Friday, September 30, 2016

MTBO World Cup 2016: Definitely Emily!



Lauri Malroos and Emily Benham won the Long Distance stage that opened the final round of the MTB Orienteering World Cup 2016. With this result, Benham dissipates the doubts about the Women Elite's overall winner, reaching the title for the third year in a row.


Physically, one of the toughest races ever of the World Cup”. “Highly technical, demanding full focus from start to finish”. “Absolutely fun”. The athletes' reactions after finishing their couldn't be more expressive. The final round of the MTB Orienteering World Cup's first stage was as everybody already expected: demanding, demanding, demanding... and a great fun. The best MTB Orienteering was in today's late morning and afternoon in Kleboniškis, with 63 Men and 44 Women Elite bikers taking the challenge of great courses. For great achievements!

In the Men Elite class, everything was solved in a few minutes. Even knowing that the best runners were still in the forest, the Dane Rasmus Folino Nielsen was a surprising leader for almost one hour. The Czech Vojtech Stransky was the first to getting close to the 135 minute barrier but his leadership just last for 5 seconds (!) when Ruslan Gritsan, Russia, scored a new best time with 2:12:19. The winning time would be established a few minutes later by the Estonian Lauri Malsroos that spent 2:09:09 to complete the 32,025 km of his course. An unexpected victory, at least to Malsroos: “No, I didn't expect to win. I was expecting a really technically demanding course which I could confirm when I first saw the map.” Then, action time under a particular strategy: “The main thing was to keep a smooth orienteering and not to make any big mistakes. This was the key to win today.” Rating the course, Malsroos is quite objective: “It was an interesting race. The middle part was a little boring, in general quite easy, but the first couple of controls and especially the last ten controls, were really fun, with a lot of small tracks asking for an intense map reading. I was able to avoid mistakes here and could get the win.” The Estonian is now, more than ever, in the fight for the World Cup's top places: “I feel good and really motivated for the next stages.”

In the Women Elite, the British Emily Benham did an amazing race from start to finish, catching her most close opponent, the French Gaelle Barlet, still in the first half of the race. This was one of the most important moments of today's Long Distance, opening to Benham the winning doors, both in the stage and in the World Cup overall. “I'm incredibly satisfied with my race today. I could get Gaelle Barlet already at the ninth control and I knew that, as long as we stayed together, the overall World Cup title would be mine. I took some time smiling and celebrating the moment and then time to refocus on the map and carry on with the race trying to win”, said the British in the end. And so it was. Emily finished first with the time of 2:00:50, against 2:04:04 and 2:04:31 from Svetlana Poverina, Russia, and Barlet, second and third, respectively. Is getting two more victories Emily's goal for the next races? She answers: “Yes, it would be very nice to win the next two races but the results are a reflection of the performances and the skills you need to get there. So, I have to go home now, refocus on tomorrow's race and trying to win again.”


Results

Men Elite
1. Lauri Malsroos (Estonia) 2:09:09 (+ 00:00)
2. Ruslan Gritsan (Russia) 2:12:19 (+ 03:10)
3. Krystof Bogar (Czech Republic) 2:14:13 (+ 05:04)
4. Vojtech Stransky (Czech Republic) 2:15:14 (+ 06:05)
5. Baptiste Fuchs (France) 2:15:17 (+ 06:08)
5. Grigory Medvedev (Russia) 2:15:17 (+ 06:08)

Women Elite
1. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 2:00:50 (+ 00:00)
2. Svetlana Poverina (Russia) 2:04:06 (+ 03:16)
3. Gaelle Barlet (France) 2:04:31 (+ 03:41)
4. Antonia Haga (Finland) 2:06:36 (+ 05:46)
5. Ursina Jaeggi (Switzerland) 2:07:41 (+ 06:51)
6. Ruska Saarela (Finland) 2:08:36 (+ 07:46)

Time tomorrow for the Middle Distance race at Panemuné, on the south bank of Nemunas River. The start will be at 10:00. Everything can be followed at http://www.mtbo.lt/.


Joaquim Margarido

MTBO World Cup 2016: Moments (2)



© Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, September 29, 2016

MTBO World Cup 2016: Ready for the start!



Carefully prepared to ensure for all participants an unforgettable experience, the final round of the World Cup in Mountain Bike Orienteering 2016 began today with the Opening Ceremony, its first big moment. Many of the 350 competitors from 24 nations paraded through the old town of Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, lending it brightness and colour.


Australia opened and Lithuania closed the parade from the Event Centre to the Town Hall Square, brightening the streets of Kaunas in the mid-afternoon. There were many Masters and Elite athletes who came to join the Opening Ceremony under their respective flags, leaving a note of appreciation to the hard-working organisation of a country hosting, for the first time ever, the great world names of MTB orienteering.

This is a unique opportunity for the Lithuanian Orienteering Federation to present this exciting discipline, one year prior to the World MTB Orienteering Championships to be held in the country’s capital, Vilnius. And it is with eyes on 2017 that the Lithuanian Gabrielė Keinaitė Andrašiūnienė talks about this event: “It’s really nice to have all the best riders in the world here, but I believe this is really just preparation for next year’s World Championships in Vilnius.” Whilst looking forward to Vilnius, Gabrielė keeps her focus on the next days’ competitions and adds: “I’m really excited about them. The terrain suits me, there are no big climbs, there’s a dense track network and I believe it will be quite fun.” In her first year in the Elite, Gabrielė shares her goal: “I’m aiming for the top 20. I believe that I have good chances for reaching such a position, but I’m sure that next year I and all my team mates will be going for the top 10.”

