Friday, August 28, 2015

Two or three things I know about it...

1. Regularity and consistency were the successful ingredients adopted by the Russian Anton Foliforov and the British Emily Benham towards the victory in the MTB Orienteering World Cup 2015. Virtual winners at the entrance for the last stage held in Liberec, during the World Championships, both athletes managed to renew the titles achieved in 2014. Anton Foliforov triumphed with 290 points, corresponding to four wins and one second place. The two other major starts of the season, the Finnish Jussi Laurila and the Italian Luca Dallavalle, finished in the immediate positions, at 44 and 68 points, respectively, to the winner. With 60 points, Davide Machado was the best Portuguese, finishing in the 32nd place. Three wins, one second place and one third place offered to Emily Benham a total of 275 points and the victory in the Women's World Cup with a five-point lead on the great revelation of the season, the Czech Martina Tichovska. The French Gaëlle Barlet finished in the third position with 246 points. See the final standings at

2. The Finnish TrailO Championships took place last weekend. With maps and courses designed by Lauri Kontkanen and supervised by Antti Rusanen, the competition attracted to Selsien Siku about sixty athletes fighting for the TempO and PreO national titles 2015. The first day was dedicated to the competition of TempO, with Risto Vainio being the winner with 515 seconds. Faster than the winner but less accurate, Martti Inkinen was the second placed, with 28 seconds more than Vainio. With an incredible average time of 5,77 sec/point, Jari Turto was the fastest of all, but the 11 wrong answers in the 44 challenges of the course dictated the final third position, with a total of 584 seconds. By winning the PreO competition, Jari Turto was again in first plan on the second day. In a hard fought course - the first four finished with the same number of points, serving as a tie-breaking factor the time spent in the timed controls - Turto only failed the last of 44 controls, with the 14 seconds spent in the timed controls giving to him the national title, beating Jani Leppäniemi by one single second. Ari Tertsunen finished in the third position with 23 seconds in the timed controls. Complete results and further information at

3. On the weekend of 15th and 16th August, the Unofficial European Cup in TrailO 2015 had in Bollnäs, Sweden, its fourth round. With courses designed by Lennart Wahlgren, the stages made on both days offered an exciting challenge for the 49 participants from 6 different nations that attended the "deep forests" of Hälsingland county. On the first day, were four the athletes who finished tied in the top of the table with 19 points from 20 possible. Thanks to a fantastic performance in the timed controls, the Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler imposed to the Swedish Ola Jansson, second placed, and to the Finnish Ari Tertsunen and the Swedish Robert Jakobsson, ranked third and fourth respectively. The second stage saw the Norwegian Sigurd Dæhli share with the Swedish Erik Stålnacke the first place, both with 22 points of 23 possible and 16 seconds spent in the timed controls. The Finnish Ari Tertsunen repeated the third place with one point less than the winner, despite being the fastest in the timed controls, with 9 seconds only. At one round for the end of the Unofficial European Cup in TrailO 2015, Martin Jullum continues in the lead of the overall standings, but the weak performances in the fourth round put in question the revalidation of the title by the Norwegian, allowing his most direct opponents shorten distances and stand themselves also well placed to reach the final victory. Jullum has currently 159 points, 8 points more than the Latvian Janis Rukšans and 25 points more than the Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler. The Swedish Marit Wiksell was also below the expectations on this round and get down one place in the table, being now the 4th ranked with 131 points.
 More information at

 With a total of 3520 points, the Finnish team of Kuntokeskus Huippu, with Petteri Muukkonen and Hannu-Pekka Pukema, won the Rogaine world title 2015. Held for the first time above the Arctic Circle, at the stunning landscapes of the Urho Kekkonen National Park, in the Finnish region of Saariselkä, the 13th edition of the World Rogaine Championships WRC 2015 was contested by 374 teams from 21 countries. In the second position, with 30 points less than the winners, were classified the team of Estonian ACE Adventure Team (Silver Eensaar and Rain Eensaar), while the third place fell to another Estonian team, Salomon, consisting of Timmo Tammemäe and Rait Pallo. The victory in the women senior class fell to the Russian Ann Shavlakova and Natalya Abramova, of Squirrels team, while the Russian Konstantin Ivanov and Natalia Zimina, from Blondie / KAT team, won the mixed senior class. A prominent note to the Spanish team of Fuby Sport, with Albert Herrero and Jaume Folguera, who finished in the 9th place with 570 points less than the winners. For more information and complete results, please check the WRC 2015 webpage

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, August 27, 2015

City Race European Tour 2015: Antwerp hosts the circuit's first round

Next 5th and 6th September starts the second edition of City Race European Tour. The Belgian city of Antwerp held the opening round of an event joining six cities in five different countries and that will end in Seville, Spain, on 15th November.

There it is, the City Race European Tour 2015, a circuit whose identity is founding on the sportive tourism and in the promotion of Orienteering on the populations of large cities. After having involved the cities of London, Edinburgh, Porto and Barcelona in the first edition, carried out in 2014, the event grows this year in size and ambition. Edinburgh - with the flagship "Race the Castles" - will not be part of this issue, but come to its place the cities of Krakow (Poland), Seville and Antwerp, allowing to extend to six the number of events spread over five different nations. To achieve the global sum of 5.000 participants seems plausible for a circuit that reached three thousand in 2014, with 1447 scoring for the circuit's ranking in 12 competition classes.

