Friday, March 10, 2017

WSOC 2017: Belomazhev achieves historical gold



It's a historical day for Stanimir Belomazhev and for Bulgarian Ski Orienteering. Last competitor to start for the Middle Distance that filled today's competitive program of the World Ski Orienteering Championships, in Krasnoyarsk, he was the fastest among 53 contestants, achieving a long-awaited world title.


“Whether it will be Sprint or Long Distance - what could be better than to both.” These were Stanimir Belomazhev's words when, last November, he spoke to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog about the great goal of the season [see Interview HERE]. Finally, the gold medal didn't come in the Sprint race, in which the Bulgarian finished in the 5th place, but in the Middle Distance held this morning. It was Belomazhev's first World Champion title and also Bulgaria's first men's gold, 23 years after Pepa Milusheva having achieved the Long Distance world title in Val di Non, Italy. It remains to be seen whether this “golden tide” will continue for one more day, extending up the Long Distance race and meeting Belomazhev's wishes.

On another day with good skiing conditions, the course for the men's race was very technical and produced a lot of mistakes and also some disqualifications, which included the Russians Kirill Veselov and Sergey Gorlanov, two of the great performers of the race's first half. Last competitor to start, Stanimir Belomazhev did a good race, full of strength and willing, although not a mistake-free one. Belomazhev would take the lead in the second half of the 8,200-meter course, keeping a good pace until the finish and eventually achieving the gold for Bulgaria with the time of 33:48. Fifteen seconds after the winner, Erik Rost, Sweden, got the second place. The Norwegian Lars Moholdt finished 1:06 after Belomazhev, thus achieving the bronze medal.


Results

1. Stanimir Belomazhev (Bulgaria) 33:48 (+ 00:00)
2. Erik Rost (Sweden) 34:03 (+ 00:15)
3. Lars Hol Moholdt (Norway) 34:54 (+ 01:06)
4. Andrey Grigoriev (Russia) 35:03 (+ 01:15)
5. Andrey Lamov (Russia) 35:37 (+ 01:49)
6. Ulrik Nordberg (Sweden) 35:45 (+ 01:57)

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

[Photo: WSOC 2017 / http://www.wsoc2017.ru]

Joaquim Margarido

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