Saturday, August 27, 2016

WTOC 2016: Slovakia and Sweden got the Relay titles



With the Swedish team showing all its strength, the TrailO Relay had an expected winner in the Paralympic class in the final competition of the 2016 World Trail Orienteering Championships. In the Open class, Slovakia was a wonderful surprise in taking the gold.


The 2016 World Trail Orienteering Championships have come to an end. Returning to the windmill park of Tolvmanstegen, the competitors finally faced a TrailO Relay race, an event being held for the first time ever in WTOC history. Nine teams in the Paralympic class and eighteen in the Open class took part.

Slovakia made trailO history. After some impressive results in the last two years, the Slovakian team of Marian Miklus, Dusan Furucz, Ján Furucz had a perfect race with no mistakes in the 21 tasks, and were quite fast in the timed controls with 102 seconds overall, good enough for the gold. Like Slovakia, Portugal also had a clean race, but were not as fast or accurate enough in the TempO station to get the gold, finishing with 91 seconds more than the winners. However, this was also a historical moment for Portuguese Trail Orienteering – and Portuguese Orienteering in general - getting its best result ever in a world competition. Finland, with 213 seconds, was placed third. Sweden were out of the medals by a short 8.5 seconds, taking fourth place. Norway and Croatia, in fifth and sixth places respectively, closed the podium.

In the Paralympic class, the Swedish team – Inga Gunnarsson, Ola Jansson, Michael Johansson – confirmed its tag as favourite for the gold, winning with the time of 334.5 seconds after one wrong answer in the course’s 21 tasks. Ukraine also missed one task but was far from Sweden in the TempO stations and finished second with 67.5 seconds more than the winners. As in the Open class, Finland took the bronze medal with 423 seconds overall. Russia, the Czech Republic and Latvia took the remaining places on the podium in this order.


Results

Open class
1. Slovakia (Marian Miklus, Dusan Furucz, Ján Furucz) 102 seconds
2. Portugal (Edgar Domingues, Jorge Baltazar, João Pedro Valente) 193 sec
3. Finland (Martti Inkinen, Pinja Mäkinen, Antti Rusanen) 213 sec
4. Sweden (Marit Wiksell, Jens Andersson, Martin Fredholm) 221,5 sec
5. Norway (Sigurd Dæhli, Lars Jakob Waaler, Martin Jullum) 245 sec
6. Croatia (Zdenko Horjan, Tomislav Varnica, Ivo Tisljar) 280 sec

Paralympic class
1. Sweden (Inga Gunnarsson, Ola Jansson, Michael Johansson) 334,5 seconds
2. Ukraine (Iryna Kulikova, Yehor Surkov, Vladislav Vovk 402 sec
3. Finland (Kari Pinola, Tuomo Markelin, Pekka Seppa) 423 sec
4. Russia (Dmitry Dokuchaev, Eduard Oginskii, Pavel Shmatov) 443,5 sec
5. Czech Republic (Pavel Dudik, Bohuslav Hulka, Jana Kostová) 503,5 sec
6. Latvia (Guntis Jakubovskis, Valdis Strods, Andrejs Sulcs) 554,5 sec

Joaquim Margarido

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.


Results

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

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WTOC 2016: Jullum and Shmatov lead the PreO



The beautiful forest of Saltö hosted the PreO competition’s first day. After twenty challenging controls, Martin Jullum and Pavel Shmatov are in the lead of the Open and the Paralympic classes respectively.


The PreO competition of the 13th World Trail Orienteering Championships started today, with a demanding course in the idyllic forest of Saltö, beside the sea. 61 competitors in the Open class and 38 in the Paralympic class faced a really challenging course, with twenty one controls and a bonus three-task timed station. With one control voided, there were eight competitors in the Open class who solved all the tasks successfully, with Martin Jullum, Norway being the fastest in the timed station and so taking the lead. With the first and the seventh competitors 15 seconds apart from each other, Sweden has four athletes in the ‘pole position’ for the decisive day on Friday, including the current European Champion, Stig Gerdtman and the former World Champion, Martin Fredholm. Defending his World title, the Italian Michele Cera is also in the leading group.

In the Paralympic class, the Russian Pavel Shmatov was the only one who answered correctly to all the tasks, having a comfortable two-point lead over three former World Champions: Jana Kostová, Czech Republic (2013), Michael Johansson, Sweden (2014) and Vladislav Vovk, Ukraine (2015). How will Shmatov deal with the pressure? Five years later, the world title is close to return to Russia, but there’s still half of the game to play.


Results

Open class
1. Martin Jullum NOR 20 points/15 seconds
2. Marit Wiksell SWE 20/16
3. Martin Fredholm SWE 20/19
4. Janis Ruksans LAT 20/25
5. Stig Gerdtman SWE 20 / 25.5
6. Ivo Tisljar CRO 20/29.5
7. Michele Cera ITA 20/30
8. Jens Andersson SWE 20/89
9. Pinja Mäkinen FIN 19/18
10. Johanne Biering DEN 19/19.5

Paralympic class
1. Pavel Shmatov RUS 20 points/95 seconds
2. Vladislav Vovk UKR 18/31
3. Michael Johansson SWE 18/33.5
4. Jana Kostová CZE 18/37.5
5. Ola Jansson SWE 17/21.5
6. Søren Saxtorph DEN 17/48.5
7. Yehor Surkov UKR 17/49
8. Arne Ask NOR 16/35
9. Laima Lazinskiene LTU 16/48.5
10. Pekka Seppä FIN 16/110

To see the complete results, please visit the event's webpage at http://live.woc2016.se/blog/2016/08/24/official-preliminary-results-of-day-1/.