Will be in Antwerp that the City Race European Tour 2015 will give the "kick-off", integrating the first edition of ASOM 2015 - Antwerp Sprint Orienteering Meeting. Three urban races in two days of competition - 5th and 6th of September -, such is the proposal of the Belgian organization, with two Sprint stages (with a time of 15 minutes allotted for the winner) in the afternoon of the first day and one stage more “fat” to fill the final day of competition, with times for the winners situated between the 35 and the 45 minutes. This will be a good way to explore the city of Antwerp, taking the opportunity to learn or improve the practice of an exciting sport and whose challenge has been accepted by more than 300 athletes so far, some of them world-class. This applies to the Russian Galina Vinogradova, bronze medallist in the final of Sprint of the recent World Championships, the Belgian Yannick Michiels, ranked fifth in the final od Sprint of the same competition, the British Christopher Smithard, the Spanish Antonio Martinez and the Norwegian Øystein Kvaal Østerbø and Elise Egseth, among others. More information about this event can be found on the official website, at

After Antwerp, London will receive on 12th and 13th September the second stage of the circuit, followed by Porto (25th/27th September), Krakow (10th/11th October) and Barcelona (31st October and 1st November). Everything will end in Seville, on 14th and 15th November, with the Sevilla O-Meeting. For more information, see the webpage of the City Race European Tour at

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MTBO: Ups and downs in the IOF World Rankings

The World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015 are over and it’s time now to look at the IOF World Rankings, trying to understand its ups and downs. Sensational performer at Liberec, Martina Tichovska jumped to the first place in the women's ranking. In the men's ranking, Anton Foliforov reinforced the leadership, position that he retains since the distant 16th May 2014.

Liberec, in the Czech Republic, hosted the 13th edition of the World MTB Orienteering Championships WMTBOC 2015. In the aftermath of a week full of emotions, with a couple of nice surprises, we can now look to the International Orienteering Federation World Rankings duly updated and realize the consequences of the results achieved by the athletes in the most important competition of the international MTB Orienteering calendar.

Starting with the male sector, the Russian Anton Foliforov strengthened his leading position on the ranking, after the gold medals achieved in Middle Distance and Long Distance. Immediately behind him, is the Italian Luca Dallavalle, World Champion of Sprint and Vice World Champion of Middle Distance, which achieved a fantastic rise of seven positions. Rising one place, the Finnish Jussi Laurila, vice-world champion of Long Distance, now ranks fourth. Other significant increases were enthralled by the Czech Marek Pospisek, rising nine places and being the current fifth placed, by the Austrian Kevin Haselsberger, coming from the 16th position to the 9th place and by the Czech Frantisek Bogar which rose sixteen (!) positions and is now the 19th ranked. Also in the top 20, the Finnish Samuli Saarela went up six positions, being now ranked 13th, while the Czech Vojtech Stransky is currently the 14th placed, after rising three positions.

On the side of the falls, is significant the position lost by the Czech Jiri Hradil that is now the 3rd placed. The Russian Ruslan Gritsan colapsed from 4th to the 8th place while the French Baptiste Fuchs fell to the 6th place, when prior to the Championships occupied a brilliant 3rd place. Another important fall was starred by the Norwegian Hans Jorgen Kvale, loosing three positions and being now the 10th placed. The French Yoann Garde also fell significantly in the table, occupying currently the 17th place while he was 11th before, as the Lithuanian Jonas Maiselis, losing six places to settle in the 18th position. From the Portuguese side, Davide Machado lost one place and is now the 30th ranked, while Daniel Marques kept the 50th position. João Ferreira is in the 56th position, and came down four steps, while Carlos Simões ascended three places and is now ranked 63rd. Portugal has another two athletes in the top 100, both suffering losses in the table. Mário Guterres is the 71st ranked when previously occupied the 64th position and Luis Barreiro, ranked 87th, lost five positions.

Tichovska jump to the leadership

In the women's sector, a major achievement was led by the Czech Martina Tichovska by leaving the 4th position in the ranking to take the lead. For this climb have decisively contributed the world titles of Sprint and Long Distance and also the silver medal in the Middle Distance. The Swedish Cecilia Thomasson and the French Gaëlle Barlet rose one place each and are now in the 4th and 5th positions, respectively, while the Danish Camilla Soegaard moved up three positions, occupying now the 6th place of the ranking. The Finnish Susanna Laurila, Long Distance’s vice-world champion, starred the most dazzling ascent, by climbing ten positions to settle in the 9th place. Other important increase was those of the Swiss Maja Rothweiler, from 17th to the 12th position.

Looking to the falls, the former leader of the ranking, the British Emily Benham, is now ranked 2nd as the Russian Svetlana Poverina also down one place in the table and is now ranked 3rd. The Finnish Marika Hara went down sharply four places, occupying now the 7th position. Another of the big losers was the Russian Tatiana Repina, sinking three positions and being now the 13th in the ranking. The French Hana Garde lost two places and now occupies the 10th position, the Danish Nina Hoffmann came from the 15th to the 18th position and the Finnish Antonia Haga is now ranked 15th after losing four places in the table. The Czech Marie Brezinova now occupies the 15th place after falling one position, as many as the Austrian Michaela Gigon, which is the current 17th ranked. The three Portuguese athletes present in Liberec had gains on the table, except for Susana Pontes who kept her 45th position. Ana Filipa Silva won one place, occupying now the 64th position in the ranking, while Tânia Covas Costa recovered nine places, being now the 73rd ranked.

See the full rankings at

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, August 24, 2015

WMTBOC 2015: The day after

1. The World MTB Orienteering Championships came to an end and nine countries shared the 24 medals distributed in the Elite classes. With two gold and three silver medals, Russia led the medalist of the Championships. The Czech Republic ranked second, reaching two gold, two silver and two bronze medals and thus ensuring the most robust portion of distinctions. Finland, Italy, France and Austria achieved one gold medal each, with the Finnish medalist to take extra advantage of two silver and one bronze medal. With also a silver medal and one bronze, Italy occupied the fourth position, leaving the fifth place, ex-aequo, to France and Austria. Sweden came in the seventh position with two bronze medals. Estonia and Great Britain completed this list, with a bronze medal each.