After winning four gold medals in the recent Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships, the Czech rider Veronika Kubinova will have her first competition ever in the Elite in Kaunas. This afternoon she was the participant with the biggest smile, and she had good reasons for that: “I’m absolutely excited. One week ago, the national coach invited me to come to Lithuania. I haven’t trained for these races and I really don’t know what to expect in my first time in this category.” Another thing Veronika doesn’t know is how big the step is from Junior to Elite, but … “After the races I’ll know,” she says with a big laugh. She is also looking forward to the next World Championships: “I’m happy to be here because I have the chance to see the terrain.” But for now it’s time to think about the competitions: “I believe that my biggest chance is in the Sprint. Many route choices, a demanding course … yes, I believe that I can do well, maybe a top 15.”

Tomorrow it will be time for the first stage, a demanding Long Distance race at Kleboniškis. The Masters will start at 09:30 a.m. and the Elite at 11:30. Everything can be followed at http://www.mtbo.lt/.

[Photos from the Opening Ceremony can be seen at https://plus.google.com/photos/108054301526873509793/albums/6335782402473617793]

Joaquim Margarido

MTBO World Cup 2016: Moments (1)



© Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Autumn TrailO: Home winning of Krešo Keresteš



Krešo Keresteš was the big winner of the Autumn TrailO, event that called to Trzin, Slovenia, a total of 28 participants from four countries. With the Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trophy 2016 close to its end, the Italian Remo Madella keeps the lead.


Important axis of TrailO worldwide, Slovenia attended last weekend an important event. Trzin, Slovenia, was the epicentre of all emotions, with a TempO stage held in the city and a PreO stage in the mountains of Kamniška Bistrica, north of Trzin. Both stages scored for the Autumn TrailO, which hosted also the Slovenian PreO Championships 2016, being organized by the local club OK Trzin. The last stage (PreO) scored for the Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trophy 2016.

TrailO's great reference and 5th ranked in the TempO Final of the recent World Trail Orienteering Championships (Strömstad, Sweden), the Slovenian Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin) was the winner of the first day, finishing the TempO stage with a total of 182 seconds, corresponding to the total time spent in the five timed stations, without penalty. In a stage that had Mateja Keresteš as the course setter, the Croatian Ivica Bertol and Tomislav Varnica, both representing OK Vihor, finished in the following positions, with over 60 seconds and 72 seconds, respectively, than the winner. Drawn by Marco Giovannini, the PreO stage that ended the event saw four athletes complete the race with equal score, counting by correct answers the 20 control points of the course. Fastest in the timed controls, the Italian Renato Bettin (Orienteering Swallows) was the big winner with 20 seconds and an advantage of 6 seconds over Ivica Bertol, again second placed. The Croatian Dalibor Perković finished in the third position and Krešo Keresteš was ranked fourth. Thanks to the results achieved, Krešo Keresteš could celebrate the achievement of the Slovenian PreO title.

With just two rounds of the Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trophy 2016 to go - 13th Feud Cup, Croatia and the Slovenian TempO Championships -, the Italian Remo Madella (Vivaio) remains firmly in the lead of the ranking with 591.98 points, but he saw his most direct opponents come closer after the Slovenian stage. With 582.31 points, Ivica Bertol follows now in the second place while the third place is owned by Tomislav Varnica with 580.90 points.


Results

TempO (24.09.2016)
1. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin) 182 seconds
2. Ivica Bertol (OK Vihor) 242 seconds
3. Tomislav Varnica (OK Vihor) 254 seconds
4. Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava) 258 seconds
5. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut) 274 seconds

PreO (25.09.2016)
1. Renato Bettin (Orienteering Swallows) 20 points / 20 seconds
2. Ivica Bertol (OK Vihor) 20 points / 26 seconds
3. Dalibor Perković (OK Medimurje) 20 points / 94 seconds
4. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin) 20 points / 97 seconds
5. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut) 19 points / 19 seconds

Overall
1. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin) 198,64 points
2. Ivica Bertol (OK Vihor) 195,34 points
3. Tomislav Varnica (OK Vihor) 189,67 points
4. Renato Bettin (Orienteering Swallows) 189,15 points
5. Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava) 188,39 points

Complete results and further information at http://www.oktrzin-klub.si/sl/dp-preo-2016.html.

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

CamBOr 2016: Sousa and Chiles win last round



Sidnaldo Farias de Sousa and Franciely De Siqueira Chiles were the big winners of the final round of CamBOr 2016 – Brazilian Orienteering Championships - Itamar Torrezam, which took place this weekend in the capital, Brazilia. The two athletes recorded victories in both stages, closing the best way the major Brazilian competition of the season.


The Brazilian Orienteering Confederation (CBO), the Federal District Orienteering Federation (FO-DF), the College of Orienteering Club Militar of Brazilia (COMIB), Tiradentes Orienteering Club (COTI) and Rocha’s Orienteering Club (COR), carried out last weekend the 3rd and final round of the 18th Brazilian Orienteering Championships - Itamar Torrezam. With one stage scoring for the IOF World Ranking, in the last day of competition, the event called to Brazilia close to four hundred and fifty competitors, representing 57 clubs.

In the competitive program, the event was hardly contested, showing Sidnaldo Farias de Sousa (ADAAN) and Franciely De Siqueira Chiles (COSM) as the big winners in the Elite category. In the Long Distance stage that filled the competitive program on Saturday, Farias de Sousa was the fastest to finish the 9.7 km of his course in 1:11:38. Only 47 seconds after the winner, Cleber Baratto Vidal (COSM) was second while the third place fell to Leandro Pereira Pasturiza (COSaM). Farias de Sousa would return to the victories in the last day of competition, taking the first place in the WRE Middle Distance stage with a time of 48:24, again with a thin advantage of just 37 seconds for the second place that belonged to Leandro Pasturiza. Julian Pasturiza (COSaM) finished the race in the third position, with 56 seconds more than the winner. With this results, Leandro Pereira Pasturiza was able to keep the good advantage in the Brazilian ranking at the start for the decisive round, revalidating the title of Brazilian Orienteering Champion, which happens for the third year in a row. And for the seventh time in his career so far.