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WTOC 2016: Moments (2)



© Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Moments (1)



© Joaquim Margarido

Lars Jakob Waaler: "After thirteen World Championships, I feel great!"



When Lars Jakob Waaler left Trondheim towards Strömstad, his goal was clear. After thirteen presences in many WTOC editions, he wanted a medal. But he didn't expect a gold one. “No I didn't”, he said with a smile, adding: “Not even when I finished my course today, because I made three mistakes. I said to myself that they would have been too many.” As it turns out, Lars was wrong.


He was one of the first to start. Like in the last WTOC, in Croatia, the qualification wasn't what he had expected and the story turned out to be the same. Well, not the same: Last year he finished fourth; this year, he was the first. Could it be an advantage for him to be one of the first to start?, we asked. Lars' answer seems to point that way: “I don't know... It's good to be one of the first to leave because you don't find queues. And maybe the pressure isn't the same. I believe it's worse if you're the 30th to start (laughs). Last year I was also one of the first to start and I had a good race. So, I guess it could be an advantage but I think the most important thing is to reach the final.”

Talking about his course, Lars was expecting “constant changes in the type of tasks and different terrains from station to station”, as it happened. The reason is because “last year, in the Pre-WTOC, it was the same, and I've been in some of Bosse Sandström's events and I know he likes different tasks and different stations. I can say that I was prepared for what happened.”

Now, with the gold on his chest, the feeling is great. “Finally, after thirteen World Championships, I feel great!” And it seems that he's also ready for the next challenge and for the gold in the PreO competition: “I'll certainly fight for the gold again. It will be a different race, lots of competitors will want the same, but I'm one of them and I can do well too.”

The last words are dedicated to his family, who supported him throughout his career, “especially for my father who introduced me to Orienteering and still helps me with the trips, he travels with me... of course, he's part of the medal.”

Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Lars Jakob Waaler is the new TempO World Champion



Lars Jakob Waaler is the new TempO World Champion. After a tight fight, he showed at his best in the thin line that joins time and accuracy, reaching the most expecting medal, the one he was pursuing for thirteen years.


With the overall time of 243,5 seconds, Lars Jakob Waaler, Norway, reached the World title in the TempO competition, hold today in the beautiful surroundings of Strömstad. “Veteran” of the World Trail Orienteering Championships, Waaler did a great race, having behind him two of the most brilliant trail orienteers ever, the Swede Marit Wiksell and the Finn Pinja Makinen, the first TempO World Champion (Vuokatti, 2013). The big surprise came in the fourth place, by the talent of the 19 years old Croatian Iva Lovrec. Remo Madella, Italy, and Kreso Kerestes, Slovenia, closed the podium with the same time. Apart Lars Jakob Waaler, fourth in the last WTOC, this a totally different podium from what we saw in Croatia and even from the recent European Championships, in Jesenik, Czech Republic.

This time, the Finn Antti Rusanen wasn't accurate enough to secure his World title, finishing eighth. The two winners of the qualifications heats, both from Norway, couldn't do better, Sondre Ruud Braten being the thirteenth and Martin Jullum finishing in the 24th position. Also the Czech Pavel Kurfürst, European Champion currently, was behind the expectations, finishing in the 26th place.


Results

1. Lars Jakob Waaler NOR 243,5 seconds
2. Marit Wiksell SWE 256,5
3. Pinja Makinen FIN 262
4. Iva Lovrec CRO 280,5
5. Kreso Kerestes SLO 288
5. Remo Madella ITA 288
7. Lauri Makinen FIN 316,5
8. Antti Rusanen FIN 317,5
9. Michele Cera ITA 319
10. Martin Fredholm SWE 321

Complete results and further information at http://live.woc2016.se/blog/category/wtoc/.

Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Five Finns in the TempO Final



The WTOC 2016 started this morning with the TempO qualification heats. Divided between reds and blues, 72 competitors fought in order to be amongst the 18 best in their heats. In the end, Finland was the most efficient, with all of its 5 competitors getting the ticket to the decisive stage. 15 countries will be represented in the final.


Martin Jullum, Norway, was the fastest and the most accurate, showing that he's here to recover the World title, lost last year to the Finn Antti Rusanen. Rusanen also had a strong race, finishing third in a heat won by another Norwegian competitor, Sondre Ruud Braten.

Finland qualified all its five competitors to the final, with Lauri Makinen, Pinja Makinen, Sami Hyvönen and Anna Jacobson joining Rusanen. Sweden and Norway will also have both their squads of four athletes into the decisive race, which will start at 2 p.m. Croatia, Italy and Slovakia, with three athletes each, the Czech Republic – with the current European Champion, Pavel Kurfürst –, Japan, Great Britain, Portugal and Hong Kong, with two athletes each, will be there to challenge the strongest nations. Finally, Denmark, Slovenia, Lithuania and Latvia will be present with one athlete each.

