Portugal will not have any athlete in the individual finals of the European Orienteering Championships EOC 2012. The final chance was lost this morning, during the Sprint heats, in which Miguel Reis e Silva failed the qualification for a short second.
Passing the first three days of the European Championships, came to the end the qualifying series of the individual disciplines comprise in the program. Middle Distance, Long Distance and Sprint will attract the attention in the coming days, with exciting finals that will proclaim the new Champions. Absent from all the individual finals, only on Sunday the Portuguese back to the great competition, in the Relay race. Until then, we must content ourselves with the B Finals.
And the things could have been something different, if the luck was with us. Running in the first qualification heat, Miguel Reis e Silva stay at one little second away from the target. Miguel Reis e Silva completed his course in the 18th place with the time of 16:08, one second longer than the Russian Roman Ryapolov, ranked 17th, and three seconds beyond the British Richard Robinson, who finished in the 16th place. The Portugal’s Vice-Champion of Sprint in title and 39th ranked in the latest World Orienteering Championship, thus loses an important chance to hit the big Final of next Saturday, side by side with all the big names of the world Orienteering, and to join Marco Póvoa in the gallery of the "historical" as the only Portuguese athletes up to date to run a Final A in a European Championship (22nd ranked in the Sprint EOC 2004, held in Roskilde, Denmark).
"What's done is done"
The Portuguese Orienteering Blog talked to Miguel Silva about his race: “I was really confident in the qualifying. The beginning of the race was in the forest and I started too slowly, losing valuable seconds in the first four points. Along the race, as I gained confidence, I increased the speed. I could have been stronger at the end and I failed the qualification for the A Final by less than one second, which was very frustrating.” And his final words: “What's done is done and now is left for me to lift my head and give my best in the remaining B Final to come.”
About the other Portuguese athletes, Paulo Franco also ran the first round of qualification, having finished in the 33rd and last position with a time of 20:31. Manuel Horta and Tiago Leal ran the second heat and, while Horta finished in the 28th position with a time of 16:13, Leal was disqualified. In a heat that registered the participation of 34 athletes, Manuel Horta tipped to 1:07 away from the Austrian Robert Merl, ranked in the 17th place. Finally, in the third and last heat, among 34 participants, Tiago Aires couldn’t do better than the 27th place, with the time of 16:12 and distanced 1:12 away from the Hungarian Zsolt Lenkei and from the qualification.
Helena Jansson and Simone Niggli: A duel of giants in perspective
As in the last World Orienteering Championships, the Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou was absent from the qualifying series. In the same way was the European Champion of Sprint in title, the Swiss Fabian Hertner, absent of these Championships. In the male sector, Martin Hubmann and Matthias Kyburz, both from Switzerland, and the Swedish Jerker Lysell won their respective heats. As for the female sector, we could see also two winners from Switzerland, the athletes Judith Wyder and Simone Niggli and the European Champion of Sprint in title, the Swedish Helena Jansson.
Everything to follow at http://www.eoc2012.se/