Judith Wyder was crowned today World Champion in Sprint, achieving this way the first individual gold medal of her career in the most important event of the Foot orienteering international calendar. By winning the Sprint title, the Swiss athlete succeeds to her compatriot Simone Niggli, a succession both practical and full of symbolism!
After the recent European titles of Sprint and Long Distance, reached last April in Palmela (Portugal), Judith Wyder showed again in the best shape, imposing emphatically to her direct opponents and winning clearly the title of Sprint in the first Final of the XXXI World Orienteering Championships WOC 2014. The course took place in the east waterfront of the beautiful city of Venice, between Arsenal and Giardini della Biennale, consisting in a very special journey. In an area more unpopulated of tourists than usually seeing in Venice, waiting for the athletes was a course on the distance of 4.1 km, with 18 controls and an estimate time for the winner around 15 minutes.
Looking into the big Final, the first note of sensation in the afternoon was given by the Finnish Venla Niemi, bronze medal in 2013, an athlete that closed the top-20 in the starting line and that was the first to finnish below 17 minutes, accomplishing her course in 16:31,4. The next twenty minutes would be decisive for the final result and five minutes later, the Russian Galina Vinogradova improve in almost twenty seconds the time of the Finnish athlete, quoting with a record of 16:11,5 immediately beaten by the Swiss Rahel Friedrich with less 0:04,6 than Vinogradova. The Ukrainian Nadiya Volynska was the first to break the 16 minutes' barrier, leading the race with 15:46,9 at a time that lacked only eight athletes to arrive, but Maja Alm hit this time in the immediate minute, setting the best record in the finish line with 15:45,7.
With all athletes in competition, the partial results after the first third of the course gave the prospect that we will have a podium shared between the Swedish Tove Alexandresson and Lena Eliasson and the Swiss Judith Wyder but the truth is that, in the course of time, only Wyder would be able to get the win. Missing five athletes to the end, Judith Wyder crossed the finish line with the fantastic time of 15:32,0. Until the end, only Tove Alexandersson would approach to the time of Wyder, finishing with a record of 0:11,9 and winning the silver medal in what was his debut in the Sprint distance in major international competitions.
1. Judith Wyder (Switzerland) 15:32,0
2. Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) 15:43,9 (+ 0:11,9)
3. Maja Moeller Alm (Denmark) 15:45,7 (+ 0:13,7)
4. Nadiya Volynska (Ukraine) 15:46,9 (+ 0:14,9)
5. Lena Eliasson (Sweden) 15:59,1 (+ 0:27,1)
6. Rahel Friedrich (Switzerland) 16:06,9 (+ 0:34,9)
7. Galina Vinogradova (Russia) 16:11,5 (+ 0:39,5)
8. Goril Ronning Sund (Norway) 16:29,9 (+ 0:57,9)
9. Venla Niemi (Finland) 16:31,4 (+ 0:59,4)
10. Emma Klingenberg (Denmark) 16:35,6 (+ 1:03,6)