Saturday, January 31, 2015

NAOM 2015: Victories of Olav Lundanes and Olha Panchenko in the opening stage

As expected, Olav Lundanes was the big winner of the opening stage of Norte Alentejano O’ Meeting 2015, with a comfortable advantage over his more direct opponents. In the Women Elite class, the surprise gives by the name of Olha Panchenko, beating the favourite, Nadiya Volynska. As for the Portuguese, Manuel Horta and Magalie Cordeiro Mendes were the best in their respective Elite classes.

Vale da Silvana's map received, this morning, the first stage of NAOM 2015. Today’s Middle Distance course was held in the same place were, seven years ago, took place the last stage of NAOM’s second edition, offering a good number of technical challenges in fast terrains. Giving to his race an impressive pace, the Norwegian Olav Lundanes, leader of the IOF’s World Ranking, concluded in the first position, with 33:47. The Ukranian Oleksandr Kratov and Artem Panchenko finished second and third, respectively, with more 0:55 and 1:32 than the winner. Manuel Horta, fifth placed with 38:23, was the best Portuguese athlete.

In the Women Elite class the surprise answer by the name of Olha Panchenko, from Ukraine, the big winner with 34:04. Another Ukranian, Nadiya Volynska, 12th placed in the IOF’s World Ranking and big favourite, was second with more 8 seconds than Panchenko. In the next positions, finished the French Léa Vercellotti with the time of 38:47. Magalie Cordeiro Mendes (COC) registered the best time between the Portuguese athletes, finishing 5th with 43:21. This stage registered around 650 participants, from 15 different nations.

The winners' impressions

To Olav Lundanes, “it was a great race. Maybe a little more green than expected, which made it more technical, but it was very nice, very tricky and I enjoyed it. At this time of the season and in the end of a tough training camp here at Alentejo, it is perfect to have this kind of competitions. About tomorrow, we'll see. It will be hard to beat Oleksandr [Kratov].”

Olha Panchenko was also very happy with her performance: “I think everyone wants to win. Before the race, I try to concentrate on my Orienteering and I knew that, if I get a good race, I could win. That was my formula to reach the best time, although I can say that wasn't a perfect race. I did a couple of mistakes but it was very interesting. I must confess that I didn't expect such a technical terrain. I was concentrated all the time, I had to push both my legs and my mind all the time. Tomorrow we'll see. There's a big group of candidates to the victory, Nadiya Volynska, Léa Vercellotti, Yulia Novikova... Anything can happen”.


Men Elite class (6,5 km, 28 controls)
1. Olav Lundanes (NOR Halden SK) 33:47
2. Oleksandr Kratov (UKR OK Orion) 34:42
3. Artem Panchenko (UKR IFK Mora) 35:19
4. Valentin Novikov (Russia) 35:24
5. Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 38:23
6. Eduardo Gil (ESP Frontela-O) 39:46
7. Fábio Kuczkoski (BRA ADAAN) 40:14
8. Daniel Portal (ESP CODAN Extremadura) 40:19
9. Pedro Nogueira (ADFA) 41:26
10. Sergei Rjabyshkin (EST Paimion Rasti) 41:40

Women Elite class (5,1 km, 20 controls)
1. Olha Panchenko (UKR IFK Mora) 34:04
2. Nadiya Volynska (UKR OK Orion) 34:12
3. Lea Vercellotti (FRA Maximus) 38:47
4. Yulia Novikova (Russia) 40:46
5. Magalie Mendes (COC) 43:21
6. Ekaterina Savkina (RUS ESSU) 43:33
7. Patricia Casalinho (COC) 43:47
8. Stepanka Betkova (ADM Ori-Mondego) 46:50
9. Andreia Silva (COC) 51:27
10. Inês Pinto (GafanhOri) 53:29

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

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