The European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2015 walks quickly to the end. On the last day of the individual competitive program Lenzerheide staged the Middle Distance finals, which included the participation of 52 athletes in the Men class and 35 athletes in the Women class.
Showing why he's in the lead of the IOF's World Ranking, Andrey Lamov saw finally gotten his day. After the two bronze medals, in the Sprint and Long Distance, the Russian was unstoppable today, beating his opponents by margin that leaves no room for doubt. The Swedish Andreas Holmberg dominated the first half of the race, but when Lamov took over, the way to the Gold was setted. In the end, victory with a time of 37:24, against 38:34 from Holmberg, second placed. Holmberg who lost 21 seconds to Lamov on the longest leg of the course on the way to the 16th control, starting to worry, since then, with the defence of the silver medal, against the approach of Stanimir Belomazhev. The very strong final of the Bulgarian, however, wasn't enough to overcome the Swedish, having to settle for the bronze medal, after the silver in the Mixed Sprint Relay and the gold in the Sprint. The Finnish Staffan Tunis was once again out of the medals, finishing in 4th place, the same result achieved in the previous two individual finals.
Competing for the first and only time in an individual course in this edition of the Championships, Tove Alexandersson defended here the European title achieved in Tyumen, in March last year. But the Swedish, which is also the current leader of the IOF World Ranking, wasn't certainly waiting for a so strong opponent as it was the Finnish Mervi Pesu. Silver medal in the Sprint that opened the ESOC 2015, Mervi Pesu took the command of the operations from the start, finally escaping to her most direct opponents from the 13th control. Since then, the Finnish never ceased to expand her advantage which, in the end, would range in comfortable 54 seconds over Tove Alexandersson. Repeating the result achieved in the Long Distance, the Swedish Josefine Engström finished third, with more 1:32 than the winner.
Men (9.6 km, 30 controls)
1. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 37:24
2. Andreas Holmberg (Sweden) 38:34 (+ 1/10)
3. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 38:38 (+ 1:14)
4. Staffan Tunis (Finland) 38:43 (+ 1:19)
5. Oyvind Watterdal (Norway) 39:09 (+ 1:45)
6. Peter Arnesson (Sweden) 39:33 (+ 2:09)
Women (8.4 km, 27 controls)
1. Mervi PESU (Finland) 39:41
2. Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) 40:35 (+ 0:54)
3. Josefine Engström (Sweden) 41:13 (+ 1:32)
4. Mira Kaskinen (Finland) 41:28 (+ 1:47)
5. Iuliia Tarasenko (Russia) 41:44 8+ 2:03)
6. Tatyana Oborina (Russia) 41:53 (+ 2:12)
Full results and other information in http://www.skiolem15.ch/.
[Photo: Martin Jörg / skiolem15.ch]