Olli Ojanaho and Sarah Hagstrom reached today the gold in Long Distance. Finally the victory in an individual event in these World Championships to Hagström, on the day that Ojanaho saw confirmed his name as the star of the Championships.
Last individual final of the Junior World Orienteering Championships JWOC 2015, the Long Distance course took place on the map of Rauland Skisenteret (Norway), counting with the presence of 157 male athletes and 133 female athletes. In a very demanding terrain, both technically and physically, the course would have on the Finnish Olli Ojanaho its big name, repeating the presence on the top of the podium after, last Tuesday, have also get the title of World Champion in the Middle Distance. An achievement that only four times was found in 26 editions of JWOC, the last one in 2008 by the Swedish Johan Runesson. Ojanaho went back to the “recipe” of the great champions, basing his performance on close and careful orienteering when needed and running full speed whenever possible. In the second place ranked the Swedish Simon Hector, one of the first athletes to complete his course, having to wait almost three long hours of great anxiety to know the final outcome, during which he remained in the lead. The Norwegian Andreas Sølberg concluded in the third position, 1:26 behind the winner.
In the women's class, the Swedish Sara Hagström finally reached the gold. Pointed as the big favourite to three individual medals, Hagström would flop in the Sprint to then end up seeing her excellent victory in the Middle Distance qualification heat to translate into a “modest” 11th place in the end. Today, however, everything was different and the Swedish athlete dominated from start to finish, despite the intense fighting moved by the Finnish Anna Haataja, second placed with more 40 seconds. Sandrine Mueller, from Switzerland, finished third, repeating the bronze achieved in the final of Middle Distance. Heidi Mertensson, in 4th place, was the best Norwegian athlete. It should be noted that this was surely the most desired medal for Sara Hagström, after being second in this distance in the last two editions of JWOC. On the Swedish Orienteering Federation website - http://www.orientering.se/ - it's possible to read that Sara didn't have time to taste the course that led to her third - and last! - World Junior title. “I was very nervous and fought from beginning to end. I made some small mistakes but it's not easy to make a Long Distance absolutely clean”, she said.
As for the Portuguese, it is no glory that they leave Rauland and the Junior World Orienteering Championships JWOC 2015. In the last course, Daniel Catarino spent more 30:20 than the winner and was ranked 120th, while André Esteves finished in the 134th position, with more 39: 02 than the winner. In the women class, the picture was no better, with Joana Fernandes finishing in 114th place with a time of 1:35:20 and Carolina Delgado to spend more 2:05 seconds than her teammate and be the 119th classified. The Junior World Orienteering Championships ends tomorrow with the Relay. All to check at http://www.jwoc2015.org/.
1. Olli Ojanaho (Finland) 1:07:00
2. Simon Hector (Sweden) 01:08:15 (+ 01:15)
3. Andreas Soelberg (Norway) 01:08:26 (+ 01:26)
4. Aidan Smith (Great Britain) 1:09:05 (+ 02:05)
5. Simon Imark (Sweden) 01:09:13 (+ 02:13)
6. Matthias Groell (Austria) 01:10:12 (+ 03:12)
7. Audun Heimdal (Norway) 01:10:49 (+ 03:49)
8. Tobia Pezatti (Switzerland) 01:10:58 (+ 03:58)
9. Shamus Morrison (New Zealand) 01:11:05 (+ 04:05)
10. Tim Robertson (New Zealand) 01:11:12 (+ 04:12)
1. Sara Hagstrom (Sweden) 52:06
2. Anna Haataja (Finland) 52:46 (+ 00:40)
3. Sandrine Mueller (Switzerland) 54:19 (+ 02:13)
4. Heidi Martensson (Norway) 54:46 (+ 02:40)
5. Miri Thrane Odum (Denmark) 55:44 (+ 03:38)
6. Simona Aebersold (Switzerland) 55:51 (+ 03:45)
7. Karoliina Ukskoski (Finland) 55:53 (+ 03:47)
8. Marie Olaussen (Norway) 57:07 (+ 05:01)
9. Johanna Oberg (Sweden) 57:19 (+ 05:13)
10. Andrea Svensson (Sweden) 57:37 (+ 05:31)
[Photo: Malin Björqvist / orientering.se]