Mother of all relays, the Jukola called to Lappeenranta, this year, 1717 teams for a night as exciting as windy and rainy. In the end of seven hard legs – with the arena run-through being a newness in 68 editions of the popular Relay -, Koovee got the winning, inscribing its name for the first time ever in Jukola's table of honour.
In a cold and rainy night, orienteering's heat was stronger in Lappeenranta, where 1717 teams from 16 countries took part in the 68th edition of Jukola Relay. With Jerker Lysell running the first leg, Rehns BK was the first team taking the lead, with less than one minute advantage on Halden SK, Angelniemen Ankkuri and IFK Moras OK. Even closer than the precedent, the second leg didn't aport important moves in the lead, with Jan Troeng (OK Linné) being first, in front of a group of 26 teams in a one minute interval. Often decisive, the third leg – the long night leg, with 14,1 km – didn't bring big changes in the lead, although some teams launch here some of its major trumps. In a particular fight that included Timo Sild (Koovee), Olav Lundanes (Halden SK), Baptiste Rollier (Kalevan Rasti) or Anders Nordberg (Nydalens SK), Gustav Bergman was the fastest, giving the lead to OK Ravinen.
Jani Myllärinen kept the Koovee's good pace, achievieng a 56 seconds advantage on Halden SK in the end of the fourth leg and Jani Lakanen could save the lead in the end of the fifth leg. Malungs OK Skogsmårdarna was now second, at 53 seconds to the lead. Halden SK, Kalevan Rasti and Södertälje Nykvirn were the following teams, respectively 1:10, 1:44 and 2:03 behind Koovee. The penultimate leg was really impressive, with Olexandr Kratov performing amazingly and getting a 4:38 gap to the second placed, Kalevan Rasti. The Ukranian was the key for a victory that Daniel Hubmann would confirm in the last leg with the time of 8:03:46 overall. Fredrik Bakkman was the fastest in this leg, making IFK Lidingö SOK ascended to the final second place, 1:20 behind Koovee. Kalevan Rasti – with Thierry Gueorgiou in the last leg – got the third place, the same as at 10 Mila, last May. With this result, Koovee see is name as Jukola winner for the first time ever in its history and Daniel Hubmann got the triumph for the second year in a row, after his victory in front of Kristiansand OK last year. Kristiansand OK finished this time in the 26th position, with more 31:57 than the winner.
1. Koovee (Anjala, Sild, Sild, Myllärinen, Lakanen, Kratov, Hubmann) 8:03:46 (+ 00:00)
2. IFK Lidingö SOK (Dent, Dahlgren, Haines, Sandberg, Østerbø, Sandberg, Bakkman) 8:05:06 (+ 01:20)
3. Kalevan Rasti (Asikainen, Airila, Rollier, Prochazka, Hertner, Petrzela, Gueorgiou) 8:06:14 (+ 02:28)
4. Malungs OK Skogsmårdarna (Rost, Lööf, Bäckman, Carlsson, Östlin, Andersson, Lind) 8:09:17 (+ 05:31)
5. Halden SK (Ruedlinger, Huovila, Lundanes, Björlo, Hovind, Wingstedt, Dæhli) 8:09:30 (+ 05:44)
6. IFK Göteborg (Eden, Pilblad, Högstrand, Bråten, Jonasson, Bejmer, Kinneberg) 8:09:41 (+ 05:55)
7. Södertälje Nykvarn (Pawlak, Ohlsson, Lundanes, Enmark, Börjeskog, Street, Leandersson) 8:13:05 (+ 09:19)
8. Frol IL (Lyngen, Vister, Indgaard, Skjeset, Sirum, Skogstad, Indgaard) 8:15:02 (+ 11:16)
9. OK Linné (Löfås, Troeng, Andersson, Troeng, Andersson, Sjöberg, Ridefelt) 8:15:24 (+ 11:38)
10. Hildenkiertäjät (Patana, Hall, Liukkonen, Kivela, Koistinen, Novikov, Novikov) 8:15:38 (+ 11:52)
See the complete results and further information at http://www.jukola.com/2016/en/.
[Photo: © Tommi Joutjärvi / facebook.com/jukolanviesti]