Friday, August 26, 2016

WTOC 2016: Double gold for Sweden

Martin Fredholm and Michael Johansson got the PreO World gold in the Open and Paralympic classes, respectively. Both athletes repeated the excellent performances from the first day of this competition, tasting once more the sweet flavour of success.

The World Trail Orienteering Championships 2016 knew today its last individual winners. The aeolic park of Tolvmanstegen hosted the decisive course, which offered 28 controls and the extra of a three-task timed station. Quite long and physically demanding, the course proved to be very selective, with different types of tasks exploring the competitors' skills and allowing to select the best of the best.

With twenty points after the first day of competition, a leading group of eight competitors fought for the medals very thoroughly, with just one of them performing perfectly once again, which allowed him to get the gold. With 48 points and 40,5 seconds overall, the Swedish Martin Fredholm completed his thirteenth presence in as much editions of the World Trail Orienteering Championships in the best way, recovering, in front of his public, a gold that he hadn't won for ten years. After the bronze medal reached last year in Croatia, the Norwegian Martin Jullum climbed one step on the podium, leading a six-competitors group with 47 points and 34,5 seconds. With more 9,5 seconds than Jullum, the Latvian Janis Ruksans got the bronze medal. Stig Gerdtman and Marit Wiksell, both from Sweden, reached the fourth and fifth positions, and the Finn Pinja Mäkinen closed the podium in the sixth place. Jens Andersson, from Sweden, stayed out of the podium by narrow six seconds.

In the Paralympic class, the Russian Pavel Shmatov wasn't able to deal with the pressure of a two-point advantage reached on the first day and, with two mistakes today, dropped to the second position with 46 points and 122 seconds overall. With a clean race, the Swedish Michael Johansson joined Shmatov in the lead, but a better performance in the timed stations eventually gave him the gold for the second time in his career. Ola Jansson, Sweden, finished third, one point behind the winner. The fight for the immediate positions was really tight, with two athletes counting 44 points. Faster in the timed stations, the Czech Jana Kostová finished fourth with 66 seconds, just half of a second (!) better than the Ukranian Vladislav Vovk, the World Champion in 2015. The last place of the podium was occupied by the Dane Søren Saxtorph with 42 points.


Open class
1. Martin Fredholm SWE 48 points / 40,5 seconds
2. Martin Jullum NOR 47 / 34,5
3. Janis Ruksans LAT 47 / 44
4. Stig Gerdtman SWE 47 / 47,5
5. Marit Wiksell SWE 47 / 91
6. Pinja Mäkinen SWE 47 / 112,5

Paralympic class
1. Michael Johansson SWE 46 points / 74,5 seconds
2. Pavel Shmatov RUS 46 / 122
3. Ola Jansson SWE 45 / 44,5
4. Jana Kostová CZE 44 / 66
5. Vladislav Vovk UKR 44 / 66,5
6. Søren Saxtorph DEN 42 / 89,5

Joaquim Margarido

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