Great atmosphere at the start of Portual O' Meeting's 21st edition, in Penamacor. Almost one thousand and half athletes tried their skills in highly technical terrains and demanding courses. Thierry Gueorgiou and Marika Teini took the victories in Men Super Elite and Women Elite.
After some warm and sunny days, the Saturday woke up somewhat “bothered”. Even though, the enthusiasm of those who ran the Middle Distance, this morning, at Memória Map, stayed on the highest level. It was the “kick off” of the Portugal O' Meeting 2016, a start in the best way for 1.400 athletes, trying to improve their shape in the very early season and looking for a fun and clean race.
Second placed in the IOF World Ranking and a “historical” of POM with four victories overall in the last nine editions, the French Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) took the first place with the time of 34:45. A tight victory over the Swedish Gustav Bergman (OK Ravinen), 27 seconds behind the lead. The Swiss Baptiste Rollier (Kalevan Rasti) was third, with more 1:06 than the winner. Tiago Martins Aires (GafanhOri) was the best Portuguese in the 26th position. As for the Women Elite, the Marika Teini (SK Pohjantähti) was a surprinsigly winner, exactly one week after her victory in the Lisbon International Orienteering Meeting' WRE Sprint. The Finnish spent 35:17, against 35:19 and 36:25 from the Swedish Helena Janssson (OK Ravinen) and Lina Strand (GMOK), respectively. The best Portuguese was also from GafanhOri team, Raquel Costa, in the 21st position.
About his victory today, Thierry Gueorgiou left some impressions: “It was a really nice start. I did just a small mistake, losing about 30 seconds, but the rest of the race was great. The terrain was really fast in some parts and I don't still have the right pace, but it comes day by day. My goal is keep on going to do a good preparation, but I'll do the POM's four races in a focused way and we'll see what happenst. We have to wait six months to the WOC and the results here don't mean too much, but I prefer to be here than last year, injured, in front of my PC.”
The Portuguese Orienteering Blog also took some ideas from Helena Jansson and her second place: “It was rather good. I should look a little bit more to my compass. I didn't made really mistakes to the controls, but on the legs I missed a little bit. We are here for a little Training Camp – we actually brought our roller skies -, but my goal isn't to win the Portugal O' Meeting. Actually, I'm entering in the Elite Women class in just three races. But it's so nice to be here, the competitions are really well organized and the maps are great so far. I really enjoyed my race today and hopefully I'll enjoy the rest of my stay here.”
1. Thierry Gueorgiou (Kalevan Rasti) 34:45 (+ 00:00)
2. Gustav Bergman (OK Ravinen) 35:12 (+ 00:27)
3. Baptiste Rollier (Kalevan Rasti) 35:51 (+ 01:06)
4. Albin Ridefelt (OK Linné) 36:05 (+ 01:20)
5. Jonas Leandersson (SNO) 36:26 (+ 01:41)
1. Marika Teini (SK Pohjantähti) 35:17 (+ 00:00)
2. Helena Jansson (OK Ravinen) 35:19 (+ 00:02)
3. Lina Strand (GMOK) 36:25 (+ 01:08)
4. Catherine Taylor (OK Linné) 37:06 (+ 01:49)
5. Amélie Chataing (Kalevan Rasti) 37:18 (+ 02:01)
For further information and complete results, please visit the event's webpage at www.pom.pt/en.