Wednesday, March 08, 2017

WSOC 2017: Sprint victories for Nordberg and Alexandersson



After the gold medal achieved in the Sprint Relay, Tove Alexandersson got back on the success trail today with a convincing victory in the Sprint race. In the men’s race Ulrik Nordberg won the particular duel with Andrey Lamov.


In another perfect day for skiing, the World Ski Orienteering Championships continued in Krasnoyarsk with the Sprint race, the first individual final of the competitive program. Attended by 32 athletes, the women's race was dominated by Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, showing once more that she's an athlete from another dimension. Reaching the fastest time on seven out of twelve legs, the current IOF World Ski Orienteering Ranking leader added to the excellent physical shape a remarkable technical consistency that allowed her to achieve the victory despite the excellent response of Polina Frolova, Russia. With time of 13:54, Alexandersson reached his fourth Sprint gold medal, becoming the first ever athlete to reach four world titles in a row at the same individual distance. Frolova would finish their race eight seconds behind the winner, while third place came from Finnish Salla Koskela with the time of 14:12.

55 athletes took part in the men's race, which provided an intense duel between Andrey Lamov and Ulrik Nordberg in search for gold. Before his public, the current European and World Champion seemed to have everything to win, against an opponent who, four weeks ago, in the European Championships held in Imatra, Finland, couldn't get better than the 10th place, 51 seconds after the winner. Focused since the very first meters, Lamov had a powerful start, quickly getting away from the concurrence. The fastest time in four out of the first seven legs earned him a 10-second lead over second-placed Ulrik Nordberg at the start for the course's second half. From here, however, there was a fantastic recovery for the Swedish athlete, charging seconds after seconds to his opponent and eventually overtaking him in a critical moment, two controls to go to the finish. The balance stretched until the last meters, with Nordberg holding the heavy pressure of his opponent and eventually registering 13:51 against 13:53 from Lamov. With this result, Nordberg reaches his first World Championships medal ever, climbing one position in the World Ranking to settle in the 5th place. The fight for bronze was equally titanic, with Sergey Gorlanov, Russia losing 13 seconds to his compatriot Kirill Veselov in the last four controls, still managing to hold the third place.


Results

Men
1. Ulrik Nordberg (Sweden) 13:51,4 (+ 00:00,0)
2. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 13:53,1 (+ 00:01,7)
3. Sergey Gorlanov (Russia) 14:04,9 (+ 00:13,5)
4. Kirill Veselov (Russia) 14:06,2 (+ 00:14,8)
5. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 14:21,2 (00:29,8)
6. Erik Rost (Sweden) 14:22,6 (+ 00:31,2)

Women
1. Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) 13:54,2 (+ 00:00,0)
2. Polina Frolova (Russia) 14:02,0 (+ 00:07,8)
3. Salla Koskela (Finland) 14:12,1 (+ 00:17,9)
4. Magdalena Olsson (Sweden) 14:37,2 (+ 00:43,0)
5. Mariya Kechkina (Russia) 14:55,1 (+ 01:00,9)
6. Mirka Suutari (Finland) 14:57:00 (+ 01:02,8)

Complete results and further information at http://www.wsoc2017.ru/en/.

[Photo: Elena Fedotova / facebook.com]

Joaquim Margarido

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