With four athletes qualified to the TempO final in the last World Championships, Ukraine couldn't reach the final this time and it's, undeniably, the biggest disappointment of the qualifications.


Results

Qualifying Red
1. Martin Jullum NOR 118,5 seconds
2. Pinja Mäkinen FIN 164
3. Martin Fredholm SWE 169
4. Lennart Wahlgren SWE 210
5. Dusan Furucz SVK 219
6. Kreso Kerestes SLO 256
7. Nick Barrable GBR 260,5
8. Anna Jacobson FIN 261
9. Edgar Domingues POR 264
10. Robertas Stankevic LTU 269
11. Tatsuyoshi Koizumi JPN 291
12. Tomislav Varnica CRO 291,5
13. Janis Ruksans LAT 293
14. Michele Cera ITA 294
15. Man Fai Timothy Kwong HKG 294,5
16. Ivo Tisljar CRO 297
17. Lars Jakob Waaler NOR 299
18. Remo Madella ITA 310,5

Qualifying Blue
1. Sondre Ruud Braten NOR 172,5 seconds
2. Alessio Tenani ITA 176
3. Antti Rusanen FIN 186
4. Lauri Makinen FIN 199
5. Marit Wiksell SWE 209
6. Sami Hyvönen FIN 224
7. Sigurd Dæhli NOR 260
8. Pavel Kurfürst CZE 261
9. Jan Furucz SVK 262
10. Johanne Biering DEN 266
11. Kentaro Iwata JPN 267,5
12. Iva Lovrec CRO 284,5
13. Tom Dobra GBR 296
14. Jiri Kalousek CZE 305
15. Erik Stalnacke SWE 308,5
16. João Pedro Valente 316,5
17. Kwok-Wai Cheung HKG 319
18. Marián Miklus SVK 324

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, August 19, 2016

World Trail Orienteering Championships 2016: Step by step



Having gone full circle as it were, the World Trail Orienteering Championships (WTOC) return this year to Sweden, where the very first edition took place. Twelve years ago, Västerås provided the scene for the first great moment of the young Orienteering discipline, bringing together 52 athletes from 17 different countries. Today, Strömstad is ready to host 113 athletes competing under the colours of 22 nations.


WTOC 2016 is about to start, but from the first edition in Västerås in 2004 to the event just ahead of us in Strömstad, much has happened. Above all, Trail Orienteering has consolidated into a discipline with fully established rules and very sound practices, thanks to the unswerving work of those responsible. As a result of these developments, TrailO is now more attractive because it is more competitive, and more people are taking part in TrailO because it is fairer.

In this evolutionary process Strömstad will always be a reference, since here the TrailO Relay format comes in for the first time in the history of the Championships. But also because here, another country will make its debut in the competition. The debut of a country that is in fact also the debut of a whole continent. A continent called Africa and a country called Egypt!


Detailed program

Saturday, 20th August
14:45: Opening Ceremony (Strömstad, Skeppsbroplatsen)

Monday, 22nd August
10:00-15:00: Model Event, TempO + PreO 1 (Strömstad, Saltö)
12:00: Final name entries, TempO
17:00: Team Officials Meeting (Strömstad, Event Center)

Tuesday, 23rd August
09:00: TempO, qualification (Strömstad City)
12:00: Final name entries, PreO
13:00: Welcome ceremony (Strömstad City)
14:00: TempO, final (Strömstad City)
17:00: Flower Ceremony (Strömstad City)
19:00: Team Officials Meeting ( (Strömstad, Event Center)

Wednesday, 24th August
10:00: PreO, day 1 (Strömstad, Saltö)
15:00: PreO, public competition (Strömstad, Saltö)
18:45: Award ceremony TempO (Grebbestad, Sportshoppen)

Thursday, 25th August
10:00-15:00: Model Event, PreO 2 (Tanum, Torseröd)
17:00: team Officials Meeting

Friday, 26th August
10:00: PreO, day 2 (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
15:00: PreO, public competition (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
17:00: Team Officials Meeting (Stömstad, Event Center)
18:45: Award Ceremony PreO (Strömstad, City Park)

Saturday, 27th August
10:00: PreO Relay (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
14:00: Award Ceremony Relay (Strömstad, Tolvmanstegen)
20:00: Athletes party (Strömstad, Nordbyhallen)

Note: All timings are in local time (GMT timezone).

Egypt’s debut

Sweden is the country with the highest representation in WTOC 2016, with six athletes in the Open Class and four in the Paralympic Class. Finland, with nine athletes, and Italy, Japan, Latvia and Ukraine, with seven athletes each, follow Sweden in the list of the most represented. The Swede Martin Fredholm and the Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler feature yet again on TrailO’s big stage, selected for the 13th time in as many editions of the event, the only two to have achieved this. With Tamer Mehanna in the Open Class and Ahmed Shaaban in the Paralympic class, Egypt participates for the first time in the competition, increasing to thirty-four the number of countries that have participated in the WTOC so far. But this is a historic debut for a second reason, since Egypt is the first African country to participate in the competition. After three years of absence the Netherlands is back, represented again by Mark Heikoop, who achieved a brilliant 6th place in 2012 in the championships held in Dundee, Scotland.

