Jonas Leandersson and Maja Alm were the big winners in the Sprint final of the World Orienteering Championships, held this afternoon in Forres, Scotland. Representing Portugal in the final, Mariana Moreira concluded in 42nd place.
Not without surprise, the Swedish Jonas Leandersson won the gold medal in Sprint of the World Orienteering Championships WOC 2015. Held this afternoon in the Scottish town of Forres, the race was extraordinarily fast and competitive, with mere 14 seconds separating the first ten ranked athletes. European champion in 2012 (Falun, Sweden) and 2014 (Palmela, Portugal) and bronze medalist at the 2013 World Championships (Vuokatti, Finland), Leandersson needed 13:12 to cover the 4.1 kilometers of his course, leaving the Swiss Martin Hubmann two seconds away. In the third place, with four seconds more than the winner, ranked the Swedish Jerker Lysell. Pointed out as two of the favourites for the gold, the Finnish Marten Bostrom and the Belgian Yannick Michiels occupied, respectively, the fourth and fifth positions, separated by a scant tenth of a second. The Swiss Daniel Hubmann was ranked sixth at 0:08.9 to the winner. Thanks to a spectacular performance, the Spanish Andreu Blanes was ranked seventh, while the Danish Søren Bobach, World Champion in 2014, finished in the 9th place.
Confirming her extraordinary moment - translated into the victory in her qualifying heat of sprint and in the gold medal, yesterday, in the Sprint Mixed Relay - the Danish Maja Alm reached his second world title in two consecutive days. Bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships (Veneto, Italy) and silver medalist at the last European Champiosnhips (Palmela, Portugal), Maja Alm dominated the race from beginning to the end, recording a time of 13:32.5 to 3.8 km of her course and a lead of long 39.8 seconds over the Ukrainian Nadiya Volynska, second placed. The Russian Galina Vinogradova closed the podium with 52 seconds more than the winner. Without Judith Wyder, former world champion who suffered an injury in the Mixed Sprint Relay and was forced to give up her participation in the final today, Switzerland put its three remaining athletes in the first nine places with Sara Luescher occupying the 4th place, Rahel Friederich being ranked 7th and Julia Gross to conclude in the 9th position. Another of the noted absences in the Final was the Swedish Tove Alexandersson, pointed by many as the major favourite for the gold medal. Sprint World champion in 2006, the Australian Hanny Alston was the 5th ranked, while the Finnish Minna Kauppi finished in the 6th place. Mariana Moreira (Portugal) was the 42nd classified, with more 3:28.4 than the winner.
1. Jonas Leandersson (Sweden) 13:12.1 (+ 00:00.0)
2. Martin Hubmann (Switzerland) 13:14.0 (+ 00:01.9)
3. Jerker Lysell (Sweden) 13:16.6 (+ 00:04.5)
4. Marten Bostrom (Finland) 13:19.9 (+ 00:07.08)
5. Yannick Michiels (Belgium) 13:20.0 (+ 00:07.9)
6. Daniel Hubmann (Switzerland) 13:21.0 (+ 00:08.9)
7. Andreu Blanes (Spain) 13:21.8 (+ 00:09.7)
8. Kristian Jones (Great Britain) 13:24.1 (+ 00:12.0)
9. Søren Bobach (Denmark) 13:24.8 (+ 00:12.7)
10. Jonas Vytautas Gvildys (Lithuania) 13:26.8 (+ 00:14.7)
1. Maja Alm (Denmark) 13:32.5 (+ 00:00.0)
2. Nadiya Volynska (Ukraine) 14:12.3 (+ 00:39.8)
3. Galina Vinogradova (Russia) 14:24.5 (+ 00:52.0)
4. Sara Luescher (Switzerland) 14:26.5 (+ 00:54.0)
5. Hanny Alston (Australia) 14:26.7 (+ 00:54.2)
6. Minna Kauppi (Finland) 14:27.1 (+ 00:54.6)
7. Rahel Friederich (Switzerland) 14:29.9 (+ 00:57.4)
8. Silje Ekroll Jahren (Norway) 14:42.8 (+ 01:10.3)
9. Julia Gross (Switzerland) 14:50.4 (+ 01:17.9)
10. Karolin Ohlsson (Sweden) 14:52.5 (+ 01:20.0)
42. Mariana Moreira (Portugal) 17:00.9 (+ 03:28.4)
Complete results and further information at www.woc2015.org/.
[Photos: © WorldofO / twitter.com/worldofo]