After a week full of strong emotions, came to an end, in Krasnoyarsk, the World Ski Orienteering Championships 2017. Making the most on the status of host country, Russia finished the best way its presence in the event, achieving a double victory in the Relay.
The 22nd edition of the World Ski Orienteering Championships is over. To the history will remain an event with an excellent organizational level on beautiful terrains, perfect conditions for the practice of this challenging discipline and courses carefully set, providing emotion and fun to the 120 competitors from 21 nations who headed Krasnoyarsk. For the history will also remain Sweden's full dominance in the first half of the competitive program, especially Tove Alexandersson, achieving the world titles of Sprint, Middle Distance and Sprint Relay. Getting three gold medals in the last two days, Russian athletes shared the attention with the historical achievement of Bulgarian Stanimir Belomazhev, Middle Distance gold medalist, and the Swedish Erik Rost's double victory in Long Distance and Sprint.
Fully dedicated to the Relay, the competitive program of the last day started with the women's race, in which Sweden wasn't able to defend the world title achieved two years ago, being out of the race due to physical problems in the team. With only five teams competing for the World title, Russia confirmed its total favoritism, standing out from the other teams since the beginning, thanks to a strong performance of Alena Trapeznikova in the first leg. Being able to manage a four-minute lead, Polina Frolova, first, and then Mariya Kechkina could keep the gold, finishing with the overall time of 1:23:47, against 1:27:09 from Finland, whose girls never dropped arms, fighting until the end. The Czech Republic would finish in the third position, more than nine minutes after the winners.
Tighter than the women's race, the fight for the gold in the Men Relay stretched over the three legs. World Champion for eight times in the ten last editions and playing home, Russia was labeled as favorite and Andrey Grigoriev's lead, in the end of the first leg, seemed to confirm it. Kirill Veselov was able to keep the lead in the second leg, launching Andrey Lamov with a one-minute advantage on Sweden and Finland, second and third placed. Lamov did a perfect race and the moment he cut the finish line was amazing, with everyone in apotheosis in the Multi-purpose Complex “Biathlon Academy”, in Krasnoyarsk. 1:29:13 was the winners' overall time, with Sweden finishing second, 1:12 after Russia. Finland got the third place with the time of 1:32:21. Fourteen teams took part in the race.
1. Russia (Andrey Grigoriev, Kirill Veselov, Andrey Lamov) 1:29:13 (+ 00:00)
2. Sweden (Martin Hammarberg, Ulrik Nordberg, Erik Rost) 1:30:25 (+ 01:12)
3. Finland (Tero Linnainmaa, Jyri Uusitalo, Ville Petteri Saarela) 1:32:21 (+ 03:08)
4. Norway (Bjornar Kvale, Oeyvind Watterdal, Lars Moholdt) 1:33:17 (+ 04:04)
5. Czech Republic (Radek Laciga, Petr Horvat, Jakub Skoda) 1:36:49 (+ 07:36)
6. Estonia (Margus Hallik, Even Toomas, Mattis Jaama) 1:44:39 (+ 15:26)
1. Russia (Alena Trapeznikova, Polina Frolova, Mariya Kechkina) 1:23:47 (+ 00:00)
2. Finlândia (Mirka Suutari, Marjut Turunen, Salla Koskela) 1:27:09 (+ 03:22)
3. Czech Republic (Petra Hancova, Kristyna Kolinova, Hana Hancikova) 1:33:07 (+ 09:20)
4. Estonia (Epp Paalberg, Doris Kudre, Daisy Kudre) 1:36:14 (+ 12:27)
5. Kazakhstan (Elmira Moldasheva, Assem Nazyrova, Olga Novikova) 1:49:26 (+ 25:39)
Complete results and further information at http://www.wsoc2017.ru/en/.
[Photo: WSOC 2017 / http://www.wsoc2017.ru]