Separated in the Ranking by just four points at the start for this round, Franciely De Siqueira Chiles (COSM) and Leticia Saltori (ADAAN) staged two extraordinary duels, in both cases favorable to Chiles. Nearly five minutes ahead of Saltori in the Long Distance and about two and a half minutes in the Middle Distance allowed to Franciely De Siqueira Chiles get the necessary points to cancel the disadvantage to her most direct opponent, winning the Brazilian Orienteering Champion Brazil for the second time in her career, after the triumph in the same competition in 2014.


Results

Long Distance

Men Elite
1. Sidnaldo Farias Sousa (ADAAN) 1:11:38 (+ 00:00)
2. Cléber Baratto Vidal (COSM) 1:12:25 (+ 00:47)
3. Leandro Pereira Pasturiza (COSaM) 1:15:52 (+ 04:14)
4. Juliano Pereira Pasturiza (COSaM) 1:15:55 (+ 04:17)
5. Marciano Kaminski (CSS Santo Ângelo) 1:20:10 (+ 08:32)

Women Elite
1. Franciely De Siqueira Chiles (COSM) 1:20:14 (+ 00:00)
2. Leticia Saltori (ADAAN) 1:24:56 (+ 04:42)
3. Edinéia Roniak (CO Gralha Azul) 1:25:48 (+ 05:34)
4. Elaine Lenz (ADAAN) 1:25:56 (+ 05:42)
5. Raquel Sales Arendt (IDS Dourados) 1:36:41 (+ 16:27)

Middle Distance

Men Elite
1. Sidnaldo Farias Sousa (ADAAN) 48:24 (+ 00:00)
2. Leandro Pereira Pasturiza (COSaM) 49:01 (+ 00:37)
3. Juliano Pereira Pasturiza (COSaM) 49:20 (+ 00:56)
4. Ironir Alberto Ev (COSM) 50:57 (+ 02:33)
5. Carlos Araújo (CO Gralha Azul) 53:10 (+ 04:46)

Women Elite
1. Franciely De Siqueira Chiles (COSM) 52:14 (+ 00:00)
2. Leticia Saltori (ADAAN) 54:47 (+ 02:33)
3. Pavla Zdráhalová De Oliveira (AOAUFRJ) 59:48 (+ 07:34)
4. Soraya Cabral (Kaapora CO) 59:56 (+ 07:42)
5. Sara Weis (CO Gralha Azul) 1:04:24 (+ 12:10)

Complete results at http://helga-o.com/webres/.

[Photo: Franciely Chiles / facebook.com/franciely.chiles]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, September 26, 2016

Porto City Race 2016: Maps








Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Spain



Present in the World Trail Orienteering Championships for the fifth time in the last six years, once again Spain missed a great result. Using the TempO competition to assess the value of the Spanish performance in Strömstad, it's easy to conclude that this was lower than expected, since Spain was away from the final for the first time ever. In the TrailO Relay, the Spanish team stay just one point out of Norway, ranked fifth, in the PreO part, ended up being harshly punished with the final 17th place thanks to a weak performance in the TempO. There remains the PreO, with Santiago Martinez Perez to match the best result ever of a Spanish athlete in the Open Class and Miguel Angel Garcia Grinda to establish the best ever result in the Paralympic class.

+ Santiago Perez Martin was arguably the best Spanish athlete present in Strömstad. It was one of the seven athletes to clear the second day of the PreO competition and was also in a good plan in the TrailO Relay. Thanks to the 28th final position, he holds now - along with Jose Antonio Tamarit and Antonio Hernandez Fernandez - the best result ever of a Spanish athlete in the PreO competition.

- Tireless worker of TrailO in Spain, Antonio Hernandez Fernandez was a quite below the expectations. A little step back in a walk that promises excitement and success.


Results

TempO
Qual Blue
29. Jorge Valente Barrera 397,5 seconds
33. Santiago Perez Martin 466 seconds

Qual Red
32. Antonio Hernandez Fernandez 489 seconds
33. Miguel Angel Garcia Grinda 586,5 seconds


PreO
Open
28. Santiago Perez Martin 44 points / 202,5 seconds
38. Jorge Valente Barrera 42 points / 112,5 seconds
39. Antonio Hernandez Fernandez 42 points / 205,5 seconds

Para
28. Miguel Angel Garcia Grinda 32 points / 395 seconds


TrailO Relay
Para
17. Spain 513 seconds
Miguel Angel Garcia Grinda (5 points / 135,5 seconds)
Santiago Perez Martin (7 points / 102 seconds)
Jorge Valente Barrera (6 points / 95,5 seconds)

Joaquim Margarido

Sunday, September 25, 2016

WTOC 2016: Slovenia



Slovenia signed its presence in Strömstad with a place on the podium, thanks to the 5th position reached by Krešo Keresteš in the TempO competition. It is the aimed return to the places of honour, after a gap of nine years of a team that survives thanks to the persistence of Krešo and Mateja Keresteš. It is expected that this result can bring the needed motivation to something even better in the future.

+ After the 4th place in his debut in the World Championships (Finland, 2006), Krešo Keresteš reached the gold in the following year and, since then, has been keeping away from the podium. He returned this year in Strömstad, reaching the 5th place in the TempO competition, side by side with the Italian Remo Madella. An excellent result from a “historical” of the TrailO.

- In what was her 7th presence in the World Championships, Mateja Keresteš reached once more a result under the expectations. Worse than her 52nd place in the PreO competition, just the results achieved in 2014 (58th) and 2015 (53rd).


