida Bobach (OK Pan Århus) 4:37:37 (+ 14:21)
3. Maja Alm (OK Pan Århus) 4:42:51 (+ 19:35)
4. Svetlana Mironova (Hellas OK) 4:45:36 (+ 22:20)
5. Nadiya Volynska (OK Orion) 4:55:55 (+ 32:39)
6. Emma Johansson (Domnarvets Go IF) 4:56:08 (+ 32:52)
7. Tone Wigemyr (Bækkelagets SK) 4:58:53 (+ 35:37)
8. Anna Persson (Friluftsklubben Göingarna) 4:59:21 (+ 36:05)
9. Annica Gustafsson (IFK Lidingös SOK) 5:03:19 (+ 40:03)
10. Annika Billstam (OK Linné) 5:07:56 (+ 44:40)
To check the final standing, please go to http://www.oringenonline.com/.
[Photo: Peter Holgersson / peterholgersson.se /]