Andreu Blanes and Anastasia Rudnaya were the winners of the 15th Costa Blanca Orienteering International Trophy. Opening round of the 2017 Spanish Foot Orienteering League, the event took place in Alicante and was attended by nearly one thousand participants from 15 different countries.
Alicante, one of the Spanish Orienteering “cathedrals”, hosted once again an Orienteering weekend at the highest level. About 1,000 orienteers took part in the opening round of the 2017 Spanish Foot Orienteering League, accepting the challenge of a WRE Middle Distance, a stage scoring for the IOF World Ranking on the first day, and a Long Distance stage, closing the program.
Held in the upper part of Santa Pola Cap, on the same terrains that received the 2012 World University Orienteering Championships, the Middle Distance stage registered a fierce fight for the victory in the Men Elite class, with the Finn Aleksi Niemi (Tampereen Pyrinto) registering 28:13 in the end of his course and imposing on the Spanish Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) by the narrow margin of 15 seconds. Niemi led almost from the start, but a mistake in his way to the 24th control, added to the excellent second half of Blanes' race, made the Spaniard to overcome his opponent. In the immediate control, however, it was Blanes's turn to make a one-minute mistake, allowing Niemi to regain a lead which he wouldn't lose until the end. Unlike the male, the female race had in the Russian Anastasia Rudnaya (MS Parma) a clear winner. Despite a less regular entry on the map, Rudnaya was able to impose her technical and physical skills, winning with 28:25 and leaving the Swedish Emma Johansson (Domnarvets GoIF), second ranked, at a 2:43 difference.
Aleksi Niemi didn't start to the Long Distance stage that filled the program on the second day of the 15th Costa Blanca Orienteering International Trophy. Andreu Blanes was able to confirm the good performance of the previous stage, winning with the time of 1:28:55 and achieving the victory in the Trophy overall. Second in this stage, 2:22 after the winner, the young Swedish Filip Grahn (Hestra IF) would also be the second placed in the Trophy, while the third final position fell to the Spanish Roger Casal (Colivenc). Anastasia Rudnaya would repeat her victory on this last day of races, completing the course with 1:01:28 and leaving her compatriot Natalia Gemperle (Alfta Ösa OK) in the second position, almost ten minutes apart. In the end, Rudnaya won comfortably the Trophy, followed by Emma Johansson and the British Jessica Tullie (British Orienteering). Violeta Feliciano (Colivenc) was the best Spanish athlete, finishing the Trophy in the 6th position.
1. Andreu Blanes (Colivenc) 1:57:23 (+ 00:00)
2. Filip Grahn (Hestra IF) 2:00:37 (+ 03:14)
3. Roger Casal (Colivenc) 2:01:54 (+ 04:31)
4. Artem Popov (MS Parma) 2:02:21 (+ 04:58)
5. Eduardo Gil Marcos (Tjalve) 2:05:06 (+ 07:43)
1. Anastasia Rudnaya (MS Parma) 1:29:53 (+ 00:00)
2. Emma Johansson (Domnarvets GoIF) 1:42:31 (+ 12:38)
3. Jessica Tullie (British Orienteering) 1:44:09 (+ 14:16)
4. Natalia Gemperle (Alfta Ösa OK) 1:45:55 (+ 16:02)
5. Josefina Heikka (Alfta Ösa OK) 1:46:14 (+ 16:21)
Complete results and further information at http://www.wre2017alicante.clubosantjoan.com/.
[Photo: XV Trofeo Costa Blanca 2017 WRE / facebook.com/trofeocostablanca2017/]