Results

TempO
Qual Blue
23. Mateja Keresteš 365,5 seconds

Qual Red
6. Krešo Keresteš 256 seconds

Final
5. Krešo Keresteš 288 seconds


PreO
Open
19. Krešo Keresteš 45 points / 125 seconds
52. Mateja Keresteš 39 points / 233,5 seconds

Joaquim Margarido

WTOC 2016: Slovakia



It was only in 2014 that Slovakia presented itself to the TrailO family. And did it in an ambitious and fearless manner, through two solitary athletes, Ján Furucz and Dušan Furucz. The results then achieved foresaw a promising future, but we all were far from imagining that the medals would emerge in the immediate years, first the silver by Ján Furucz in the TempO competition (2015) and then the gold in the TrailO Relay, this year, by a team having, besides the two brothers, the “rookie” Marián Miklus. Facing the facts, there's nothing else to speculate. There is a lot of talent in the Slovakian team, but there is a real hard work too - and very well done (!) - on the basis of these excellent results. Slovakia is truly one of the most salutary examples of integration and assimilation of TrailO at the most demanding and competitive level and all the words will always be few to enhance the quality of its performers.

+ Apart a wonderful surprise called Marián Mikluš, Ján Furucz remains the great engine of this extraordinary machine. Although not at his best in the final of TempO - after his silver in 2015 one could expected slightly better than the 12th place -, he was, still, the best team member, repeating his prevalence in the PreO competition. Finally, he took the responsibility to hold the leadership of the Slovakian Relay and did it in the best way.

- Dušan Furucz ranked up, definitely, below the expectations in the PreO competition. It may be unfair to him, but this was definitely the most negative moment of Slovakian team from a global point of view.


Results

TempO
Qual Blue
9. Ján Furucz 262 seconds
18. Marián Mikluš 324 seconds

Qual Red
5. Dušan Furucz 219 seconds
26. Tereza Miklušová 385,5 seconds

Final
12. Ján Furucz 341,5 seconds
28. Dušan Furucz 398 seconds
33. Marián Mikluš 452 seconds


PreO
Open
16. Ján Furucz 45 points / 97,5 seconds
17. Marián Mikluš 45 points / 106,5 seconds
36. Dušan Furucz 42 points / 98,5 seconds


TrailO Relay
Open
1. Slovakia 102 seconds
Marián Mikluš (7 points / 51 seconds)
Dušan Furucz (7 points / 31 seconds)
Ján Furucz (7 points / 20 seconds)

Joaquim Margarido

Euromeeting 2016: Tranchand and Teini got two victories each



Frederic Tranchand and Marika Teine were in evidence during the Euromeeting 2016, hold this weekend in Latvia. Both won two out of three stages, showing a great shape three weeks before the World Cup's final round.


Along the next four years, Latvia will be a center for top elite orienteering, hosting the World Cup round in 2017, the World Orienteering Championships in 2018 and, last but not least, the World Masters Orienteering Championships in 2019. Anticipating an amazing period, the Latvian Orienteering Federation, Cēsis Municipality, SIA “O! Latvija” and the Orienteering Club “Meridiāns” organized the Euromeeting 2016 in quite relevant terrains for the next years' events, calling the attention of 130 competitors from 12 different countries.

With all races scoring for the IOF World Ranking, the event kicked off on Friday with the Middle Distance race taking place in the Zvārtes Iezis map, in the Gauja River National Park region. The competitors could experience wonderful courses in an autumn-tinted forest, with the French Frederic Trachand being the fastest in the Men Elite class and finishing with the time of 32:16. A 50 seconds victory on the Estonian Timo Sild, with the Finn Miika Kirmula being third, 1:46 after the winner. In the Women Elite class, Marika Teini and Sari Anttonen, both from Finland, fought hard for the victory, with Teini spending 33:54 against 34:00 from Anttonen. Denisa Kosova, Czech Republic, finished third with more 1:32 than Teini.


Same map, same winners

The competitors got back to Zvārtes iezis on Saturday and Frederic Tranchand showed again his great shape, spending 1:27:24 for the 14,5 km of his course. With the next three in the standings separated by narrow 14 seconds, Timo Sild was second and the French Lucas Basset got the third place, 2:45 and 2:56, respectively, after Tranchand. Like in the Men Elite class, Teini and Anttonen repeated the places of the eve, with 1:32 separating both athletes. Like her brother, the French Isia Basset got the bronze, 2:47 after Teini.

Fulfilling the last day's program, the Sprint race took place in the northern part of the historic city of Cēsis, offering exciting orienteering courses. Now, a different map and different winners. With less than 25 seconds separating the ten first athletes, the Latvian Arturs Paulins was the “special one” before his public, winning with the time of 15:13. Just half second after Paulins, finished the Swiss Jonas Egger, while the Russian Artem Popov got the third place with the time of 15:15.1. Sari Anttonen was the winner in the Women Elite class, after a tight race with the Russian Anastasia Rudnaya. The Finn spent 15:02.0, just 1.6 seconds less than the Russian. Marika Teini finished third with more 25.8 than the winner.


Results

Middle Distance

Men Elite
1. Frederic Tranchand (FRA France) 32:16 (+ 00:00)
2. Timo Sild (EST Estonia) 33:06 (+ 00:50)
3. Miika Kirmula (FIN Finland) 34:02 (+ 01:46)
4. Jonas Egger (SWI Switzerland) 34:03 (+ 01:47)
5. Jan Sedivy (CZE Czech Republic) 34:26 (+ 02:10)

Women Elite
1. Marika Teini (FIN SK Pohjantahti) 33:54 (+ 00:00)
2. Sari Anttonen (FIN Finland) 34:00 (+ 00:06)
3. Denisa Kosova (CZE Czech Republic) 35:26 (+ 01:32)
4. Inga Dambe (LAT Latvia) 35:27 (+ 01:33)
5. Johanna Hulkkonen (FIN Koovee) 35:38 (+ 01:44)

Long Distance

Men Elite
1. Frederic Tranchand (FRA France) 1:27:24 (+ 00:00)
2. Timo Sild (EST Estonia) 1:30:09 (+ 02:45)
3. Lucas Basset (FRA France) 1:30:20 (+ 02:56)
4. Dmitrii Nakonechnyi 1:30:23 (+ 02:59)
5. Vincent Coupat (FRA France) 1:31:11 (+ 03:47)

