Wednesday, March 02, 2016

ESOC 2016: Moholdt and Kechkina win Middle Distance Mass Start

After the Sprint title achieved last Monday, Lars Moholdt took his second gold in the European Ski Orienteering Championships, in an exciting Middle Distance Mass Start hold this morning. Also Mariya Kechkina performed astonishingly, being first in the Women class.

Lars Moholdt did it again. On the second individual race of the European Ski Orienteering Championships ESOC 2016, the Norwegian showed himself at the highest level, winning his second gold medal in the competition. A quick look to the final results reveal immediately how tight was the fight for the best places, with all six athletes on the podium separated by less than one minute. Moholdt's gold was everything but easy. Erik Rost, Sweden, managed to keep the leadership in the first half but, in the decisive part of the race, Moholdt and the Russian Andrey Lamov - defending here the European Middle Distance title - joined to the Swedish, fighting hardly for the first place. It would be Moholdt to reach the gold with the time of 45:50, with Lamov taking the silver, one second before Rost, third placed. In the Women class, the Russian Mariya Kechkina was the fastest in the first control, keeping the leadership until the very last one. All athletes did some small mistakes and the unpredictability as the winner remained for a long time, with the Swedish Tove Alexandersson waiting for a slip in the lead. In the end, the Russian was first with the time of 37:51, achieving the first European title of her career so far. Tove Alexandersson, repeated the silver from last European Championships and Tatyana Oborina, Russia, took the third position.

Russia fulfilled the JWSOC Men's podium, with Sergey Gorlanov beating clearly Vladislav Kiselev this time and changing positions relatively to the Sprint race. Unable to defend the Middle gold achieved last year, in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, Aleksandr Pavlenko finished third. In the JWSOC Women, Tuuli Suutari (Finland) performed amazingly and took an impressive gold over Liubov Balandina, Russia, and Klara Yngvesson, Sweden, the six first athletes separated by 50 seconds. At EYSOC, another competition day but the same winners. Nicola Mueller, Switzerland, took the gold in a really tight fight, with the six leading athletes separated by 45 seconds in the final standings. The Russian Igor Linkevich was second, repeating the same position as last Monday. In a more comfortable mood, the Russian Aleksandra Rusakova won the Women class over the Finnish Sanni Oikkonen by 37 seconds.

Tomorrow is rest day and the competition will return Friday with the Long Distance finals. Everything to follow at


1. Lars Moholdt (Norway) 45:50 (+ 00:00)
2. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 46:12 (+ 00:22)
3. Erik Rost (Sweden) 46:13 (+ 00:23)
4. Eduard Khrennikov (Russia) 46:23 (+ 00:33)
5. Andrey Grigoriev (Russia) 46:32 (+ 00:42)
6. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 46:49 (+ 00:59)

ESOC Women
1. Mariya Kechkina (Russia) 37:51 (+ 00:00)
2. Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) 38:36 (+ 00:45)
3. Tatyana Oborina (Russia) 39:38 (+ 01:47)
4. Hana Hancikova (Czech Republic) 39:50 (+ 01:59)
5. Alena Trapeznikova (Russia) 39:55 (+ 02:04)
6. Iuliia Tarasenko (Russia) 40:29 (+ 02:38)

1. Sergey Gorlanov (Russia) 30:15 (+ 00:00)
2. Vladislav Kiselev (Russia) 31:50 (+ 01:35)
3. Aleksandr Pavlenko (Russia) 32:46 (+ 02:31)

1. Tuuli Suutari (Finland) 29:01 (+ 00:00)
2. Liubov Balandina (Russia) 29:36 (+ 00:35)
3. Klara Yngvensson (Sweden) 29:42 (+ 00:41)

1. Nicola Mueller (Switzerland) 24:34 (+ 00:00)
2. Igor Linkevich (Russia) 24:50 (+ 00:16)
3. Pyry Hyppola (Finland) 24:53 (+ 00:19)

1. Aleksandra Rusakova (Russia) 24:21 (+ 00:00)
2. Sanni Oikkonen (Finland) 24:58 (+ 00:37)
3. Siiri Saalo (Finland) 25:01 (+ 00:40)

[Photo: /]

Joaquim Margarido

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