2. If we want to extend to the top six the list of athletes awarded with diplomas in the World Championships, we'll start by saying that were in number of 41 the athletes in these conditions, representing 11 nations. With four medals achieved, the Czech Martina Tichovska was the most valuable athlete of the Championships. The Finnish Jussi Laurila and the French Gaëlle Barlet also returned home with four diplomas, but in the case of Laurila two of them corresponded to two fifth places while Barlet had a diploma because of a fifth place and two diplomas corresponding to the fourth place. The Russian Anton Foliforov, the Italian Luca Dallavalle, the Czech Marek Pospisek, the British Emily Benham, the Finnish Susanna Laurila and Marika Hara and the Danish Camilla Soegaard reached three diplomas each, but it's important to say that the diplomas of Foliforov and Dallavalle represent as many medals.

3. Individually, it must be recognized in the Czech Martina Tichovska the “queen” of the Championships. The two gold medals (Sprint and Long Distance), one silver (Middle Distance) and one bronze (Courier) achieved for her speak too high compared with the medals achieved by the concurrence. The victory of Gaëlle Barlet in the Middle Distance and the Finnish Ingrid Stengard, Susanna Laurila and Marika Hara in the Relay, are also great achievements. To the gold in Relay, Laurila joins the silver in the sprint, which makes of her the second female athlete of the Championships.

4. On the other hand, if Tichovska is the “queen”, Anton Foliforov must be elected as “king” of the Championships. Two gold medals (Middle Distance and Long Distance) and one silver (Relay) are strong arguments in favour of the Russian. Achieving the historic Sprint title for Italy, which adds a silver medal (Middle Distance) and a bronze medal (Long Distance), Luca Dallavalle is another of the key figures of the World Championships, alongside the Austrian Kevin Haselsberger, Bernard Schachinger and Andreas Waldmann, surprising winners of the Relay.

5. In the second line of the personalities that marked these Championships, particular reference to the two podiums of the Swedish Cecilia Thomasson, bronze medallist in the Sprint and Long Distance. The silver medals of the Czech Vojtech Stransky (Sprint), the Finnish Jussi Laurila (Long Distance) and the Russian Svetlana Poverina (Long Distance and Relay) are strong arguments for their inclusion in this “second line” of the Championships' stars.

6. On the side of disappointments - not so much for what they did, but above all for what they didn't, given the expectations - are the Norwegian Hans Jorgen Kvale, “only” fourth in the Sprint and missing the other individual podiums, and especially the French Baptiste Fuchs, Yoann Garde and Cédric Beill, out of the top six in the individual races. From the Russian Valeriy Glohov, the Lithuanian Jonas Maiselis, the Finnish Pekka Niemi, the Estonian Tõnis Erm and the Austrian Tobias Breitschadel we would expect something more. As for the women, the British Emily Benham is, in spite of her bronze medal and two fourth places, one of the losers of the Championships, together with the Finnish Marika Hara, whose gold medal in the Relay can not delete her discoloured performances in the individual races. The French Hana Garde, the Finnish Antonia Haga and the Danish Caecilie Christoffersen stayed below the expectations.

7. In the Junior World Championships, France led the medalist, earning six of the 24 medals distributed, including two gold, three silver and one bronze. Also with six medals (two gold, two silver and two bronze), Russia ranked second in the table, while Sweden, with two gold medals and three bronze, ranked third. Followed, the Czech Republic (one gold medal, one silver and one bronze) and Australia (one gold medal). The remaining medals fit to Slovakia and Switzerland, with a silver medal each, and Finland, with a bronze medal.

8. Individually, the Swede Oskar Sandberg was the “prince” of the Championships, with two gold medals (Middle Distance and Long Distance) and one bronze medal (Sprint). Angus Robinson, by winning for Australia the first medal ever in the Junior World Championships - and a gold one, in Sprint (!) - it's also worthy of a very special mention. In turn, the French Lou Denaix deserves the title of “princess”, with a gold medal (Relay) and three silver medals on her luggage. A special note to Darya Mikryukova, not only for her extraordinary youth, but especially for the achievements of gold (Long Distance), silver (Courier) and bronze (Middle Distance and Sprint) that she took to Russia.

9. Finally we talk about the Portuguese participation in these Championships, which had a really positive note in the seventh place of the men's Relay, in what is the best result ever from our team in the World Championships. Even far from the podiums of 2011 and 2012, the 16th place of Davide Machado in the Long Distance is also noteworthy. The results of the “veterans” Daniel Marques and Carlos Simões also worth a flattering reference. Far from what was expected, stayed the female Elite team and the male Junior team, with results in the back of the respective standings.

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, August 22, 2015

WMTBOC 2015: Golden Relay to Austria and Finland

The big surprise was saved for the last day of the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015. With a performance absolutely brilliant, Austria won the world title in men's Relay, in what was the most contested final ever. In the women's sector the victory went to Finland, while in the Junior World Championships,  France was the winner in both categories.

Giving to the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015 the great note of sensation, Austria was the winner of the men's Relay, which took place this morning. The Czech Republic started stronger, through Frantisek Bogar, facing the hard opposition of Russian, Finnish, Austrian and... Portuguese. Indeed, Davide Machado had a brilliant performance in the first leg, throughout the testimony to Daniel Marques in the second position, just a few 36 seconds to the leadership. In the group of five, only Marques sank in the second leg, so the decisive leg offered the prospect of an intense battle for the gold medal between Finns, Czechs and Russians, with Austria being the great outsider in this exciting Relay. Portugal occupied the sixth position then, with a lead of 3:59 over Estonia, current World Champion and now ranked seventh.

But it was precisely Austria to give the note of sensation and quoting itself as the great surprise of the Championships. Andreas Waldmann - now in his first season within the elite, after being consecrated World Champion Junior of Long Distance in 2014 - knew endure the pressure of having behind him names such as the Czech Vojtech Stransky, the Finnish Jussi Laurila and the Russian Anton Foliforov, performing the last leg always on the edge and concluding with a more than welcomed victory in 2:32:15, against 2:32:23 and 2:32:26 over Russia and Finland, respectively. Only eleven seconds separated the top three, in which becomes the most disputed Relay ever in thirteen editions of the World Championships, gave to Austria a tasty and particularly deserved title. Portugal finished in the 7th place, with more 15:38 than Austria, thus achieving its best result ever in the Relay in the World Championships.

