With the PreO competition, the European Trail Orienteering Championships 2016 enters its last days. This morning, Stig Gerdtman and Jari Turto, in the Open class, and Ola Jansson and Vladislav Vovk, in the Paralympic class, were the most accurate, leading the respective standings. Still, there's a second half to play!
The European Trail Orienteering Championships ETOC 2016 it's heading for its end and the PreO competition was today's subject of all attention. This morning, in the ancient mining area of Zlaté Hory, with large amount of pits and depressions, 127 competitors tested their technical abilities, facing a very detailed terrain along which were placed 23 control points, with the “bonus” of two timed stations (with two tasks each), as an “amuse bouche”.
In the Paralympic class, the Ukranian Vladislav Vovk showed why he's currently the PreO World Champion, finishing his race with 22 points out of 23 and 106 seconds in the timed controls. Better than him, just the Swedish Ola Jansson, with the same points but with a better performance against the watch, recording 83 seconds overall. The defending European Champion, Michael Johansson, got the third best result, two points away from the leaders. The fourth and fifth placed were Inga Gunnarsson, Sweden, and Jana Kosťová, Czech Republic, with 18 points. Also fighting for a place in the podium, we can see the Lithuanian Laima Lažinskiene, the Russian Eduard Oginskii and the Danish Søren Saxtorph, with 17 points. It seems like the medals won't escape to Jansson, Vovk and Johansson, but we have to wait for tomorrow's decisive course.
In the Open Class, Stig Gerdtman, Sweden, and Jari Turto, Finland, did a clean race, finishing with 23 points each. Jari Turto, however, achieved a very unusual result in the timed controls, failing to correctly answer all the four tasks (in a set of 88 competitors in the Open Class, only four were able to perform this way). Stig Gerdtman benefited from his adversary's bad performance to take the lead. Jari Turto is the defending European Champion but he has to count on Gerdtman's revenge, fourth placed in the last European Championships and away from Palmela's podium by narrow 29 seconds. One point under the leaders, there was another pair, with the Swedish Jens Andersson ahead of the Norwegian Martin Jullum, silver medalist in the TempO competition but too little accurate today in the timed controls, missing three tasks. Waiting for a bad day of some of the leaders, there's a twelve competitors group, with 21 points. In this large group it's possible to notice the presence of the former World Champion Krešo Keresteš, Slovenia, the Swedish Marit Wiksell, the Croatian Zdenko Horjan, the Finnish Pinjä Makinen, the Portuguese João Pedro Valente or the current TempO European Champion, Pavel Kurfürst, Czech Republic. Out of the podium seems to be the current PreO World Champion, Michele Cera, Italy, with 20 points, the same as the World Champion in 2014, the Latvian Guntars Mankus, or the Portuguese Inês Domingues.
To see the complete results and for further information, please consult the (unofficial) event's webpage at http://www.etoc2016.cz/.