Friday, December 09, 2016

The Orienteering Achievement of 2016 - Men: Vote for your candidate!



It is great for the sport to see excellent nominations for athletes from nations which are traditionally not on top of the result lists in international orienteering, like Belarus, Canada, Moldova and New Zealand. All these athletes have done exceptional orienteering achievements in 2016 – along with the nominated athletes from the more established top nations in orienteering Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Russia. Let's take a look on the stories of the nominees to the Orienteering Achievement of 2016 – Men.



Jerker Lysell

Nominated for
Fantastic WOC Sprint gold medal on home ground in Sweden after spending more of the preparations running in a swimming pool than running sprint orienteering.

Story
Jerker Lysell has been one of the best sprint orienteers in the world for several seasons, even if he has been more injured and ill than injury free. When he won the WOC Sprint bronze medal in Scotland last year after barely being able to run the weeks before, he showed that he can do wonders with minimal specific preparations. This year was again a year with many injuries, but in 2016 the fast Swede had at least been able to run in the forest from late spring. As he said himself, the race was perfect. He managed to get the most out of physical and mental capacity when it most mattered, even if there must have been some uncertainty because of the long break from running and competing. Next year Lysell wants to be on top also in the most important races in forest orienteering. Who knows what is possible for this remarkable runner if he manages to keep injury free this winter?


Joey Hadorn

Nominated for
Dominated the Junior World Orienteering Championships on home ground with three out of four gold medals and one silver! Incredible running speed combined with great orienteering

Story
Hadorn has been known as an exceptionally good runner and a good orienteer. At JWOC in Switzerland he had the highest speed of all athletes with a big margin - but he also did goo technical performances in every race, making choices where he could use his strengths all the way. To use the words of Swedish silver medalist from JWOC long in Norway in 2015, Simon Hector, who was clearly beaten by Hadorn in all races in 2016; - We all knew that he was a good runner, but in those races he had really good technical performances. Really good mental strength to run so well in so many races in a row. I felt like a background actor during that week!


Matthias Kyburz

Nominated for
From entering the world orienteering elite as sprint specialist in 2011 to master of the most technical orienteering discipline in 2016: Gold at both the World Orienteering Championships and European Championships in middle, his first individual championships medals in forest disciplines! Also overall World Cup victory, and several other WOC and EOC medals

Story
Matthias Kyburz entered the world orienteering elite in his first senior year with a big bang with victory in the first sprint competition in the 2011 World Cup. From being a sprint specialist in the beginning, he soon started to use his incredible physical abilities to also win long distance races. 2016 was not the first time he won middle distance races on top level, but this time the Swiss won the two most important middle distance races of the year - the EOC and WOC middle distance. He managed to keep a very high performance level during all of the season and in all disciplines - also giving him a clear overall World Cup victory with victories in all disciplines including EOC gold medals in middle and sprint and WOC gold medal in middle!


Tim Robertson

Nominated for
First year senior taking best ever WOC result for a man from New Zealand at WOC sprint, three times Top 10 in the World Cup Sprint, topping it with a 4th place at the World Cup final Sprint.

Story
Halfway through the WOC Middle Distance in 2015 Tim Robertson had a big fall and crawled out of the forest with a dislocated shoulder. He got surgery back in New Zealand in November with the support from orienteers all over the world, and came back to Europe after a long recovery period. His best World Cup results before the 2016 season was a 20th place - in 2016 he was three times in the Top 10: 5th in the World Cup Sprint in Poland, 7th at the European Championships Sprint in Czech Republic, 13th at the WOC Sprint in Sweden and 4th in the World Cup final Sprint in Switzerland. That’s the story of patience, persistance and determination - and of a runner for whom the sky is the limit in the years to come....


Olav Lundanes

Nominated for
The dominant forest orienteer at the World Orienteering Championships with two gold and one silver medal - only some meters in dark green forest from sweeping the table and taking all three forest gold medals. Best championships ever!

Story
Olav Lundanes has been one of the absolute top athletes in forest orienteering since his WOC gold medal in Trondheim in 2010, but never managed to take three medals in a championships before. This time he had excellent performance in all three disciplines, giving him his best championships ever with three medals; gold in long, silver in middle and finally playing a big part in Norway's relay win. An amazing athlete with amazing results.


Norwegian WOC Team

Nominated for
Carl Godager Kaas, Olav Lundanes and Magne Dæhlie took Norway's mens' first WOC gold medal since Japan in 2005 after a impressive performance - running alone in the lead from the second control of the first leg.

Story
The Norwegian men have worked hard to take back the relay throne. After victories in 2004 and 2005, it took 11 long years without victory before Norway was again on top in 2016. The victory was a power demonstration by Norway: Carl Godager Kaas getting a gap early on the first leg, Olav Lundanes running alone in front on the second leg without being caught - and finally Magne Dæhlie letting the other teams get closer for a while - but never close enough. Often the last 10 years Norway has had a strong enough team to win on paper - but relay is all about team performance, and there the Norwegian men excelled this year.


Roman Ciobanu

Nominated for
9th place at the World University Championships sprint is the first Top 10 result in the history of Moldovian orienteering - surprising all organizers, participants and own federation, improving his best previous result, the 55th place in the middle WUOC2014.

Story
Great orienteering achievments is not only about gold medals at the World Orienteering Championships. For a Moldovian orienteer who is not even able to travel to the World Orienteering Championships due to financial reasons, a 9th place at the World Orienteering University Championships is a great personal achievement, and a great achievement for his country. Later he has set another best result for Moldova winning East European Orienteering Championship (Balkan Championship) for the first time in Moldovian men’s elite history.


The annual poll to find the best Orienteering Achievements of the year is organized by the major source for international orienteering news on the Internet – World of O. You can vote for the Orienteering Achievement of 2016 – Men here or by clicking on the image below. 


[Press Release: Orienteering Achievement of 2016 / Jan Kocbach]

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