Women Elite
1. Marika Teini (FIN SK Pohjantahti) 1:15:05 (+ 00:00)
2. Sari Anttonen (FIN Finland) 1:16:37 (+ 01:32)
3. Isia Basset (FRA France) 1:17:52 (+ 02:47)
4. Denisa Kosova (CZE Czech Republic) 1:18:23 (+ 03:18)
4. Jana Knapova (CZE Czech Republic) 1:18:53 (+ 03:48)

Sprint

Men Elite
1. Arturs Paulins (LAT Latvia) 15:13.0 (+ 00:00.0)
2. Jonas Egger (SWI Switzerland) 15:13.5 (+ 00:00.5)
3. Artem Popov (RUS Russian Federation) 15:15.1 (+ 00:02.1)
4. Frederic Tranchand (FRA France) 15:25.3 (+ 00:12.3)
5. Lucas Basset (FRA France) 15:25.4 (+ 00:12.4)

Women Elite
1. Sari Anttonen (FIN Finland) 15:02.0 (+ 00:00.0)
2. Anastasia Rudnaya (RUS Parma MS) 15:03.6 (+ 00:01.6)
3. Marika Teini (FIN SK Pohjantahti) 15:27.8 (+ 00:25.8)
4. Sandra Grosberga (LAT Latvia) 15:56.6 (+ 00:54.6)
5. Martina Ruch (SWI Switzerland) 15:58.8 (+ 00:56.8)

Complete results and further information at http://www.euromeeting.woc2018.lv/.

[Photo: PhotoMiller sports / facebook.com/5412photo/]

Joaquim Margarido

Porto City Race 2016: Esteves and Covas Costa won the Queen Stage



Ricardo Esteves and Tânia Covas Costa were the big winners of today's Porto City Race stage. Facing tough and challenging courses, both athletes finished the event in the best way, achieving good victories in its most important stage.


After a rainy night, the beautiful city of Porto woke up with sun and the excitement of an international Orienteering event. Organized by Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, the event had the participation of close to five hundred orienteers from 15 different countries, trying the tricky spaces of Asprela Universitary Campus, in the northern part of the city, in a stage scoring for the City Race Euro Tour 2016 and for the Portugal City Race 2016.

Showing a good shape in the fall of the season, the winner of the 2016 Portuguese Cup's ranking in the M18 class, Ricardo Esteves (ADFA), got a comfortable triumph in the Men Senior class with the time of 32:33, which was his third victory in as much stages along the weekend. Two athletes from .COM took the immediate positions, João Magalhães being second placed with more 2:45 than Esteves, and João Novo taking the third place with the time of 36:08. The Spanish Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid), current leader of the Portugal City Race 2016, finished in the fourth position, 4:56 after the winner.

More balanced, the course in the Women Senior class had in Tânia Covas Costa (.COM), a surprising winner, over a really combative Triin Jäädmaa, Estonia. The difference between the two athletes was of 1:34, with Covas Costa recording 34:25 in the end. Joana Fernandes (.COM) took the third place with more 1:40 than the winner, while Filipa Rodrigues, the young winner of the two previous stages, mispunched. Portugal City Race's current leader in this class, Sara Miranda (Individual), finished 10th with the time of 47:17.


Results

Men Senior
1. Ricardo Esteves (ADFA) 32:33 (+ 00:00)
2. João Magalhães (.COM) 35:18 (+ 02:45)
3. João Novo (.COM) 36:08 (+ 03:35)
4. Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) 37:29 (+ 04:56)
5. Pedro Duarte (ADFA) 37:56 (+ 05:23)

Women Senior
1. Tânia Covas Costa (.COM) 34:25 (+ 00:00)
2. Triin Jäädmaa (Estonia) 35:59 (+ 01:34)
3. Joana Fernandes (.COM) 36:05 (+ 01:40)
4. Joanne Pickering (WIM) 37:09 (+ 02:44)
5. Patricia Casalinho (COC) 40:25 (+ 06:00)

[Click on the image to see the photo album]

Further information and complete results at http://www.gd4caminhos.com/portocityrace.

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, September 24, 2016

WTOC 2016: Russia



After Dmitry Kucherenko (gold in 2011 and bronze in 2012), Russia reached its third individual medal ever in the World Trail Orienteering Championships thanks to Pavel Shmatov's second place in the PreO, Paralympic Class. Present throughout the thirteen editions of the World Championships - and always privileging their Paralympic representations, with these athletes often participating in the Open Class - Russia was present in Strömstad with a four athletes team, the smallest representation of the last eleven editions. Still, from the point of view of the individual results, this was its second best participation ever in the Paralympic class, after Dundee, Great Britain (2012).

+ After the advantage achieved on the first day of the PreO competition, in the Paralympic Class, Pavel Shmatov had everything to reach the gold medal. This wasn't possible, but it is undeniable the value of his silver medal that places him among the WTOC's great names this year.

- It's difficult not to mention Alexander Kobzarev as the team's weakest member but the three points lost by Eduard Oginskii in the TrailO Relay competition - taking Russia away from the medals, maybe even from the gold - just mark negatively the Russian participation in Strömstad and it will remain as its worst moment.


Results

TempO
Qual Blue
26. Alexander Kobzarev 378,5 seconds


PreO
Open
45. Alexander Kobzarev 41 points / 305 seconds

Para
2. Pavel Shmatov 46 points / 122 seconds
8. Eduard Oginskii 40 points / 144,5 seconds
15. Dmitry Dokuchaev 37 points / 120 seconds


TrailO Relay
Para
4. Russia 443,5 seconds
Dmitry Dokuchaev (7 points / 82,5 seconds)
Eduard Oginskii (4 points / 90 seconds)
Pavel Shmatov (6 points / 31 seconds)

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, September 23, 2016

Two or three things I know about it...