Finland recovers female world title

In the women's sector, Sweden played its biggest trump card in the first leg, with Cecilia Thomasson to be the fastest among the 19 athletes who lined up at the start. However, Sanna Wallenborg was quickly overcome by her more direct opponents, with Russia and the Czech Republic to erase the disadvantage of nearly one minute they had. To the Russian Anastasiya Bolshova and the Czech Marie Brezinova joined the Finnish Marika Hara, winning almost three minutes over her opponents and giving to Susanna Laurila the leadershio at the start for the decisive let. Big names of the Long Distance course, when they raised the top two positions, the Czech Martina Tichovska and the Russian Svetlana Poverina were not able, in the leat leg, to neutralize the difference to the Finnish, sharing than the discussion of the silver medal, with Poverina to bringing the best after a vigorous sprint. In the end, victory for Finland in 2:08:19, which thus recovers the title that escaped in 2014, precisely to Russia.

The Junior World MTB Orienteering Championship JWMTBOC 2015 had in the French teams a common denominator regarding to the winner in male and female categories. France won by comfortable margins in both cases on Russia, with Finland in male and female in Sweden to occupy the third place of the respective tables. Hard fought earlier, the men's race had in the French Samson Deriaz the big name, to move away significantly from the concurrence in the second leg, opening the victory to Florian Pinsard, also with a great performance. In the women class, the second leg of Constance Devillers was also decisive, but Lou Denaix, with a blazing start, also was important in the victory of the French, that Lou Garcin could confirm.


1. Austria (Kevin Haselsberger, Bernhard Schachinger, Andreas Waldmann) 2:32:15 (+ 00:00)
2. Russia (Ruslan Gritsan, Valerii Glukhov, Anton Foliforov) 2:32:23 (+ 00:08)
3. Finland (Pekka Niemi, Samuli Saarela, Jussi Laurila) 2:32:26 (+ 00:11)
4. Czech Republic (Frantisek Bogar, Marek Pospisek, Vojtech Stransky) 2:35:06 (+ 02:51)
5. France (Yoann Garde, Clement Souvray, Baptiste Fuchs) 2:35:58 (+ 03:43)
6. Estonia (Tõnis Erm, Margus Hallik, Lauri Malsroos) 2:42:00 (+ 09:45)
7. Portugal (Davide Machado, Daniel Marques, Carlos Simões) 1:47:53 (+ 15:38)

1. Finland (Ingrid Stengard, Marika Hara, Susanna Laurila) 2:08:19 (+ 00:00)
2. Russia (Tatiana Repina, Anastasiya Bolshova, Svetlana Poverina) 2:09:45 (+ 01:26)
3. Czech Republic (Renata Paulickova, Marie Brezinova, Martina Tichovska) 2:09:51 (+ 01:32)
4. France (Nicole Hueber, Hana Garde, Gaëlle Barlet) 2:15:17 (+ 06:58)
5. Denmark (Nina Hoffman, Caecilie Christoffersen, Camilla Soegaard) 2:20:48 (+ 12:29)
6. Lithuania (Asta Simkoniene, Ramune Arlauskiene, Algirda Zaliauskaite) 2:24:23 (+ 16:04)
14. Portugal (Susana Pontes, Ana Filipa Silva, Tânia Costa Covas) 2:58:20 (+ 50:01)

1. France (Antoine Vercauteren, Samson Deriaz, Florian Pinsard) 2:33:38 (+ 00:00)
2. Russia (Leonid Tsvetkov, Alexander Kulgaviy, Vyacheslav Chernykh) 2:36:16 (+ 02:38)
3. Finland (Sakari Puolakanaho, Miska Tervala, Sauli Pietikainen) 2:36:50 (+ 03:12)
4. Czech Republic (Vaclav Snuparek, Matyas Ludvik, Michael Nemet) 2:41:48 (+ 08:10)
5. Slovakia (Matej Muller, Teodor Takac, Andrej Cully) 2:48:10 (+ 14:32)
6. Sweden (Filip Bergstrom, Oskar Sandberg, Pontus Kullin) 2:50:26 (+ 16:48)
Portugal (Paul Roothans, Duarte Lourenço, Diogo Barradas) mp

1. France (Lou Denaix, Constance Devillers, Lou Garcin) 2:31:46 (+ 00:00)
2. Russia (Olga Mikhaylova, Alena Fedoseeva, Darya Mikryukova) 2:32:38 (+ 00:52)
3. Sweden (Rebecka Hylander, Elvira Larsson, Kajsa Engstrom) 2:39:29 (+ 07:04)
4. Finland (Jutta Nurminen, Helena Hakala, Essi Hakala) 2:41:09 (+ 09:23)
5. Czech Republic (Andrea Kamenikova, Barbora Kohoutova, Veronika Kubinova) 2:48:21 (+ 16:35)
6. Austria (Lea Hnilica, Julia Ritter, Antonella Fantoni) 2:53:38 (+ 21:52)

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, August 21, 2015

WMTBOC 2015: Another gold to Anton Foliforov and Martina Tichovska

About to come to an end, the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015 saw the last individual competition of the program being held today. Anton Foliforov and Martina Tichovska were the big winners of the Long Distance final, fairly achieving the titles of “king” and “queen” of the World Championships. Oskar Sandberg and Darya Mikryukova won the gold at the Junior World Championships.

