Sunday, February 12, 2017

WMSOC 2017: Finland achieves 20 Middle Distance World titles

The last two days of the World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships 2017 were entirely dedicated to the Middle Distance, with the world champions to be found by the sum of the times reached in the two stages. 277 male and 139 female athletes, representing 19 countries, participated in this double journey, where Finland reached 20 out of 22 world titles.

Imatra. Southeastern Finland, hosted the World Masters Ski Orienteering Championships 2017, whose last race took place today. The Finns dominated the men's competition entirely, reaching all the gold medals in contest. In nine out of twelve competition classes, the winner of the first stage would confirm the superiority, reaching the overall victory, even if just three classes had the same winner in both stages. The biggest recovery was carried out by Veijo Tahvanainen, in Men 75, only fourth placed after the first stage. Hannu Pekka Pukema (M35), Mika Häkkinen (M40), Vesa Tielinen (M50), Heikki Peltonen (M60), Heikki Saarinen (M65), Pentti Pelkonen (M85) and Arvo Majoinen (Men 90) were able to achieved for the second time the World title of the respective classes, adding the Middle Distance title to the Long Distance gold achieved last Thursday.

In the Women competition classes, the Russians Galina Vershinina (W70) and Ludmila Labutina (W75) broke the overwhelming superiority of the Finns. Vershinina was a surprising winner, after a volte-face that turned the 5th place after the first stage into an amazing gold medal. Six out of ten competitors were able to keep the first place achieved in the first stage. Kaisa Laitinen (M35), Joanna Nittymäki (M40) and Galina Vershinina (W70) achieved their second gold in the WMSOC 2017. Overall, Finland achieved 20 gold medals, sixteen silver and eighteen bronze. Russia followed Finland in the medals board with two gold medals, three silver and two bronze. German and the United States of America, with one silver medal each, and Swedem with one bronze medal, complete the list.

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

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