1. Davide Machado got the Long Distance gold of the Portuguese MTBO Championships 2016 in the Men Elite class. Finishing his course nearly five minutes after the winner, Luis Barreiro was the second placed, while the third place went to João Ferreira. Crowning a successful season, Ana Filipa Silva was the winner in the Women Elite class with an advantage of more than thirteen minutes over Tânia Covas Costa, the second placed. The Portuguese Champion in 2015, Susana Pontes, finished third. Casa do Povo da Abrunheira and Clube de Orientação do Centrob got the Relay titles in the Men and Women respectively. Organized by the COC – Clube de Orientação do centro, the event took place last weekend in Penela, in the centre of Portugal, with the presence of 97 athletes representing 22 clubs. More information at http://www.coc.pt/as-nossas-provas/vi-ori-btt/.

2. Earlier than usual, the Austrian MTBO season came to an end last weekend in Faak am See, in the Carinthia region. With two stages scoring for the Austrian league in MTB Orienteering, the event caught the attention of 153 participants, having in the National Championships of Sprint one of its highest moments. In the Women Elite, Marina Reiner reached the gold for the first time ever in her career, ahead of the “eternal” Michaela Gigon. Recovering a title that eluded him for the last four years, Tobias Breitschädel was the winner in the Men Elite, ahead of Bernhard Schachinger, second placed. Birgit Eisl and Andreas Waldmann took the third place in the Women and Men Elite, respectively. The complete results can be found at http://www.oefol.at/anne/files/uploaded/event_1778_ergebnissesa.pdf.

3. The upcoming Mountain Bike Orienteering World Cup Final 2016, in Kaunas (Lithuania), it's not only the Elite athletes. There are two hundred Masters competitors entered in the World Masters Series' races 13, 14 and 15 and we can expect a couple of exciting duels. According to Keith Dawson's post on MTBO Public Group on Facebook [HERE] “some interesting head to heads to look out for are the two threesomes Stockmayer vs Conn vs Kilberg in M50 and Lalavee vs Gustavsson vs Kolberg in M55. In the women's races Andersen vs Somers-Cocks in W55 and‎ Bonafini vs Barlet in W60 catch the eye!” Dawson remembers that “one mechanical, one mispunch or even one error or poor route choice could decide who goes home with Gold. The pressure and fun is on!” Latest results going into Lithuania can be seen at http://www.astrois.hu/mtbo/2016/WorldMaster2016Scores.htm.

Joaquim Margarido
  

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Iva Lovrec: "It's much more complicated to succeed in TrailO than in FootO"



After a calm qualifying heat, Iva Lovrec was brilliant in the TempO final of the World Trail Orienteering Championships, improving her performance enormously, both in the average of correct answers and answering time. A risky strategy that had as a result an exceptional 4th place and that is a pretext for a nice talk with the talented young Croatian.


I would start by asking you about yourself. Who is Iva Lovrec?

Iva Lovrec (I. L.) - I am 19 years old and I live in Zagreb. I just finished the High School and got into the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing. In my free time I enjoy reading books, browsing the internet or playing games and going out with my friends. Besides TrailO I'm also in foot orienteering.

It's great to see a young girl doing TrailO at this level. How did you meet Orienteering?

I. L. - I come from a family which was involved in orienteering even before I was born, so orienteering was our family tradition and still is. I worked my way up from children races to competing in junior classes. Orienteering was always interesting to me and different from other sports because it didn't involves physical activity only but was also combined with thinking and using your brain. Also it often brings you to beautiful places and wonders of nature which you probably wouldn't see otherwise.

TrailO was just a kind of “upgrade”?

I. L. - My parents always encouraged me to try TrailO when it was introduced in Croatia. At first, it was not appealing since it took too long and wasn't as interesting as Foot-O races. But luckily there were some people (like Ivana and Damir Gobec, Ivica Bertol, Zdenko Horjan, to name only a few ) who tried to make TrailO popular and were also kind enough to explain the sport which helped me to improve my skills. On the Pre-WTOC I could realized for the first time that I was good at TempO when I got the silver medal on the Croatian Championships and it motivated me to try harder.

What do you see in TrailO that makes it so special?

I. L. - TrailO doesn't depend on your gender, age, physical fitness and ability but only on your judgement and capacity to connect the map and the terrain in front of you. Also as the competitions are mostly in the nature it is relaxing to get away from the city a bit.

By the way, has a friend of yours ever asked you about TrailO? How difficult is to explain the “game”?

I. L. - It is quite difficult to explain TrailO. People often don't understand that it doesn't matter how much time you take to finish the competition. FootO can be compared to treasure hunts but there isn't any sport which can be compared to TrailO and that's why it takes much more time to explain. Also there are a lot of rules and two very different formats.

And how difficult is to be a trail orienteer? What trail orienteers have that foot orienteers don't?

I. L. - It's much more complicated to succeed in TrailO than in FootO. You can train alone if you are competing in FootO and it doesn't need to take much time, but to practice Trail-O you must have a map made for TrailO, you cannot make tasks for yourself so it is nearly impossible to train alone. The only trainings you have are the competitions, so it's much harder to improve.

What skills do you have that makes you an excellent trail orienteer? And what is missing to be the “special one”?

I. L. - I am mostly good at reading the terrain, I can think and make decisions fast which is important for TempO, I am able to think of good ways to decide which is the correct flag, but there are some terrains which I'm not familiar with and I use the wrong thing to help me decide. Sometimes I just don't concentrate enough or don't see the details which I should use.

Two great races and a fantastic 4th place in TempO last August, in Sweden. Did you expect it?

I. L. - On WTOC, in Sweden, I was hoping to qualify to the final. Last year I made it barely to the finals due to canceling of the last station so I didn't have high hopes for this WTOC, Also I have never been to Sweden before and I have never competed on a such terrain. A few days of training in Sweden obviously helped me a lot to understand how the details were mapped and what to expect. But even after qualifying I still didn't think I would be that good, I was hoping for a place higher than 17th because it was the best result ever for a Croatian athlete in TempO.

