With victories of Johan Runesson, Carl Godager Kaas and Matthias Kyburz, in the Men, and Dana Šafka Brožková, Catherine Taylor and Judith Wyder, in the Women, took place this afternoon the European Orienteering Championships' Qualifying Heats of Middle Distance. Sweden and Finland, in the Men, and Sweden and Czech Republic, in the Women, placed all their six athletes into tomorrow's big final, in a day marked by Daniel Hubmann's fail.
Horní Údolí (“Upper valley”, in Czech) hosted this afternoon the Qualifying Heats of Middle Distance. The races took place in the highest altitude amongst all the European Orienteering Chmapionships venues, 750 - 975 meters above the sea level. 126 men and 89 women entered the courses, spared by three heats in each (Men and Women) class. The only absent at the start was the British Hollie Orr, brilliant 6th placed last Monday, in the Long Distance Final.
The big surprise of the Qualifying came from the current European Champion, the Swiss Daniel Hubmann, 19th placed in the Heat A and out of the Final A by 9 seconds. This was also a terrible heat for Daniel's team mate, Andreas Ruedlinger, Hector Haines, Great Britain, Aaro Asikainen, Finland, Andreu Blanes, Spain and Tiago Romão, Portugal, all of them under the 17th position and thus away from the Final A. The Swedish Johan Runesson took a 32 second win over Martin Hubmann, Switzerland, with Lucas Basset, France, being third. In the Heat B one could see Carl Godager Kaas' really close win on Oskar Sjöberg and the third place of the Estonian Tino Sild. In the Heat C, the winner was the Swiss Matthias Kyburz, with an advantage of 33 seconds on the second place, the Swedish Albin Ridefelt. The Czech Jan Petržela got the third position, 1:26 after Kyburz while the young Finnish Olli Ojanaho stayed out of the Final by 34 seconds, being 18th placed. Also the Finnish Mårten Boström, the British Ralph Street and the Romanian Ionut Zinca fell out of the Final in this Heat. Sweden and the Czech Republic will have six representatives each in the Final A, while Switzerland and Norway will be represented by five athletes. With four athletes we'll have France and Russia. The 51 athletes that got the ticket to the Final A, will represent 19 countries.
In the Women, the final standings didn't bring big surprises, even considering the Danish Ida Bobach's 10th place and Maja Alm's 12th position. In the Heat A there was two Czechs in the first positions. Dana Šafka Brožková won with the time of 25:07, against 25:36 from her team mate Adéla Indráková and with Rahel Friederich, Switzerland, being third. This was a very strong heat, that included Saila Kinni, Finland (4th), Helena Jansson, sweden (5th), Nadiya Volynska, Ukraine (8th), Lina Strand, Sweden (11th), Natalia Vinogradova, Russia (12th) or Anni-Maija Fincke, Finland (13th). Catherine Taylor, Great Britain, could show a spark of her bright and got a tasty 10 second win on Svetlana Mionova, Russia, and 12 seconds on Venla Harju, Finland, in the Heat B. In the Heat C, the winner was Judith Wyder, with the time of 23:27. Julia Gross spent more 24 seconds than her team mate and got the second place, while the Swedish Emma Johannsson was third, with more 34 seconds than the winner. The Final A will receive 52 athletes from 19 countries, with Sweden and Finland represented by 6 athletes each. With five athletes there will be two other countries, Switzerland and Czech republic, while Norway and Latvia will have four representatives in the Final.
1. Johan Runesson (Sweden) 28:29 (+ 00:00)
2. Martin Hubmann (Switzerland) 29:01 (+ 00:32)
3. Lucas Basset (France)
26. Tiago Romão (Portugal) 33:14 (+ 04:45)
1. Carl Godager Kaas (Norway) 28:42 (+ 00:00)
2. Oskar Sjöberg (Sweden) 28:45 (+ 00:03)
3. Timo Sild (Estonia) 28:57 (+ 00:15)
33. Manuel Horta (Portugal) 34:33 (+ 05:51)
1. Matthias Kyburz (Switzerlan) 28:08 (+ 00:00)
2. Albin Ridefelt (Sweden) 28:41 (+ 00:33)
3. Jan Petržela (Czech Republic) 29:34 (+ 01:26)
41. Pedro Nogueira (Portugal) 41:49 (+ 13:41)
1. Dana Šafka Brožková (Czech Republic) 25:07 (+ 00:00)
2. Adéla Indráková (Czech Republic) 25:36 (+ 00:29)
3. Rahel Friederich (Switzerland) 26:10 (+ 01:03)
1. Catherine Taylor (Great Britain) 25:06 (+ 00:00)
2. Svetlana Mironova (Russia) 25:16 (+ 00:10)
3. Venla Harju (Finland) 25:18 (+ 00:12)
1. Judith Wyder (Switzerland) 23:27 (+ 00:00)
2. Julia Gross (Switzerland) 23:51 (+ 00:24)
3. Emma Johansson (Sweden) 24:01 (+ 00:34)
Complete results and further information to check at http://www.eoc2016.cz/en/.