As in 2015, the Dane Johanne Biering and the US David Irving provide the extremes in age range, she 15 years old, he 77. The younger block also includes the Dane Karoline Saxtorph Schulz (15 years old) and the Spaniard Jorge Valente Barrera (16), both making their first appearance in the competition. Towards the other extreme there is the North American Sharon Crawford, who at the age of 72 is participating in her 9th WTOC in a row. Also Inga Gunnarsson, Sweden is a WTOC veteran on several accounts, completing at the age of 69 her 6th presence in the World Championships; her bronze medal in 2011 (Savoie, France) is the most significant moment of her career so far.

Terrain

Model 1 and PreO 1
Saltö
1:4000 , E=2,5 m, ISOM.
Mapper: Göran Olsson.
Pine forest with detailed curving. End of course: shore terrain with bare rock. Good hard forest path with roots appearing.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚52’27,0’’N 11˚8’7,0’’E

TempO
Strömstad City
1:4000, E= 2,5 m, ISSOM.
Mapper: Maths Carlsson.
Park and forest terrain. Paved roads with some steep parts.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚56’27,2’’N 11˚11’33,0’’E.

Model 2
Torseröd
1:4000, E=2,5 m, ISOM.
Mapper: Göran Olsson.
Windmill park with open pine forest. Partly rough dirt road.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚47’26,4’’N 11˚15’12,5’’E

PreO 2 and Relay
Tolvmanstegen
1:4000, E=2,5 m, ISOM.
Mapper Göran Olson.
Windmill park with sparse pine trees, mostly bare rock with moss, heather and marshes. Good dirt road, with some steep parts.
Coordinates: WG S84 58˚53’40,9’’N 11˚25’5,6’’E.


Useful information

Classes for PreO
• Open class is open for all.
• Paralympic class. Only competitors who have a permanent disability that significantly reduces
their mobility and have an official IOF certificate confirming this are eligible to be entered for the paralympic class.
• In TempO there is only one class, open for all.

TrailO Relay
Each Federation may nominate one team in each class, Open and Paralympic. The team consists of three members.
The principle for TrailO Relay 2016 will be that each team member solves seven controls. The competitors on leg one and two are free to choose which ones.
Leg three solves the seven remaining controls. All three legs have one timed station.

Zero tolerance
If there is a flag on wrong place on correct object, the distance is substantial. If the flag is on wrong object the distance is substantially smaller, and we are talking in terms of meter and not decimeter. It is also zero if the control description say otherwise, for instance opposite side of point feature, or if the control description says corner of house and the flag sits clearly on the side.

For further information, please visit the Event's website, at http://www.woc2016.se/en/.

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Emily Kemp: "My job is to do my best orienteering from start to finish"



With all attentions already focused on Strömstad, where within four days the World Orienteering Championships will start, we take note of Emily Kemp's goals. Small in stature but huge in will, the Canadian athlete talks about her improvement in the recent years and how she sees the participation in what will be her 5th presence in the most important competition of the international calendar.


When, in November 2012, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog published an interview with you, I was far from imagine that this would become the most viewed post ever in the blog's history. In this interview [which can be read HERE], you talked about your trip to France to join Thierry Gueorgiou 's training group, the bronze medal at JWOC 2012 and the great challenge you faced at that time, the transition to the Elite. And you stated, without hesitation: "I take advantage of every opportunity I get." Do you still keep the same attitude towards life and the opportunities that are emerging?

Emily Kemp (E. K.) - I had to smile when I read through my answers to your questions four years ago. Already back then I had realized that I had difficulties taking my foot off the gas pedal when it came to training but I think I’m still in the learning process even now! I love pushing the limits when I’m training and thankfully I’m starting to have enough experience to differentiate between when I can push myself and when I should be taking a step back. I still love what I do and I still get as much happiness from new experiences and challenges that enable me to grow as an athlete and as a human being.

When you look back to that precise moment, what idea came immediately to your mind?

E. K. - If you’re referring to the JWOC bronze medal, then funnily enough, I was just thinking back to that race a few days ago. I was remembering my feelings before the start and what emerged was almost a sort of innocence and naivety. I had known that I had prepared well for the terrain in Slovakia and I was just so eager to get back out into the forest and orienteer as cleanly as possible. There had been no expectations for results or pressure for winning a medal; it was just me trying to contain my excitement before going out to play my favourite sport. It’s been important for me to remember what that felt like so that I don’t get caught up in my own expectations and those of others. If I could get that feeling before every race, then I know that I would be doing something right.

What are the differences between the Emily in 2012 and the Emily now?

E. K. - In 2014 I moved countries once again to Turku, Finland in order to take my orienteering one step further and train full-time in Nordic terrain. It was difficult to say goodbye to all the wonderful people I had met in France and to a place that I had come to call home but I knew that it was something that I had to do if I wanted to continue developing as an orienteer. And after two years in Finland I do feel like I’m growing into the Emily that I’m supposed to be.

