Seven years later, the beautiful region of Graubünden in eastern Switzerland, returns to host an edition of the European Ski Orienteering Championships. Center of the Event, Lenzerheide is the starting point for a week of orienteering at the highest level, gathering a total of 105 athletes representing 17 countries.
Today we could see the Sprint race, in which the Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev and the Russian Iuliia Tarasenko “took revenge” from the 4th place achieved in the last edition of the European Championships, at Tyumen (Russia), ensuring victories with relative tranquility. In the Men class, the Russian Andrey Lamov was the one who best entered in the map, keeping the lead until the 15th of the 18 points of his course and giving a good sign of wanting to revalidate his european title in Sprint. The truth is that Lamov never ceased to rely on the strong opposition from Stanimir Belomazhev and the Norwegian Øyvind Watterdal and eventually paid a high price for a mistake next to the Finish. In the end, Belomazhev took the gold with a time of 12:15, against 12:27 and 12:29 from Watterdal of Lamov, respectively.
In the Women class, the Swedish Frida Sandberg led in the first half of the course, offering the command to the Russian Iuliia Tarasenko on the 10th control. To the 12th control, Sandberg did a big mistake, losing more than 30 seconds, opening the way to the Russian to a comfortable victory in 13:10, against 13:32 of the Finnish Mervi Pesu, second placed. Making a race from back to the front, the Swedish Magdalena Olsson finnished third, 31 seconds after Tarasenko. European Champion of Sprint in 2014, the Czech Hana Hancikova couldn't get better than the 8th place with a time of 13:51.
Men (3.4 km, 18 controls)
1. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 12:15
2. Øyvind Watterdal (Norway) 12:27 (+ 00:12)
3. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 12:29 (+ 00:14)
4. Andreas Holmberg (Sweden) 12:36 (+ 00:21)
4. Staffan Tunis (Finland) 12:36 (+ 00:21)
6. Peter Arnesson (Sweden) 12:43 (+ 00:28)
Women (3.1 km, 14 controls)
1. Iuliia Tarasenko (Russia) 13:10
2. Mervi Pesu (Finland) 13:32 (+ 00:22)
3. Magdalena Olsson (Sweden) 13:41 (+ 00:31)
4. Mira Kaskinen (Finland) 13:44 (+ 00:34)
5. Audhild Bakken Rognstad (Norway) 13:45 (+ 00:35)
6. Mariya Kechkina (Russia) 13:47 (+ 00:37)
The European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015 continues tomorrow with the Long Distance course. All to follow at http://www.skiolem15.ch/.
[Photo: Martin Jörg / skiolem15.ch]