Sunday, July 05, 2015

WTOC 2015: Gold in PreO to Michele Cera and Vladislav Vovk

Michele Cera and Vladislav Vovk are the new World Champions in PreO, in the Open and Paralympic Classes, respectively. In the team competition, Ukraine was stronger, snatching the title for Croatia.

The competition in the World Trail Orienteering Championships WTOC 2015 had its end in Blato, in the southwest of Zagreb, with the dispute of the PreO titles in Open Class, Paralympic Class and Team Competition. After a very hard journey in Sesvete forest, due to the severe conditions of the terrain, the decisive day honoured the Croatian organization of these World Championships with a magnificent course in fantastic terrains, with everything to please everyone.

In the Open Class, the Italian Michele Cera was the one to strike a score of 25 points from 26 possible on the first day of competition, going into this decisive journey with a low advantage of one single point over a set of seven competitors, including the World Champions in PreO and TempO in 2014, respectively Guntars Mankus (Latvia) and Martin Jullum (Norway). The truth is that the Italian revealed, in addition to his technical quality, nerves of steel, making the full of 26 correct answers and offering to Italy his second world title in PreO, the first in the Open Class. With 50 points, the Finn Antti Rusanen and the Norwegian Martin Jullum were the two runners-up, with the performance in the timed controls making the difference between them. The Finn Marko Määtälä concluded in the fourth position, at two points from Cera. Between the fifth and ninth place were classified five athletes, all of them former world champions: the Ukrainian Vitalii Kyrychenco (Hungary, 2009), the Latvian Guntars Mankus (Italy, 2014), the German Anne Straube (Czech Republic, 2008), the Finnish Jari Turto (Finland, 2013) and the Swedish Stig Gerdtman (Norway, 2010 and Scotland, 2012). The Portuguese Luís Gonçalves finished in 13th place with the same points as the 8th classified, but heavily penalized by the wrong answers in the timed controls.

Ukraine achieved its first gold medal at the Paralympic Class thanks to the excellent performance of Vladislav Vovk. World Champion in this class in 2010 and 2012, the Swedish Ola Jansson came in with the right foot in the competition, but was unable to maintain the lead thanks to the four points lost in the decisive stage. Who proved to be 100% accurate was the Ukrainian, so raising a historical title for the Trail orienteering in that country of Eastern Europe. With 48 points, the Croatian Ivica Bertol secured the second place, while the third place fell to the Danish Søren Saxtorph with two points behind the winner. At three points of the winner, Ola Jansson would occupy the fourth position while in fifth place was the World Champion in 2014, the Swedish Michael Johansson. World Champion in 2013, the Czech Jana Kostova finished in the sixth place with 44 points. The achievements of Vovk and Bertol were fundamental for the results of theis countries in the Team Competition, with Ukraine to get the gold and regain a title that escaped in the previous five years. Croatia in the second position and Finland in the third closed a podium where the big absentee was Sweden, after four gold medals, three silver and two bronze medals won in the last nine editions of the World Championships.


Open Class
1. Michele Cera (Italy) 51/52 points (193 seconds)
2. Antti Rusanen (Finland) 50/52 points (65.5 seconds)
3. Martin Jullum (Norway) 50/52 points (189 seconds)
4. Marko Määtälä (Finland) 49/52 points (100.5 seconds)
5. Vitalii Kyrychenko (Ukraine) 49/52 points (136.5 seconds)
6. Guntars Mankus (Latvia) 49/52 points (143.5 seconds)
7. Anne Straube (Germany) 49/52 points (256 seconds)
8. Jari Turto (Finland) 48/52 points (94/ seconds)
9. Stig Gerdtman (Sweden) 48/52 points (101.5 seconds)
10. Christian Gieseler (Germany) 48/52 points (127 seconds)

Paralympic class
1. Vladislav Vovk (Ukraine) 49/52 points (398.5 seconds)
2. Ivica Bertol (Croatia) 48/52 points (114 seconds)
3. Søren Saxtorph (Denmark) 47/52 points (262.5 seconds)
4. Hello Jansson (Sweden) 46/52 points (138 seconds)
5. Michael Johansson (Sweden) 45/52 points (113 seconds)
6. Jana Kostova (Czech Republic) 44/52 points (230 seconds)
7. Pekka Seppa (Finland) 44/52 points (317 seconds)
8. Guntis Jakubovskis (Latvia) 42/52 points (153.5 seconds)
9. Dmitry Kucherenko (Russia) 42 points (156.5 seconds)
10. Pavel Shmatov (Russia) 42 points (190.5 seconds)

Team Competition
1. Ukraine 77/78 points (174 seconds)
2. Croatia 74/78 points (89 seconds)
3. Finland 74/78 points (159 seconds)
4. Czech Republic 72/78 points (62.5 seconds)
5. Sweden 70/78 points (69 seconds)
6. Latvia 70/78 points (88 seconds)

Full results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

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