During this time, what results in particular do you recall?

E. K. - My 11th place in the Middle at WOC in Italy was an important moment for me to realize that I was getting closer to the top women in the world but that I still needed a bit more work to really close the gap. WOC last year in Scotland was also a big learning experience as to how much my mental preparedness can really affect my races.

Recently, it was possible to see you competing in the European Orienteering Championships, achieving excellent results. How do you evaluate your current shape?

E. K. - I think that I took a big step physically this winter. I was trying really hard to listen to my body and when I felt good then I gave it my all and when I felt tired then I took the rest that I needed. For me it’s been a gradual progression of my physical shape through the years of training. It was a big surprise when the competition season started and my name was higher up on the result list than usual. One thing that doesn’t really change no matter what shape you are in is the pain you have to endure when pushing full speed in the forest!

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?

E. K. - I’ve been paying a lot of attention to the progression of my specific technical, physical and mental goals throughout the training and competition season. Every training had a particular objective and I made sure to follow through afterwards to know what was a success and what I still needed to work on. I was able to fine-tune a lot of my routines and gain confidence in my abilities before competing. I’ve also been doing a lot of meditation which helps to keep my thoughts from racing around and to bring my focus back to the task at hand while orienteering.

The World Orienteering Championships are approaching. What is your biggest challenge, and how do you try to manage this challenge?

E. K. - As the World Champs have been getting closer and closer I’ve quickly realized that my biggest challenge is myself. Every race I ran this season I was running as if it were a WOC race which helped me to practice performing under pressure. I haven’t run any competitions in the last two months and all of a sudden I started obsessing: “The real World Champs are coming! What do I do now?!” It’s been a good lesson to remember that orienteering will always just be orienteering no matter whether it’s a small regional race or WOC. I’ve also had to work hard on being able to let go of whatever my expectations are, to realize that I can’t control the results of other competitors and that my job is to do my best orienteering from start to finish.

What kind of Championships are you expecting and how do you set your goals?

E. K. - I’ve spent a lot of time in the terrain around Strömstad, Sweden (home of WOC 2016) and I really love it there. I’m hoping for some great challenges physically and technically. It feels like a terrain that really requires one’s utmost attention and ability to react and adapt; to find the fastest routes and execute them with confidence. After all the trainings and races I’ve done in the area I’ve been able to set out my technical, physical and mental goals that I need to focus on in each race.

What would be your ultimate achievement?

E. K. - If I’m able to bring my excitement for orienteering to the start line, if I can be focused on my goals and the task ahead during my warmup, if I can stand at the -1min line and remember that I know what to do and that all I need to do is take the map and do it, if I can keep my concentration on my own race right to the finish line then that’s all I can do and the rest isn’t up to me… but a little luck helps too!

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, August 15, 2016

Falco Cup 2016: Jullum and Vovk were the winners



Two wins and a third place gave to Martin Jullum the victory in the Falco Cup 2016 overall. Remo Madella won one stage, finishing second. Vladislav Vovk got the win in the Paralympic class.


During the weekend, took place in Druskininkai, Lithuania, the Falco Cup 2016. Preceding the World Trail Orienteering Championships WTOC 2016, the event brought together 86 competitors from 15 countries, offering a rich and varied program that included one TrailO Relay, one TempO stage and two PreO stages, the latter scoring for the Unofficial European Cup in Trail Orienteering 2016.

With six timed stations of four tasks each, the TempO stage had in the Italian Remo Madella (Vivaio Ori) the big winner with a total of 205 seconds. Madella did no mistakes throughout the race, compensating a relative lack of speed with a remarkable accuracy. With an average of nearly two seconds faster than Madella in the course's 24 tasks, the Swedish Lennart Wahlgren (Rehns BK) turned out to get a 60 second penalty, equivalent to two incorrect answers, finishing 13 seconds after Madella. In the third position, with 21 more seconds than the winner, stayed the Norwegian Martin Jullum (Halden SK), penalized in 30 seconds due to a wrong answer.


Jullum wins also the TrailO Relay

In the PreO competition, Jullum didn't give any chances to his opponents, being the most accurate and also faster in the two-stage race. With 21 points out of 23 and the incredible time of 10 seconds in the three-task timed station, Jullum ended the first day in the lead, having behind him the Slovak Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava), the British Charles Bromley Gardner (BAOC) and the Czech Libor Forst (VŠSK MFF UK Praha), with the same points but weaker performances on the timed station. On the second day Jullum was, once again, the most accurate, being the only competitor to reach 22 points, again with two wrong answers. The Norwegian Sigurd Dæhli (Løten OL), the Ukrainian Mykola Opanasenko (OSK Prolisok), Ján Furucz and Remo Madella finished by this order in the following positions, with less one point. The conversion in seconds of the results achieved in the two PreO stages and the resulting sum of the times of the three stages, showed Martin Jullum as the big winner in the Open Class of Falco Cup 2016 with 486 seconds, less 194 seconds than Madella and less 254 than Dæhli, second and third placed, respectively.

