Sunday, January 24, 2016

SkiO World Cup round 2: Rost and Alexandersson win (almost) everything



At a time when the last of three individual stages of SkiO World Cup's 2nd round comes to an end, Erik Rost and Tove Alexandersson are the event's big names so far. Five victories out of six are impressive numbers for the Swedish pair, resulting from almost perfect performances.


Since last Friday, Oberwiesenthal has been the stage of the largest international Ski Orienteering event ever in Germany. 90 athletes from 15 countries are here for the SkiO World Cup's second round, including the IOF World Ranking leaders, Tove Alexandersson from Sweden and Eduard Khrennikov from Russia. Before the Relay competitions at Klingenthal, next Tuesday and Wednesday, the individual races took place during the last three days and the final results have shown, on top of the list, the same name in Men class: Erik Rost from Sweden. As for the Women class, Tove Alexandersson took the gold in the first two days, but today she couldn't do better than a second place, with the Russian Mariya Kechkina keeping the first position.

Opening the program, the Sprint race had in Erik Rost and Tove Alexandersson the big names. Boosted by two victories achieved in the individual races in the first round, Tove was fastest throughout the race and get a new gold with a winning margin of 18 seconds at the finish. The Russian Mariya Kechkina was second and another Russian, Alena Trapeznikova, third. In the men’s race, Erik Rost did an almost perfect race, winning for 13 seconds from Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev. The Finnish Ville-Petteri Saarela finished third, 21 seconds down on Rost’s time. The sun on the Sprint turned to snow and icy rain, but this didn't hinder Tove Alexandersson who won the Middle Distance on the second day by 57 seconds and was overall fastest throughout the race. The closest opponent was again Mariya Kechkina, while the Finnish Mira Kaskinen had a fine race to finish third, 2:02 down on Alexandersson’s time. Erik Rost too was unhindered by the change in the weather, having a largely clean race to finish 43 seconds faster than Ville-Petteri Saarela, who is having an excellent season so far. Lars Moholdt, Norway was up in third position, 54 seconds down on the lead time.

Showing an insatiable appetite for the gold, Erik Rost was, once again, the big winner on the last individual race. With better weather conditions than yesterday, the Swedish started very badly, loosing six minutes in the four first controls. On the fifth control, however, Khrennikov lost five minutes and Erik Rost come again into the fight for victory. Till the end, it was possible to see both alternating in the lead, but another huge mistake of the Russian at the antepenultimate control gave the victory to Rost, with an advantage of narrow 21 seconds. Lars Moholdt was third again, with more 1:11 than Rost. The Women race seems to be decided on the fourth control, when Mariya Kechckina took advantage of a one and a half minutes slower Tove Alexandersson. Another two little mistakes explain the second place of the Swedish, 1:53 behind the Russian. Placed 24th in the IOF World Ranking, Evelina Wickborn, Sweden, was the big surprise by getting the third position with more 3:55 than the winner and an advantage of two seconds over the Norwegian Anna Ulvensøen, fourth today.


Results

Sprint

Men class (3.4 km, 150 m climb, 14 controls)
1. Erik Rost SWE 16:45 (+ 00:00)
2. Stanimir Belomazhev BUL 16:58 (+ 00:13)
3. Ville-Petteri Saarela FIN 17:06 (+ 00:21)
4. Lars Moholdt NOR 17:09 (+ 00:24)
5. Stepan Malinovskii RUS 17:38 (+ 00:53)
6. Andrey Grigoriev RUS 17:51 (+ 01:06)

Women class (3.1 km, 110 m climb, 12 controls)
1. Tove Alexandersson SWE 18:36 (+ 00:00)
2. Mariya Kechkina RUS 18:54 (+ 00:18)
3. Alena Trapeznikova RUS 19:09 (+ 00:33)
4. Polina Frolova RUS 19:14 (+ 00:38)
5. Anna Ulvensøen NOR 19:50 (+ 01:14)
6. Magdalena Olsson SWE 19:59 (01:23)

Middle Distance

Men class (7.4 km, 310m climb, 14 controls)
1. Erik Rost SWE 34:32 (+ 00:00)
2. Ville-Petteri Saarela FIN 35:15 (+ 00:43)
3. Lars Moholdt NOR 35:26 (+ 00:54)
4. Eduard Khrennikov RUS 35:27 (+ 00:55)
5. Janne Hakkinen FIN 35:51 (+ 01:19)
6. Stanimir Belomazhev BUL 36:02 (+ 01:30)

Women class (6.5 km, 250 m climb, 13 controls)
1. Tove Alexandersson SWE 33:23 (+ 00:00)
2. Mariya Kechkina RUS 34:20 (+ 00:57)
3. Mira Kaskinen FIN 35:25 (+ 02:02)
4. Magdalena Olsson SWE 35:33 (+ 02:10)
5. Linda Lindkvist SWE 35:54 (+ 02:31)
6. Polina Frolova RUS 36:13 (+ 02:50)

Long Distance

Men class (13,4 km, 710m climb, 22 controls)
1. Erik Rost SWE 1:11:33 (+ 00:00)
2. Eduard Khrennikov RUS 1:11:54 (+ 00:21)
3. Lars Moholdt NOR 1:12:44 (+ 01:11)
4. Stanimir Belomazhev BUL 1:13:07 (+ 01:34)
5. Ulrik Nordberg SWE 1:13:44 (+ 02:11)
6. Jyru Uusitalo FIN 1:14:44 (+ 03:11)

Women class (10,6 km, 510 m climb, 15 controls)
1. Mariya Kechkina RUS 1:04:08 (+ 00:00)
2. Tove Alexandersson SWE 1:06:01 (+ 01:53)
3. Evelina Wickborn SWE 1:08:03 (+ 03:55)
4. Anna Ulvensøen NOR 1:08:05 (+ 03:57)
5. Hanna Eriksson SWE 1:08:38 (+ 04:30)
6. Alena Trapeznikova RUS 1:09:26 (+ 05:18)

More details and full results at http://www.ski-orienteering.de/.

[Photo: Skogssport / facebook.com/Skogssport/]

Joaquim Margarido

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