The third and penultimate day of the competitive program of the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015 was dedicated to the Long Distance, acclaiming the last individual World Champions of the season. Extending to a wide area of the district towns of Liberec and Jablonec nad Nisou, in the Czech Republic, the courses presented very high levels of physical demand and technical challenge, in a particularly uneven area with a dense network of paths. In the men's race, the Russian Anton Foliforov renewed the title of World Champion, by completing his course in 1:42:11. Foliforov finish in the best way a season full of success, joining to this world title of Long Distance won today, the world title of Middle Distance reached last Tuesday last and still the European titles of Middle Distance and Long Distance brought from Idanha-a -Nova, Portugal, last June. Corollary of that which is his best season ever, the athlete reinforced his leadership in the IOF World Ranking, while he won the MTB Orienteering World Cup 2015. The fight for the second place was exciting, with the Finnish Jussi Laurila to be the strongest, finishing at 1:30 from Foliforov. In the third place stayed another of the great revelations of the Championships, the Italian Luca Dallavalle, who spent more six seconds than Laurila. Davide Machado was, once again, the best Portuguese in the competition, achieving a creditable 16th place, 10:12 behind the winner.

In the women's race, the Czech Martina Tichovska was a much acclaimed winner, completing her course with the time of 1:31:07 and beating a strong concurrence. After the second place in the Middle Distance and the gold achieved in the Sprint, Tichovska closes in the best way her participate in the Championships where, “playing home”, she was able to give enormous joy to the many fans that are following closely the competition. For the second consecutive year, the Russian Svetlana Poverina reached the silver medal in the Long Distance, ending her course with more 1:06 than the winner. The Swedish Cecilia Thomasson completed her course in 1:34:04 and was the third ranked, thus repeating the bronze achieved in the final of Sprint last Wednesday. The best Portuguese athlete in competition was Susana Pontes, finishing with a time of 2:21:11 to which correspond the 44th place.

The last reference goes to the Junior World Championships, which saw also assign the titles of Long Distance. Succeeding to the Austrian Andreas Waldmann, the Swedish Oskar Sandberg won the World title by completing his course in 1:26:48. It's him, unavoidably, the brightest star of these Junior World Championships 2015, having reached the gold in the Middle Distance course that opened the Championships and was bronze medallist in the final of Sprint. The Czech Vaclav Snuparek was - as happened in the European Championships - the second placed, at 56 seconds to the Swedish, while the third place fell to Frenchman Antoine Vercauteren, with more 1:25 than the winner. In the women's class, the Russian Darya Mikryukova finally reached the gold after the third places achieved in the previous finals. European Champion in this distance but in the W17 class (!), the very young Russian gave a lesson to the strong concurrence, winning with a time of 1:26:22. The French Lou Denaix completed her race in 1:32:20, earning her third silver medal in a row. In the third place stayed the Swedish Elvira Larsson, a few three seconds more than Denaix. A curious note just for the fact that Darya Mikryukova have established today a new record, fixing in 5:58 the biggest difference of times ever between the winner and the runner-up in eight editions of women's Junior World Championships.


1. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 1:42:11 (+ 00:00)
2. Jussi Laurila (Finland) 1:43:41 (+ 01:30)
3. Luca Dallavalle (Italy) 1:43:47 (+ 01:36)
4. Samuli Saarela (Finland) 1:44:16 (+ 02:05)
5. Jiri Hradil (Czech Republic) 1:46:10 (+ 03:59)
6. Marek Pospisek (Czech Republic) 1:46:37 (+ 04:26)
16. Davide Machado (Portugal) 1:52:23 (+ 10:12)
34. Daniel Marques (Portugal) 2:02:05 (+ 19:54)
45. Carlos Simões (Portugal) 2:10:21 (+ 28:10)

1. Martina Tichovska (Czech Republic) 1:31:07 (+ 00:00)
2. Svetlana Poverina (Russia) 1:32:13 (+ 01:06)
3. Cecilia Thomasson (Sweden) 1:34:04 (+ 02:57)
4. Gaëlle Barlet (France) 1:37:06 (+ 05:59)
4. Emily Benham (Britain) 1:37:06 (+ 05:59)
6. Camilla Soegaard (Denmark) 1:37:18 (+ 06:11)
44. Susana Pontes (Portugal) 2:21:11 (+ 50:04)
49. Ana Filipa Silva (Portugal) 2:30:30 (+ 59:23)
51. Tânia Covas Costa (Portugal) 2:39:42 (+ 1:08:35)

1. Oskar Sandberg (Sweden) 1:26:48 (+ 00:00)
2. Vaclav Snuparek (Czech Republic) 1:22:44 (+ 00:56)
3. Antoine Vercauteren (France) 1:28:13 (+ 01:25)
4. Alexander Kulgaviy (Russia) 1:28:51 (+ 02:03)
5. Sauli Pietikäinen (Finland) 1:29:30 (+ 02:42)
6. Florian Pinsard (France) 1:30:27 (+ 03:39)
38. Paul Roothans (Portugal) 1:55:57 (+ 29:09)
43. Duarte Lourenço (Portugal) 2:03:53 (+ 37:05)
45. Diogo Barradas (Portugal) 2:05:09 (+ 38:21)
48. André Ramalho (Portugal) 2:12:04 (+ 45:16)
Afonso Barreiros (Portugal) mp

1. Darya Mikryukova (Russia) 1:26:22 (+ 00:00)
2. Lou Denaix (France) 1:32:20 (+ 05:58)
3. Elvira Larsson (Sweden) 1:32:23 (+ 06:01)
4. Sandrine Muller (Switzerland) 1:34:55 (+ 08:33)
5. Doris Kudre (Estonia) 1:37:04 (+ 10:42)
5. Anna Semenova (Russia) 1:38:37 (+ 12:15)

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

Jonas Leandersson: "I just try to enjoy the moment"

After the European titles of Sprint in 2012 and 2014, Jonas Leandersson finally reached the gold in the World Championships. Zenith of a successful career, thoroughly reviewed by the great Swedish champion.

How was your training time? Did you feel well prepared for the WOC? What goals had you drawn?