As Jullum, the Ukrainian Vladislav Vovk (Ukraina) won also two of the three stages and was the winner of Falco Cup 2016 in the Paralympic class. Current PreO World Champion, Vovk opened the competition in the best way with the fastest time among the 25 competitors in the TempO stage. The Lithuanian Laima Lažinskiene (Kaunas RSK) won the first stage of PreO with two points more than Vovk, but the Ukrainian rectified in the final stage of the program, winning with a point ahead of the Latvian Guntis Jakubovskis and three points on Lažinskiene. Overall, Vovk was the big winner with a total of 1456 seconds, against 1639 seconds from Jakubovskis, second, and 1841 seconds from Laima Lažinskiene, who finished third.

Final note for the TrailO Relay, held last Friday and attended by 23 teams. Three teams finished with a total of 29 points, with the Norwegians Sigurd Dæhli, Geir Myhr Øien and Martin Jullum to be faster in the timed controls and taking the victory. The second place went to a mixed team composed by the Japanese Noritoshi Matsuhashi and the Swedish Ola Wiksell and Martin Fredholm, while the third position went to Ukraine with Mykola Opanasenko, Anton Puhovkin and Vitaliy Kyrychenko.


Results

Open class
1. Martin Jullum (Halden SK, NOR) 486 seconds
2. Remo Madella (Vivaio Ori, ITA) 680 seconds
3. Sigurd Dæhli (Løten OL, NOR) 740 seconds
4. Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava, SVK) 748 seconds
5. Martin Fredholm (OK Linné, SWE) 792 seconds
6. Geir Myhr Øien (Ringsaker OK, NOR) 832 seconds

Paralympic class
1. Vladislav Vovk (Ukraina, UKR) 1456 seconds
2. Guntis Jakubovskis (IADC Ausma, LAT) 1639 seconds
3. Laima Lažinskiene (Kaunas RSK, LTU) 1841 seconds
4. Nataliia Salakhova (Ekaterinburg, RUS) 1905 seconds
5. Andrejs Šulcs (OSKB Leonardo, LAT) 2061 seconds
6. Vladimir Troian (Rostov-on-Don, RUS) 2162 seconds

Junior class
1. Romas Bazelis (RASKK Vilniaus SM, LTU) 1989 seconds
2. Kristaps Mierlauks (TSK Spriditis, LAT) 2377 seconds
3. Rimantas Stanaitis (RASKK Vilniaus SM, LTU) 2601 seconds

Complete results and further information at http://wtoc2017.lt/2015/07/31/pre-wtoc2017/.

[Archive photo]

Joaquim Margarido
  

Veronika Kubinová: A moment, a comment...



Relay in Portugal was the most emotional race I’ve ever had. Everyone was talking about my fourth gold medal and thought it was impossible. My girls were a little nervous so I tried to spread a good mood. I love relay - it’s all team’s fight. You share your feelings and it doesn’t matter if you fail or if you win.

I wanted to race so much. With three gold medals, I was absolutely calm. I didn’t feel any pain after the previous races – still felt strong. I started 33 seconds behind the first Russia relay. Just few meters after the start I made a huge mistake as most of athletes did. I thought that my fight for the first place was gone. “Never mind, keep calm and enjoy the race, that’s all you have to”, I told to myself. Then my race was fast and without mistakes. On spectators section, the Czech people were loudly shouting. That was the first moment when I realized that we could be the first at the arrival. It was true! I was on the last control and everyone was clapping hands. “Is it real? Am I the first? Am I? Am I?” I couldn’t understand it. I had to ask our coach who shouted: “You are the first, go!”. Then I saw the finish line and my girls who enthusiastically waited. I used all my power. We made it, they made it, I made it! I happily hugged girls and enjoyed the moment. I felt excited and relaxed. For me this victory means a lot!

[As for the other races] Before the Sprint distance I wasn’t nervous, just the opposite, I was mentally calm. It was hard to move fast in the heat. But Sprint is only about 18 minutes so I didn’t wait and I rode as hard as I could right from the start. I made one small mistake when the terrain changed from forest to urban. But still I was enough fast to achieve my first gold medal. I was delighted and I was looking for the next races. In the morning of the Middle distance, I saw thick fog over the window which mean colder weather. It was great for me. I knew that was my chance to sell my power. Again I made one mistake to the last control and I had to run with my bike because there was steep hill. After this mistake I tried to go as faster as possible and my legs nearly died. Few minutes later I realized that my mistake wasn’t a mistake and I happily won again. What can I say about Long Distance? It was hard work all the time. There was so many crossroads... I lost about 1,5 minutes but no bigger mistakes. Actually I think I wasn’t as fast as the previous races but no mistakes showed me the next view from the podium as a champion. Third gold medal? Wow, it's more than I’ve dreamed.

An amazing week in Portugal is over and I keep so many beautiful memories. Thank you “orange machine”.


