Saturday, April 01, 2017

Swiss Orienteering Grand Slam has already started

In the beginning of a new season, the Swiss Orienteering Federation releases something completely new. It’s called Grand Slam and the winners of the first round are already known: Matthias Kyburz, Judith Wyder, Pascal Buchs and Simona Aebersold.

In recent years, the annual evaluation of the Elite and Junior categories in Switserland has been conducted as a Swiss Orienteering Elite League. For the 2017 season, the system will be completely rebuilt and carried out under the name of Swiss Orienteering Grand Slam. The Grand Slam is based on the four individual Swiss Championships - Night, Sprint, Middle and Long distances – and addressed to the four categories, Men and Women Elite, Men and Women Junior. After the Grand Slam’s four rounds, the top 6 ranked in the ME and WE, as well as the top 3 in the M20 and W20 get the “passport” for the Grand Slam Final, which will take place during the Swiss Orienteering Festival, in Olten region. Elite and Juniors will start in a common category and the winners of the final round will achieve the Swiss Orienteering Grand Slam.

The Swiss Orienteering Grand Slam has already started with the 2017 National Night Long Distance Championships, on 25th March. On 24th June it will be time for the National Championships of Sprint, in Windisch (org. Bussola OK) and the next day will be raced the Long Distance’s Championships, in Saalhöchi (org. OLK Argus). The last “regular” round, the National Championships of Middle Distance, will take place on 09th September, in Schwägalp (org. OLG St. Gallen / Appenzell). The Grand Slam Final will be held on 11th November, during the O-Fest in Olten, and organized by the Grand Slam OK.

Matthias Kyburz and Judith Wyder got the first Swiss titles

As said before, the Night Long Distance Championships were already held. Organized by OLG Pfäffikon, the event took place at Uster, gathering more than seven hundred competitors. Running in safe tracks as much as possible and be familiar with the secrets of night Orienteering were the keys to Matthias Kyburz's success in the Men Elite class. He finished the 15.0 km of his course with the good time of 1:13:51. After a strong start, Florian Howald faced some problems in the fifth control and kept up the pace, being caught by Thomas Curiger and Jonas Egger. Pushing each other along the course, they would get second, fourth and seventh place in the end. Starting earlier, Fabian Hertner ran lone the whole course and saw in the bronze medal the confirmation of a good winter training. Judith Wyder's superiority in the Women Elite class was absolute, and her lead in the finish was more than six minutes. The fight for the immediate positions was really tough, with less than one minute separating the second from the fifth placed. With a safe run, Elena Roos got the second position while Sabine Hauswirth was the third placed. Swiss Night Championships' winner in 2016, Simone Niggli, finished in the fourth position.

In the Women Junior class, Simona Aebersold, Valerie Aebischer and Sofie Bachmann met the expectations, achieving the podium places by this order. Even making a big mistake in the middle part of his race, Pascal Buchs was clearly faster than the Junior World Champion Joey Hadorn and got a comfortable nearly three-minute win.


Men Elite
1. Matthias Kyburz (OLK Fricktal) 1:13:51 (+ 00:00)
2. Florian Howald (OLG Herzogenbuchsee) 1:16:40 (+ 02:49)
3. Fabian Hertner (OLV Baselland) 1:17:54 (+ 04:03)
4. Thomas Curiger (PLC Kapreolo) 1:18:48 (+ 04:57)
5. Martin Hubmann (OL Regio Wil) 1:19:41 (+ 05:50)

Women Elite
1. Judith Wyder (OLG Thun) 57:48 (+ 00:00)
Elena Roos (O-92 Piano di Magad) 1:04:05 (+ 06:17)
3. Sabine Hauswirth (OL Norska) 1:04:37 (+ 06:49)
4. Simone Niggli (OLV Hindelbank / OL Norska) 1:04:55 (+ 07:07)
5. Julia Gross (OL Zimmerberg) 1:05:00 (+ 07:12)

Men Junior
1. Pascal Buchs (ANCO) 57:55 (+ 00:00)
2. Joey Hadorn (OL Norska) 1:00:43 (+ 02:48)
3. Timo Suter (OLG Cordoba) 1:01:53 (+ 03:58)

Women Junior
1. Simona Aebersold (OL Biel.seeland) 48:57 (+ 00:00)
2. Valerie Aebischer (OLC Omström Sense) 51:04 (+ 02:07)
3. Sofie Bachmann (OLV Baselland) 56:03 (+ 07:06)

Further information about the Grand Slam can be found HERE. The first round's complete results may be checked at

Joaquim Margarido

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