Jonas Leandersson (J. L.) - My training during the winter had gone really well, without any sickness or injuries. During the season I felt that my shape was better than ever. But I know from experience that it’s not only the physical shape that must be on top during the WOC. My focus this year was on the WOC-sprint in Forres. After last year’s race, in Venice, I felt that I could have performed even better on that specific day. My goal was to go to Scotland and fight for the medals, which meant aiming for the perfect race.

Would you like to talk about your amazing gold medal in Sprint? Did you expect it?

J. L. - I knew that my shape was good and that I had a really good opportunity to achieve a great result. But I also knew there were a lot of good guys in sprint who were aiming for the same thing, so I knew that anything could happen. The race was almost perfect and I took the time in the beginning of the race to grant a safe start. Then I pushed quite hard in the middle part of the race and the end of the race was all about giving it all. The gold medal means a lot to me. This was the goal of the year and the medal that I have been missing from previous seasons. So it feels unbelievable, but great, that my race was good enough for the gold.

And in the Relay and Sprint Mixed Relay? Are you happy with your results?

J. L. - The Sprint Mixed Relay went quite okay both for me and the team. We aimed for the medals and were in the fight all the way to the finish. The other teams were stronger in the end and we finished fifth, just some seconds away the medals. I think we can be satisfied with the race even though we aimed for more.

In the relay I did a really bad mistake at the sixth control. I went out with bad direction and decided to go around on the path instead. Then I took another bad decision when I went right on what I thought was another path. Some seconds later I realized that it was just a path made by runners who had been there before me. So I tried to recover my mistake by going through the white forest up to my control. Unfortunately I lost even more seconds when I didn’t know for sure where I came out on the open yellow area close to the control. A big mistake and after that I felt quite alone in the forest. I tried to push all the way to the finish but the terrain didn´t help with such easy orienteering. After the race I was really disappointed at myself and for not being able to give Olle [Boström] and Gustav [Bergman] a better position in the Relay.

What motivation do these results represent for the future?

J. L. - I’m not sure yet. Right now I just try to enjoy the moment and then I will begin the work towards next year’s WOC in Sweden. Hopefully it will give me the energy for the future to achieve new goals.

And what about the Swedish team? Overall, what results do you highlight?

J. L. - I think we did a great team performance in Scotland. The goal was to get six medals, including two gold medals and we achieved that. All medals are great in their own way. Annika [Billstam] defended her gold from last year. Jerker [Lysell] had a lot of problems during this year so he just went out there and showed what a great sprinter he is. Olle, with so many years of struggling with injuries, is back on top where he belongs. It feels great to have him back in the team and he really deserves this medal. Emma [Johansson], with a great season, brought that shape to WOC and performed two great races and got two medals.

How do you rate the WOC 2015 from a technical and organizational point of view?

J. L. - The terrain and the courses were really good this year, with different types of terrain and, thereby, different challenges. The sprint in Forres could have been more challenging with just a few extra fences. But even during the sprint in Forres, the technical performance was the key for the medals.

If I asked you a moment - the great achievement of the Championships -, what would be your choice?

J. L. - Annika Billstam going to the finish as the last starter in the middle distance final and defending her gold medal. That’s big! Also the Danish team during both of the relay did an impressive performance. Full speed from start to finish and the other teams just couldn't follow.

The season is approaching an end. What are the goals for what remains of the season?

J. L. - The goal is to finish the season in a good way first in Sweden and then in the World Cup.

[Photo: Svensk Orientering /]

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Svetlana Mironova: "Orienteering is my life now and I want to continue, to improve"

Her presence in the World Championships were in doubt, but Svetlana Mironova never stopped believing. In the end, a bronze medal with golden streaks and a pair of beautiful moments, here recalled with intensity and passion.

How was your training time? Did you feel well prepared for the WOC? What goals have you drawn?

Svetlana Mironova (S. M.) - This year was complicated. I planned a couple of Training Camps in Scotland, but I was injured just before the first one, so I spent my time there just walking. This injury took a lot of time finally and my coach and I had doubts about the possibility to enter the WOC at all. But we decided that we had to try. We had to change the trainings in a way that my knee could recover well but at the same time to follow the training program as much as possible. We had to plan every training carefully! A couple of weeks before the WOC I was still in doubt if I would be ready to compete or not, but my coach made me believe in myself again.

Would you like to talk about your bronze Medal in the Long Distance? Did you expect it?

S. M. - As I told you before, to participate in the WOC was out of question three months ago. But I wanted so much to run. Honestly, to get the Bronze this year was finally more difficult than the Gold of last year. Not so many people know what I went through this year but some of them who were going this way with me tell me that this Bronze is “in gold colours”. Yes, this Bronze is so important. It is a victory over me and over my injury.

And what about the 13tht place in the Sprint? What feelings do you keep from the race?

S. M. - Actually, this is my best WOC-sprint! I have only one better sprint result which is the EOC 2012, where I was 7th. This year I was selected for all individual races and forest-relay. But I needed to think well what I wanted more: to run everything or to run better. My injury made me choose. My coach and I decided to refuse to run the Middle Distance to let me recover better before the Relay. I think it was a good decision. We built the WOC program as a “stair”, every step from Sprint Qualification until the Long Distance being tougher and tougher. I knew that I wouldn't win the Sprint so I decided that I needed to do almost perfect orienteering at the maximum speed I can run in the city. And even with a 12 seconds mistake I’m quite satisfied, because I was better than last year when I was in better shape (last year I was behind the top 20 in Sprint). I like sprint, its dynamic and beauty. And I’m sure that my Middle is waiting for me too.

How do you feel about the “mp” in the Relay?