Veronika Kubinová, Czech Republic
2016.07.30 – JWMTBOC 2016, Mealhada, Portugal

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Night Hawk 2016: Maps


Map Men 1-2 Night
Map Men 3 Night
Map Men 4 Night
Map Men 5 Day
Map Men 6-7 Day
Map Men 8 Day
Map Women 1-2 Night
Map Women 3 Night
Map Women 4 Day
 Map Women 5 Day
Map Women 6 Day

Joaquim Margarido

Lars Jakob Waaler: "You need to have skills in map reading and patience to enjoy trail-o"



Tall, robust, and with a long beard reminding one of the good old Vikings, the Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler is one of the most charismatic figures in the small world of Trail Orienteering. His appointment as IOF Senior Event Adviser for the European Trail Orienteering Championships ETOC 2016 is one of the main topics of this review; we also make known some of the moments that made him the trail orienteer he is today. And we look forward to the near future: the competitions to be played out in Strömstad in Sweden next week.


I would start by asking you to present yourself. Who is Lars Jakob Waaler?

Lars Jakob Waaler (L. J. W.) - I am 48 years old, soon 49. I live in Trondheim, in the middle of Norway. I work as a teacher. The only hobby I have the time for, at the moment, is trail-o.

How did Orienteering come to your life?

L. J. W. - My dad was an orienteer when he was young. So, he was the one that took me and my brothers to orienteering. When we were small, we went at "tur-o", which is a permanent course set for all summer. Then you can take as many controls as you like on one day and take more on another day. A very good way to get out in the forest and to start training map reading. When I was 9, I ran my first foot-o competition. The first years I mixed Orienteering with other sports, such as Athletics, Cross Country and Biathlon. But Orienteering became the main sport.

And what about Trail Orienteering? Was there a particular moment, a “click”, when you said to yourself: “That's it, Trail Orienteering is my sport!”?

L. J. W. - I had my trail-o debut in O-festivalen 2003. My parents already have already done trail-o so they suggested that I should try it out. I have always been a better map reader than runner, so they thought that it would suit me. I did quite well in the first couple of competitions and I found it challenging and fun. In 2004, the first WTOC was going to be organised in Sweden, so I wanted to be there. I managed to get into the Norwegian team and have been there ever since. And from that moment trail-o took over more and more as my main orienteering discipline. The last years I have only competed in trail-o.

A friend tells you that Trail Orienteering is “too boring”. What do you have to say?

L. J. W. - I can understand that some people think that. I ask them to try it before they make up their opinion. But I can see that it goes to slow for some people. You need to have skills in map reading and patience to enjoy trail-o. I think that temp-o can can be exciting for some of the people that think pre-o is too slow.

I believe that, along with Martin Fredholm, you're the only competitor present in all editions of World Trail Orienteering Championships. Could you remember two or three strong moments since Västerås, in 2004?

L. J. W. - My best moment in the WTOC was in France 2011 when I won my, so far, only medal (silver) in the team competition, together with Martin Jullum and Arne Ask. Last year in Croatia I was fourth in the temp-o competition. In pre-o I have been fifth in the Czech Republic in 2008 and sixth in Finland in 2006.

Last May, we could see you in Jeseník, Czech Republic, in “the other side of the fence”, playing the role of European Trail Orienteering Championships' IOF Senior Event Adviser. How do you rate the experience from a personal point of view?

L. J. W. - I feel that it was a good experience for me. It’s good and educational to see the sport from new angles, and hopefully I have learnt something that I can use in my competitions in the future.

How hard was your work next the organizing team?

L. J. W. - It was a lot of work. We were on our feet from early morning until late in the evening, but I think the nature of TrailO requires that you put in such an amount of work. There are a lot of details to check every day. All kites, decision points and other details have to be checked and double checked to get the best competition. “We were a small team, which meant that we maybe had to work harder. Tomáš Leštínský and Pavel Dudik worked all the time during the week, and we also had a lot of volunteers who put in many hours out on the courses. It was also very good to have John Kewley as an assistant SEA. It’s very good to have someone to discuss things with. An extra pair of eyes on things is very useful. It also gave us the chance to divide some of the jobs, so that we could manage everything.

Competitors said that ETOC lived “on the shadow” of EOC and didn't exist from a media point of view. Do you feel, somehow, responsible for that? What would you recommend to avoid this kind of situation in the future?

L. J. W. - I think there's both good and bad things about being together. When we are together it gives us a possibility to show our discipline to new people. It also increases the possibility to be shown in the media. But we will be in the background of the EOC. I think that if we had been alone we would have had a larger group of organisers dedicated to trail-o, which would have helped. Finally we had Tomas and Pavel who organised everything.

If you had the power to “rewind the story”, would you do something different now?

L. J. W. - Not any major things that I have in my thoughts for the moment. There is always some small details that you can change to make things better.

The next big challenge it's called World Trail Orienteering Championships, in Strömstad. What are your main goals?

L. J. W. - My goal for the Championships is to get an individual medal, since that is what is missing in my collection,

What kind of event are you expecting?

L. J. W. - I am expecting a good and well organised competition, since the Swedes are very experienced at organising competitions like this. I think the courses will be varied and good from what I have seen from Bosse Sandstrom in the past. I know he has put a lot of work into this event to make good competitions for us.

Who will be your main adversaries?