Was your preparation as good as it could be or did you feel some difficulties to train properly along the months before the World Championships?

I. L. - As I said before, training TempO can be difficult and takes time, so I tried to go to competitions instead. Of course, with more trainings I think I would be able to place even better but I'm satisfied with the result especially because I had a very busy year since I was finishing the High School and was concentrated on studying to get into a good College.

Can you point some strong ideas from your week in Strömstad?

I. L. - Strömstad really impressed me. Even though the city isn't large, the nature is stunning. I have never seen anything similar and having tasks on the beach was a wonderful experience. I will definitely remember this WTOC, not only for the great result but also because of the beautiful scenery.

What was the best and the worst of the Championships from a personal point of view?

I. L. - The best is undoubtedly the 4th place which wasn't expected at all and caught me off guard. I can't think of anything that bad that I would call it the worst of the whole WTOC. I was an amazing experience and the races for which I was in the national team I did my best and got great results. The worst are some pretty things like rain and colder weather the last few days but it is almost not worth mentioning when compared with the whole week.

If I asked you for a moment - the great achievement of the Championships - what would be your choice?

I. L. - It was nice to finally see the TrailO Relay introduced to the Championships. Even though I wasn't competing, the concept seemed be working well.

We have now a time lapse of ten months until the next WTOC, in Lithuania. What do you have in mind for keeping your shape during such a long break?

I. L. - Till the next WTOC I'm planning on going to as much competitions in Croatia and Slovenia as I can, but other than that I don't have anything special in mind. I will try my best to free some time for TrailO and I'll try to do well both at College and in sports.

What are your plans for the future. Are we going to see you doing TrailO at the highest level for the next fifty years?

I. L. - I don't plan that much ahead. For now I like TrailO and I'm planning on continuing but who knows what the future holds. I hope I'll be able to compete for that long.

Joaquim Margarido
  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

ECTO 2016: Jan Furucz wins overall



Jan Furucz was the winner of the fourth edition of the Unofficial European Cup in Trail Orienteering. Against a powerful concurrence, the Slovak proved to have the right skills to get a thrilling three-points win over Erik Stålnacke.


The Norwegian town of Halden hosted the final round of the Unofficial European Cup in Trail Orienteering ECTO 2016. On the maps of Mo Gard and Fredriksten Fortress, the Open Nordic Team Event & ECTO Final Weekend called 92 competitors representing eight different nations. The event featured two stages of PreO and one of TempO, with the latter and also the PreO stage of the last day scoring for the European Cup.

After a less successful presence in the recent World Trail Orienteering Championships, the Finn Antti Rusanen started the weekend with the right foot, winning the TempO stage with a score of 182 seconds, and an advantage of 20 seconds over Pinja Mäkinen, Finland, bronze medalist in Strömstad. World Champion of TempO, currently, the Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler finished in the 12th place with more 123 seconds than the winner. Rusanen performed once again at the highest level on the first day of competition, winning the PreO stage with a total of 24 points and the incredible time of 4 seconds in the timed controls. With more two seconds than the winner, the Finn Sami Hyvönen got the second position.

The Swede Martin Fredholm, current World Champion of PreO, was the winner on the last day of competition with 29 points and 16 seconds, while the European Champion, the Swede Stig Gerdtman, reached the second position with the same number of points but more 16 seconds than Fredholm in the timed controls. In all three stages, Antti Rusanen was the big winner with 259 seconds, against 298 seconds from Stig Gerdtman, placed second and 330 seconds from the Norwegian Sondre Ruud Bråten, third placed. With Martin Fredholm, William Rex, Robert Jakobsson, Erik Stalnacke and Marit Wiksell in the team, Sweden 1 was the winner of the Nordic Team Event, followed by Finland and Norway.

The European Cup's final round was a real “thriller” until the last control, with a total unpredictability regarding the winner overall. Skipping the Norwegian event, the Italian Remo Madella knew that would be a quite improbable task to retain the leadership and be the ECTO 2016's winner. The Slovak Jan Furucz and the Swedish Erik Stålnacke, winner of this competition in 2015, were the closest rivals, and indeed, after the TempO stage on the first day, Stålnacke reached the first place with 165 points, two more points than Jan Furucz and three more points than Remo Madella. In the final stage, however, Stålnacke was far below the expectations and Furucz achieved the needed points to overcome his opponent. An extraordinary end of the season for the Slovak athlete, gold medalist in Strömstad thanks to the amazing victory of Slovakian team in the TrailO Relay. Stålnacke, Madella, Fredholm and the Swede Lennart Wahlgren occupied by this order the immediate positions.


Results

Nordic Team Event

Individual overall
1. Antti Rusanen FIN 259 seconds
2. Stig Gerdtman SWE 298 seconds
3. Sondre Ruud Bråten NOR 330 seconds
4. Martin Fredholm SWE 337 seconds
5. Pinja Mäkinen FIN 407 seconds

Team competition
1. Sweden 1 2435 seconds
2. Finland 1 2688 seconds
3. Norway 1 2943 seconds
4. Sweden 2 3438 seconds
5. Finland 2 3707 seconds

ECTO 2016

Final Standings (provisional)
1. Jan Furucz SVK 168 points
2. Erik Stålnacke SWE 165 points
3. Remo Madella ITA 162 points
4. Martin Fredholm SWE 157 points
5. Lennart Wahlgren SWE 154 points


[Archive photo]

Joaquim Margarido
  

Monday, September 19, 2016

Anastasia Denisova: "It is hard to say what this result means to me, but it definitely inspires me a lot"



The 20th August will be forever engraved as one of the most beautiful pages of Belarusian Orienteering's history. In the first final of the World Orienteering Championships WOC 2016, Anastasia Denisova finished her Sprint race in the third position, offering to her country the first medal ever. A gift of a young woman to the young Orienteering of a young nation - in five days would celebrate 25 years of national independence –, brought here in the first person.


