Tove Alexandersson, Sweden took her second gold medal in three days with an outstanding run in the Middle distance at the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships. Her winning lead was 2.10.
The very strong Swedish athlete showed from the start that she meant business today, setting new fastest times at every control and making only small hesitations. She continued in the same vein throughout, gradually building up an unassailable lead and taking sound routes all the way, to make a successful defence of her title won on home ground last year.
Silver medallist today was the very experienced Norwegian Marianne Andersen, one of only two of the current leading athletes to run in Estonia in the European Championships 11 years ago. She too ran a very good technical race, but could not match Alexandersson’s speed through the forest. “I made only some small errors, never more than 30 seconds,” she said. “My tactic was to stop, and continue very carefully, when unsure. This silver is like a gold for me!”
There was a close fight for the bronze medal, which was won by Finland’s Venla Harju who just missed a medal in the Sprint, after a strong challenge from Svetlana Mironova, Russia. Emily Kemp, Canada excelled to get a top six placing for the second year running.
Alexandersson said she was really satisfied with her race, and took her time on the few occasions she lost concentration slightly and was uncertain of her position. “I was running the shortest way and trying to be focused all the way reading the details. It is almost a clean race. I had good focus all the way and didn´t make any mistakes at the controls.”
Tomorrow the final races of the Championships take place, the relays.
WOC 2017 website: www.woc2017.ee.
[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2017-07-06. Photo: Matias Salonen, IOF Digital Team]