L. J. W. - I don't think to much about other stuff in front of competitions. You have to beat the ones that has entered if you want to win. The terrain is the same for everybody and I can't change it, I just have to do the best out of what I got. The same for the weather, I just try to prepare for the weather that is.

How do you evaluate the current Trail Orienteering moment?

L. J. W. - Since I started doing trail-o there has been a big development of the discipline. The way to make the problems today has changed a lot from the first years. I think to the better, because today most of the problems are on map reading. It is also good to see that more countries has come into the discipline. We are still a young discipline, developing every year.

Is there a key to call people's attention on Trail Orienteering and its beauty?

L. J. W. - If such key exists, we still haven't found it here in Norway. Because then we would have had more recruitment to trail-o. But we need to be visible for others. I feel that when we get people to try trail-o a lot of them enjoy it, it is just very hard to get them to try.

If you had the power, would you change something in the Trail Orienteering rules?

L. J. W. - I have no special rules that I want to change for the moment. But it is of course important to look for things to make the competitions better and more fair.

What do you think about the future? Are we going to see you doing Trail orienteering for many years?

L. J. W. - I want to compete in TrailO, hopefully at the highest level, as long as I enjoy it. I have no big plans for how long I will keep on, but TrailO is a discipline that you can continue with until old age.

Would you like to share with us your biggest dream?

L. J. W. - I'm not a big dreamer. In TrailO it would be to get my first individual WTOC medal.

Joaquim Margarido
  

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Night Hawk 2016: Nydalens SK and NTNUI are the winners



With victories in Men and Women classes, respectively, the Norwegian teams of Nydalens SK and NTNUI were the great names of the Night Hawk relay's fourth edition.


The surroundings of the Norwegian capital, Oslo, hosted the fourth edition of the Night Hawk. With the participation of 189 teams, the race saw the Norwegian teams of Nydalens SK and NTNUI reaching the victories in the Men and Women classes, respectively. In the Men class, the Nydalens SK settled things already in the third leg, with Øystein Sørensen to escape from their opponents and an expressive advantage of 8:35 over the second team classified, the Sävedalens AIK. Finishing the night segment with a 6:22 lead over the Södertälje-Nykvarn Orientering and 7:09 on the Halden SK, Nydalens SK's athletes were able to handle the pressure from their opponents in the chasing start, finishing with an overall time of 6:17:16. Ikkalisten Nousev-Voima and Sävedalens AIK were ranked second and third, respectively, with more 8:42 and 9:51 than the winners.

The women's race was held in a more balanced way, with three different teams to lead at the end of each of the three legs of the night segment. With half of the race to contest, the lead belonged to Byåsen IL with 8 seconds on the NTNUI and 2:51 on Frol IL. In the daytime segment things began to be defined in the 4th leg, with NTNUI to reach an advantage of more than 1 minute, later extended to 5:58 in the 5th leg, to finish with a lead of 1:32 over the team of Halden SK, second placed. The third position went to Fredrikstad SK, with 3:03 more than the winners.

Fossum IL, Nydalens SK, Asker Skiklubb and Kongsberg OL also deserve a note, by winning the Mastermen, Masterwomen, Boys and Girls classes, respectively.


Results

Men
1. Nydalens SK (Håverd Haga, Anders Vister, Øystein Sørensen, Anders Nordberg, Eirik Langedal Breivik) 6:17:16 (+ 00:00)
2. Ikkalisten Nouseva-Voima (Aleksi Karppinen, Ville Parkkinen, Vesa Taanila, Eetu Savolainen, Olli-Markus Taivanen, Mikko Knuuttila) 6:25:59 (+ 08:42)
3. Sävedalens AIK (Johan Wikström, Sergey Fedatsenka, Marcus Millegård, Andrey Salin, Jonas Palm) 6:27:07 (+ 09:51)
4. Ärla IF (Emil Andersson, Viktor Silvemark, Robbin Kantarp, Petter Eriksson) 6:28:08 (+ 10:51)
5. Fredrikstad SK (Herman Ryen Martinsen, Christian Riddervold Kahrs, Håvard Lucasen, Hans Petter Mathisen, Audun Bjerkreim Nilsen, Mattias Karlsson) 6:28:36 (+ 11:19)

Women
1. NTNUI (Maren Jansson Haverstad, Linn Hokholt, Sigrid Alexandersen, Linn Hokholt, Audhild Bakken Rognstad) 4:49:59 (+ 00:00)
2. Halden SK (Bodil Helgerud, Hanna Haugen Nordbrøden, Kine Hallan Steiwer, Lizzie Ingham, Hollie Orr) 4:51:32 (+ 01:32)
3. Fredrikstad SK (Mia Mathisen Bekhus, Marie Olaussen, Emma Johansson, Marir Kahrs, Heidi Østild Bagstevold) 4:53:03 (+ 03:03)
4. Nydalens SK (Ragne Wiklund, Anine Ahlsand, Malin Sørensen, Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg) 4:58:11 (+ 08:12)
5. Byåsen IL (Ragnhild Eide, Emma Arnesen, Ingeborg Eide) 5:03:56 (+ 13:57)

Complete results and further information at http://nighthawk.no/.

[Photo: Aapo Laiho / nighthawk.no]

Joaquim Margarido