IFK Göteborg and Domnarvets GoIF were the big winners of Tiomila's 70th edition, offering to Sweden a tasty "double" that have not been seen since 2005. At Skepptuna, not far from where the first edition in 1945 was ran, the races lined up to unpredictability and excitement, with the winners to be found in the last meters.
Orienteering “classic” for excellence, Tiomila called this year to Sweden the best of the best (again), being a great party for 5.297 participants distributed by Men, Women and Young relays. And it was precisely the youngsters who opened the hostilities with 257 teams classified at the end and the victory belonging to the Norwegian team of Nydalens SK. Ragne Wiklund, Ingvil Ahlsand, Lukas Liland and Elias Jonsson needed 1:57:52 to complete their course, imposing to Konnerud IL by the wide margin of 6:25. It was the third time that a Norwegian team won the Young Relay and Nydalens SK's debut in the highest place of the podium.
Who had passed through the highest place of the podium and repeated it for the fourth time in the sixteen previous editions was the Swedish team of Domnarvets GoIF in the Women's race. With Elin Dahlin, Karolina Højsgaard, Dana Safka Brozkova, Lena Eliasson and Emma Johansson, the Swedish covered the whole course in 3:57:09 against 3:57:48 of the Swedish Järla Orientering. Very technical and all of them with loops, the first three legs were important for the definition of the candidates to the victory. At the end of the third leg it was possible to see eight teams still struggling for the victory. In the lead, Karolin Ohlsson retained an advantage of 40 seconds for Järla Orienteering over Leksands OK - with Helena Jansson running an absolutely fantastic third leg and recovering 51 positions in the table, after more than three minutes (!) earning to all her most direct opponents.
The fourth leg, with 10.5 km, reduced to six the number of pretenders to the final victory, with Järla Orientering still in the lead, but with the Alfta-Ösa and Domnarvets GoIF with differences less than 10 seconds. In the decisive leg, Sara Eskilsson soon proved unable to hold one of the first three places for Alfta-Ösa, so the fight for victory was between Elin Hemmyr Skantze and Emma Johansson. Skantze stayed in the lead in the first half of this last leg, but the victory eventually smiled to the Domnarvets GoIF athletes, thus recovering the title they won in 2013. Who was very early out of the race was the Danish team of OK Pan Århus, the big winner in 2014 and that couldn't do best than the 24th place this year.
The most waited moment
With the night settling down slowly, it was given the start for the men's race. Jesper Lysell would be the fastest in the first leg, giving to BK Rehns the first advantage. But everyone knew that the first great moment was saved for the third leg, a 16.5 km long distance without loops, in which to keep in contact with the head of the race would be essential. The teams with higher aspirations launched to this leg some of their most valuable assets and Södertälje-Nykvarn came into the lead, with Andreu Blanes Reig, followed by Kalevan Rasti, with Kiril Nikolov. But the lesson was well studied and only 1:16 separated the 50 (!) first teams at this stage of the race. Out of the race were, however, teams like the Vehkalahden Veikot (Janne Weckman and Tero Föhr), the OK Ravinen (Gustav Bergman), the Järla Orientering (Olle Boström) and ... the Nightfoxes International, a real women Dream Team who dared to face the Long Night and ended out of the race when Tove Alexandersson was disqualified precisely in this third leg.
From the sixth leg, to keep in touch with the head of the race became even more difficult for many and, in that moment, followed in the lead a very compact group of ten elements, separated by 1:12. Mattias Karlsson was giving the lead to the Halden SK, but the usual suspects - Kalevan Rasti, IFK Lidingö SOK, Vaajakosken Tera, Södertälje-Nykvarn - remained in the fight for the victory, very close to the leadership. Fabian Hertner, takes the lead to Kalevan Rasti at the end of the eighth leg with an advantage of 2:09 over the second-placed IFK Lidingö SOK, but loses the precious minutes to his opponents in the next leg. Everything will be decided on the last leg and there were “five cocks for a perch”. Fredrik Johansson (IFK Lidingö SOK), Magne Dæhli (Halden SK), Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti), Wojciech Kowalski (IL Tyrving) and Eskil Kinneberg (IFK Göteborg) are separated by 14 seconds. A new day was born and by the end of this long line, 17.5 km away, the laurels are waiting only one of them. Thierry Gueorgiou is the favourite and he is about to repeat the successes of 2013 and 2014. But ...
Fredrik Johansson leaves very fast, moves away from the group. But then he makes a mistake, yet another mistake and quickly realizes he's out of the race. The next to fall will be Kowalski: facing the small loop alone, while Dæhli, Gueorgiou and Kinneberg have the same combinatorial and go together. The rest of the race will be a game of cat and mouse with the Norwegians to slow down towards the limit and to force Thierry Gueorgiou to pay the costs of the race. Everything ends up decided in a Sprint, with the King losing the parade to his two direct opponents. Eskil Kinneberg takes his bet until the end, beating Magne Dæhli for three seconds. The IFK Göteborg write, for the first time, its name in the Tiomila's Book of Honour.
As for the Portuguese, there were six athletes in the race, with different results. Tiago Romão and Tiago Aires ran for the Swedish team IFK Umeå and concluded on the 59th place. Both secured key legs of their team, with Romão improving 21 places in the third leg and Aires to lead the team from the 62nd place to 59th final place with more 1:59:46 than the winner. Tiago Gingão Leal ran the first leg of the CopenhagenO team, leaving it in the 143rd position, at 8:23 to the leadership. The Danes were to finish in 118th place with a final time of 13:27:05. Diogo Miguel also ran the third leg, leaving the Köping-Kolsva OK team in 132nd place, precisely the same as when he started. Bruno Nazário concluded the 5th leg in 160th place, contributing to the 133rd final place of Köping-Kolsva OK. Finally, Carolina Delgado ran the first leg of the Danish group of CopenhagenO, passing the testimony in the 159th place. Anita Sørensen made the team to fall sixty positions in the second leg and Camilla Larsen was disqualified in the third leg.
1. IFK Göteborg 10:13:50
2. Halden SK 10:13:53 (+ 00:03)
3. Kalevan Rasti 10:14:02 (+ 00:12)
4. IFK Lidingö SOK 10:15:54 (+ 02:04)
5. Södertälje-Nykvarn 10:16:25 (+ 02:35)
1. Domnarvets GoIF 3:57:09
2. Järla Orientering 3:57:48 (+ 00:39)
3. Stora Tuna OK 3:59:42 (+ 02:33)
4. Paimion Rasti 3:59:48 (+ 02:39)
5. Kalevan Rasti 4:00:19 (+ 03:10)
1. Nydalens SK 1:57:52
2. Konnerud IL 2:04:17 (+ 06:25)
3. Turun Suunnistajat 2:04:33 (+ 06:41)
4. Fossum IF 2:04:38 (+ 06:46)
5. Södertälje-Nykvarn 2:04:49 (+ 06:57)
Please find the complete results and much more at http://www.10mila.se/index.php/en/.
[Photo: Jan Kocbach / worldofo.com]