For the fourth year in a row, Spain was the winner of the Mediterranean Championships in Orienteering, followed by the host country Israel, and Turkey in third position. Individually, the distribution of wins was well balanced, with the Spanish Anna Serralonga being the biggest name of the Championships.
The Jezreel Valley, next to the historic Israeli city of Nazareth, hosted the 4th edition of the Mediterranean Championships in Orienteering. Held in conjunction with the Israel Open Championships, the event included a Sprint, a Long Distance and a Middle Distance, the last two stages scoring for the IOF World Ranking. Special reference to the fact that the Championships have counted with the participation of about four hundred athletes representing 21 nations, which was the highest number ever in an Orienteering event in that country of the Middle East.
After a devastating beginning of the Spanish team in the Sprint stage, with four wins and three second places in the four competition classes (M21/W21 and M20/W20), the Long Distance was marked by baddly atmospheric condictions, with many athletes to see their wishes in a good result going literally down the drain, including the Spanish Andreu Blanes and Raul Ferra, disqualified for "mp". However, the victories of Marta Guijo (W20), Alvaro Prieto (M20) and Ona Rafols (W21) ensured to Spain a margin of some comfort before the departure to the last stage.
In the Long Distance stage, the Israeli athletes were very well placed, while Spain couldn't count again with Blanes and Ferra at their best. The triumph of Anna Serralonga in this last act turned out to be decisive, ensuring to Spain the title for the fourth time in four editions of the Championships. Israel, Turkey, Serbia and Italy concluded by this order in the immediate positions. Serbia will host the competition next year, which will be held from 23rd to 26th June.
For more information, please consult the event's official website at http://israelorienteering.org/2015-mco/.
[Photo: D. Ravid / flickr.com]