Saturday, August 13, 2016

WMOC 2016: Second gold for nine athletes

With seven gold medals each achieved in the Long Distance finals, Sweden and Finland were the great winners on the last day of the World Masters Orienteering Championships. Athletes from 11 countries reached the highest place of the podium, 9 of whom repeating the titles achieved in the Sprint finals, held last Monday.

The Long Distance finals put an end to the 21st edition of the World Masters Orienteering Championships WMOC 2016. Presenting demanding courses, both technically and physically, the race was held in Pikasaare, 70 km east of the capital of Estonia, Tallinn, having the participation of 3067 athletes, including 702 men and 544 women in the direct fight for the medals, running the A Final in the 24 different competition classes.

In the Men classes, the focus goes on the Belorussian Dmitry Mihalkin (M35), the German Helmut Conrad (M75) and the Finnish Petteri Muukkonen (M40) and Arvo Majoinen (M90), who returned to get the World Champion titles, after the triumphs achieved in the Sprint competition in the respective classes. It's worth noting that, of the twelve World Champions in the Long Distance, Petteri Muukkonen was the only able to repeat the title achieved in 2015, then in the M35 class. Note also that the closest victory (and perhaps most unexpected) belonged to the Finnish Tapio Peippo (M65) who won on the Swiss Pekka Marti for just 15 seconds after reaching the final with the 26th best time in the sum of two qualifying stages. The largest difference over the second classified was registered in the M55 class, with the Swedish Hakan Eriksson reaching a 5:45 win over the Slovakian Jozef Pollak.

Individually, the Australian Natasha Key (W45), the Estonian Marje Viirmann (W55), the Norwegian Kari Timenes Laugen (W70) and the Swedish Ebba-Lysa Flygar (W85) and Astrid Andersson (W95) deserve a prominent note on the female sector, after seizing the second gold medal in these Championships. The Finnish Annika Villo revalidated her Long Distance World title in the W50 class, while the Swedish Birgitta Olsson (W75) and Astrid Andersson (W95) returned to the top of the podium at this distance, one year after Gothenburg, Sweden, where they achieved the World Champion titles, but in the next lower class. Although the fight for victory was intense in all classes, it was in the W40 that one can found the shortest difference between the top two, with the Latvian Irita Pukite to win over the Swedish Annika Björk by a margin of 25 seconds. The largest difference was found in the W75 class, where Birgitta Olsson left her compatriot Siv Hasselgrund at a distance of 6:17.

World Masters Champions 2016
Long Distance

M35 Dmitry Mihalkin, BLR
M40 Petteri Muukkonen FIN
M45 Johan Pettersson SWE
M50 Oleg Anuchkin ITA
M55 Hakan Eriksson SWE
M60 Rolf Lund DEN
M65 Tapio Peippo FIN
M70 Risto Wessman FIN
M75 Helmut Conrad GER
M80 Rune Karlsson SWE
M85 Pentti Pelkonen FIN
M90 Arvo Majoinen FIN

W35 Elli Virta FIN
W40 Irita Pukite LAT
W45 Natasha Key AUS
W50 Annika Viilo FIN
W55 Marje Viirmann EST
W60 Lidia Shorokhova RUS
W65 Tamara Ovsiannikova RUS
W70 Kari Timenes Laugen NOR
W75 Birgitta Olsson SWE
W80 Ebba-Lisa Flygar SWE
W85 Lisa Hedström SWE
W95 Astrid Andersson SWE

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

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