Was it your goal, a medal in Strömstad? How does it happen?

Anastasia Denisova (A. D.) – That’s a straight forward question. I think many athletes have the goal of taking a medal and I'm not an exception. I hadn't got any specific ambition to do it this year, I was more focused on my performance, trying to do my race as perfect as possible and then to see what would it result in. I'm happy I had a lot of help along the way without which I think I wouldn't be able to get there. First of all, I had a lot of support from my Swedish club Sävedalens AIK for which I've been running since 2012. About a year ago, me and my boyfriend (he's my coach at the same time) had the opportunity to move to Gothenburg, that also played a big role in my preparation. Of course, my parents and my previous coaches helped me very much with this achievement.

Can you remember the precise moment when you knew, finally, your result? What did you feel?

A. D. - Of course, that was amazing! When I came to the finish, I just knew I was the current leader, but I also knew there were eleven good runners starting after me. After Maja's golden finish, my teammates showed me from the crowd that I'll probably be the third placed. I realized that was the moment I'd been dreaming about and it became true, and also all my struggle during this season wasn't for nothing, that payed off. Of course, that's also something special to be first in something)))). That's why these feelings were even stronger.

When and how did you celebrate this amazing result?

A. D. - It was raining hard after the sprint so it has postponed the celebration a bit, but me and my boyfriend had some small dinner and cake after the event.

I would ask you to go back a few years, telling us how did you meet Orienteering? Was it love at first sight?

A. D. - My parents are both orienteers so, frankly speaking, I didn't had a choice (laughs). At first, I really didn't like it. I was really afraid of being alone in the forest. Actually I was dreaming about being a biathlon athlete. Anyway, I was following my parents to a lot of competitions where I met a lot of friends, which eventually kept me in orienteering.

What do you see in Orienteering that makes it so special?

A. D. - I really enjoy the process itself and I love to travel. It's never the same. It can't be boring. I think this makes it so special.

Is your life just Orienteering?

A. D. - Orienteering is not the only thing in my life. I have a Master degree in Economics and I just started another Master study in the University of Gothenburg. Besides orienteering I also compete in ARDF and track and field competitions. I am also learning Swedish, but it's going tough because of the other commitments.

How did you prepare the WOC campaign?

A. D. - Already in late fall 2015, together with my coach, we made a plan for competing at WOC. I had a quite good winter with a training camp in Portugal. For the spring the plan was to compete in Swedish league and go to the European Orienteering Championships. The first two stages at the Swedish league went quite well, but than I got injured which kept me away from EOC and running for almost two months. In early June I resumed the training and could slowly build my shape up towards the WOC. After the injury, together with my coach, we planned to concentrate on the Sprint as much as we could. It didn't mean that we didn't plan any forest training, but the main goal was the Sprint event. Before WOC I tested my shape only once at the Norwegian selection races where I became 4th with one month to go.

What were you waiting for when you arrived in Strömstad? Did you have some specific goals in your mind?

A. D. - At that moment I didn't compete a lot in IOF events, but I had some good results in some other competitions, so I was sure I was able to perform really good but I couldn't predict my final place in the WOC result list. I am truly happy that I could succeed!

Would you like to tell us about your WOC week?

A. D. - I was very nervous the last days before the competition. The closer it came the more nervous I was. After qualifiers I became even more nervous until I started my warming up before the final. Seeing other runners doing their warming up routines made me somehow calm and very concentrated. I knew exactly what had to be done. The rest of the week I ran without any pressure and just enjoying the moment. There is, of course, much more to say about the details of the Middle and Long races, but the most important is that I did what I simply could do. I’m really happy with those results.

How do you evaluate the WOC overall?

A. D. - It was an absolutely amazing experience. To run like that at my first WOC was truly something. I think I won't ever forget this feeling. I wish every athlete could share those emotions. I also was really happy to meet so many nice people during this Championships and I'm really proud to be part of this awesome community.

If I asked you to name the WOC's best achievement, what would it be?

A. D. - I'm very impressed and happy for Natalia Gemperle. She did a fantastic week, winning three medals. She seemed calm and very confident in what she was doing. I really enjoyed watching her.

What this result means to you?

A. D. - It is hard to say what this result means to me, but it definitely inspires me a lot.

How important can your medal be for Orienteering in Belarus?

A. D. - I'm not living in Belarus now, so I don't really know what's happening there after WOC. I really hope it's important and, first of all, an inspiration for our youth orienteers. Of course, it would be great to get some attention and support from the government, but we can only hope for that. As for now, we don't have much of economic support. We need to pay our entry fees, travel and living expenses during the competitions. To have this money you need to work or have sponsors. If you work, you have less time and energy for training and then you spend almost all your money on orienteering. That's obviously not the best example for children. I must say, not many parents want such a future for their kids, that's why they are trying to involve them in some other sports.

This year Belarusian Orienteering Federation decided to support the national team with almost half of the entry fees. I guess, my medal showed that was a right decision and probably it can become at least a little bit easier for them now to get some money from the government or sponsorship.

How hard was the step between the JWOC bronze in 2013 and the WOC bronze in 2016?

A. D. - Obviously it was pretty hard to get from junior level to senior elite level. It might be a little bit easier than for the male runners, but still it requires a lot of training. I could say that it took me three years to develop.

What's your advice to those boys and girls who are in the “turning point”, next to face the Elite level?

A. D. - My main advice would be to be patient, not increase training volume too much and too soon and to be effective with the time spent for training.

Would you like to share with us some of your dreams for the future?

A. D. - My dream is to have a big house at a lake and two children. I also want to become a good specialist in financial economics, but if we are talking about my sport career, of course, I would like to develop my speed together with orienteering skills and, eventually, I think, this strategy would lead me to some more good results.

Joaquim Margarido