S. M. - Relay was a bad surprise! Russian women’s team has never been disqualified before. We started well with Natalia, she was extremely fast and even with a really big mistake she came in 2nd place. I knew that I needed to run a clear race with no mistakes, first of all. But another thing happened – my SI “touch free” was broken after the 1st control. I lost some seconds at 2nd control misunderstanding what happened and then I needed to punch every control by the normal way. So, I understood that I was losing seconds because of that and I needed to be faster. Finally, I came 2nd with the same advantage over the third team (I won’t speak about the Danish, they were extremely fast). Something happened with Tatiana, I don’t know what, she is really the most experienced runner in our team… but things happen, and this is a Relay, always unpredictable. At first, after she finished, we were shocked but then I decided that there was already nothing we could do and the most important thing should be to keep energy and emotions for the Long Distance. So, we just forgot it. I was satisfied with my 2nd leg because I realized that I could run as fast as other strong girls and it was important for me that day.

What motivation do these results represent for the future?

S. M. - I wouldn’t like to make the question this way. Orienteering is my life now and I want to continue, to improve. I’d like to do it the best way. Just because I like my life.

What about the Russian team? Overall, what results do you highlight?

S. M. - This was a difficult year for our team. But I see that my team mates are really hard-working. We were happy to watch the Sprint Mixed Relay where we got an almost impossible Bronze. It was so great and I’m proud of Galina [Vinogradova], who did a great job at the last leg.

How do you rate the WOC 2015 from a technical and organizational point of view?

S. M. - Well… amazing! I think these were the most “TV-highlighted” championships ever. From the spectator’s point of view, it was really well organized. Every race was set with a tough end, which is better visible for spectators. A lot of cameras, running operators (even so far away from the Arena at Long!), I think TV broadcasts were the most interesting ever! Another moment is the way from Quarantine to Pre-start at the Long Distance. One of the buses fell into the ditch and that made it impossible to drive other buses to Pre-start, so we walked 20 minutes on foot. But what can I say? It was the only way to organize the course at this really unique terrain! So, no complaints!

If I asked you a moment - the great achievement of the Championships -, what would your choice be?

S. M. - The title of the WOC achievement I’d like to give to the moment (really, a moment) of admiration when I came to the highest point of the first long leg at the Long Distance and saw the beautiful landscape of surroundings – forrestless mountains with small areas of snow not melting even in August, brightly green in the sun. I saw that only one second because I needed to continue the race but even this second made me admire the wonderful nature of the northern Scotland! (Sorry for the runners who chose the right route, they couldn’t see it).

Honestly, I’d like to notice that the terrain of Long Distance that has been offered this year is really unique. It was the most challenging and demanding day of the WOC, first of all, a terrain without roads, an extremely tough ground. It was really great and I’d even like to make the women’s course also for 1hour30min winner time, as in men’s course. So, I’d like to announce Glen Affric as the Achievement of WOC 2015!

The season is approaching an end. What are the goals for what remains of the season?

S. M. - I’d like to spend the last part of season with my preparation for the CISM in which I’ll participate this year. It will be an exciting trip and, I hope, a great experience too.

[Foto: Team Russia Orienteering /]

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WMTBOC 2015: After the silver, gold to Dallavalle and Tichovska

Better than silver, only the gold! Twenty-four hours after taking the second place in the Middle Distance of the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015, Luca Dallavalle and Martina Tichovska ran today to the victory in the Sprint, held in Turnov. In the Junior World Championships, Angus Robinson and Veronika Kubinova took the gold.

The program of the second day of competition of the World MTB Orienteering Championships 2015 was dedicated to the Sprint finals. The surroundings of Stadium Ludvík Daněk, at Turnov, were the scenery of intense duels, with the uncertainty about the winners to stay until the last second. In the Men Elite class, the Italian Luca Dallavalle was the fastest, offering to his country a historic gold medal, the first ever in the Italian Mountain Biking Orienteering. Dallavalle already yesterday had threatened the first place, finishing the Middle Distance course with the silver on his chest, a few five seconds after the winner, the Russian Anton Foliforov. Nonconformist and combative, the Italian athlete faced this race with determination, showing the “fury” which makes him a great champion and winning with a time of 20:58.

In a highly contested race - the top ten finishers ended separated by margins of less than one minute -, the Czech Vojtech Stransky reached the second place, having spent 4 seconds more than the winner. The third place went to the current European Champion, the Estonian Lauri Malsroos, with a time of 21:18. With a total of four athletes in the top ten, the Czech Republic was in great prominence today. Sprint World Champion in 2014 and star of the first day of the Championships, Anton Foliforov finished in the 12th place with a time of 22:17. As for the Portuguese, Davide Machado was, once again, our best representative, ending his race in the 35th place, 2:35 from Dallavalle.

Tichovska also makes history

As already mentioned, the history of the women's race is written exactly with the same words of the men's race. A 21:52 record was enough to Martina Tichovska conquer a gold medal also historic, being the first for the Czech Republic in the Women Elite class in thirteen editions of the World Championships. The 55 seconds that separated Tichovska from the Finnish Susanna Laurila are well a demonstration of the supremacy of the Czech athlete, already evidenced at Idanha-a-Nova, last June, when she reached the European title of Sprint, imposing itself the current leader of the IOF World Ranking, the British Emily Benham. The third place was awarded to the Swedish Cecilia Thomasson, with a time of 22:49, while the Finnish Marika Hara, Sprint World Champion in 2014, finished in the 6th place. With a time of 30:11, corresponding to the 43rd place, Ana Filipa Silva was the best Portuguese representative in this course.

In the Junior World Championships, the Australian Angus Robinson took the World Champion title, completing his race in 21:27 against 21:48 of the Swiss Silvan Stettler. With 33 seconds more than Robinson, the Swedish Oskar Sandberg - great winner of the Middle Distance final held yesterday and Sprint World Champion in 2014 - finished third. Afonso Barreiros was the best Portuguese, finishing in the 38th place with a time of 26:24. The women's race confirmed the Czech Veronika Kubinova as the great favorite, who defended here, before her public, the world title won in the previous year in Bialystok, Poland. Recovering from the failure of yesterday's race, where she was disqualified, Kubinova avenged the second place in the European Championship before Lou Denaix, winning with 22:15 time. Denaix repeated the second place of yesterday's Middle Distance course, having spent more 4 seconds than the winner. Also the Russian Daria Mikryukova repeated the climb to the lowest place of the podium, staying at 15 seconds of Kubinova. Finally, as a curiosity note, special mention to the gold medal won by the Australian Angus Robinson, the first ever of an Australian junior athlete in the World Championships. Silvan Stettler also offered to the Swiss's junior male MTB Orienteering its first medal ever in the most important competition of the MTBO international agenda.


1. Luca Dallavalle (Italy) 20:58 (+ 00:00)
2. Vojtech Stránsky (Czech Republic) 21:02 (+ 00:04)
3. Lauri Malsroos (Estonia) 21:18 (+ 00:20)
4. Hans Jorgen Kvale (Norway) 21:23 (+ 00:25)
5. Jussi Laurila (Finland) 21:26 (+ 00:28)
6. Frantisek Bogar (Czech Republic) 21:33 (+ 00:35)
35. Davide Machado (Portugal) 23:33 (+ 02:35)
43. Daniel Marques (Portugal) 24:21 (+ 03:23)
55. Carlos Simões (Portugal) 24:45 (+ 03:47)
58. João Ferreira (Portugal) 25:02 (+ 04:04)
66. Luis Barreiro (Portugal) 25:46 (+ 04:48)
77. Mario Guterres (Portugal) 27:08 (+ 06:10)

1. Martina Tichovska (Czech Republic) 21:52 (+ 00:00)
2. Susanna Laurila (Finland) 22:47 (+ 00:55)
3. Cecilia Thomasson (Sweden) 22:49 (+ 00:57)
4. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 23:06 (+ 01:14)
5. Gaelle Barlet (France) 23:07 (+ 01:15)
6. Marika Hara (Finland) 23:12 (+ 01:20)
43. Ana Filipa Silva (Portugal) 30:11 (+ 08:19)
45. Susana Bridges (Portugal) 30:46 (+ 08:54)
51. Tania Covas Costa (Portugal) 33:41 (+ 11:49)

1. Angus Robinson (Australia) 21:27 (+ 00:00)
2. Silvan Stettler (Switzerland) 21:48 (+ 00:21)
3. Oskar Sandberg (Sweden) 22:00 (+ 00:33)
4. Vyacheslav Chernykh (Russia) 22:07 (+ 00:40)
5. Matej Muller (Slovakia) 22:12 (+ 00:45)
6. Vaclav Snuparek (Czech Republic) 22:37 (+ 01:10)
38. Afonso Barreiros (Portugal) 26:24 (+ 04:57)
43. Paul Roothans (Portugal) 27:04 (+ 05:37)
48. Duarte Lourenço (Portugal) 28:00 (+ 06:33)
57.Diogo Barradas (Portugal) 31:52 (+ 10:25)
André Ramalho (Portugal) mp
1. Veronika Kubinova (Czech Republic) 22:15 (+ 0:00)
2. Lou Denaix (France) 22:19 (+ 00:04)
3. Darya Mikryukova (Russia) 22:30 (+ 00:15)
4. Constance Devillers (France) 22:59 (+ 00:44)
5. Doris Kudre (Estonia) 23:29 (+ 01:14)
5. Viktorija Michnovic (Lithuania) 23:29 (+ 01:14)

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

WMTBOC 2015: Gold in the Middle Distance to Foliforov and Barlet

Anton Foliforov and Gaëlle Barlet are the new MTBO World Champions in Middle Distance. Held at Jablonec nad Nisou, in high-quality terrains, both races were hardly disputed, with few seconds separating the gold from the silver. In the Junior World Championships, Oskar Sandberg and Alena Fedoseeva were the best.

After the World titles of Long Distance (2010 and 2014) and Sprint (2011 and 2014), Anton Foliforov reached this morning the individual title that was missing him. The Russian needed 58:16 to complete his course, leaving the Italian Luca Dallavalle at five seconds only. The third place fell to the Czech Marek Pospisek with more 1:04 than the winner. Middle Distance World Champion in 2014, the Russian Ruslan Gritsan concluded on the 6th place, 2:24 after his team mate. Portugal entered six athletes in this course, quoting up Davide Machado as the best national representative with a time of 1:08:08, corresponding to the 38th place.

The French Gaëlle Barlet was the winner of the women's race. World Champion of Sprint in 2011, the athlete appeared this year in the European Championships at Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal) with a highly competitive winning hand, having reached the title of Middle Distance and also the silver medal in the Long Distance. Now she consolidates her status of bigger star of MTB Orienteering in 2015, winning the course in the time of 53:32 and leaving the Czech Martina Tichovska 24 seconds away. Current leader of the IOF World Ranking, the British Emily Benham got the third place, while the World Champion in 2014, the Swedish Cecilia Thomasson, finished 8th. Susana Pontes was the best placed among the three Portuguese entered, finishing in 46th place in the list of 60 athletes that started.

A star called Alena Fedoseeva

Looking now on the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships, were in number of 64 the athletes who lined up to start in the men’s class, for a hard fought race, with the first four classified separated by less than one minute. Great revelation of the World Championships in 2014, where he was crowned World Champion in Sprint, Oskar Sandberg returned to the top of the podium, this time to receive the gold medal in the Middle Distance. The Swedish athlete spent 52:39, against 52:56 of the Slovak Andrej Cully, second placed. The bronze medal stayed "at home", with the Czech Vaclav Snuparek to spend 53 more seconds than the winner. The Finnish Sauli Pietikainen, European Champion currently, couldn’t get better than the 10th position. Portugal presented five junior athletes in competition, belonging to André Ramalho our best result in the 43rd place.

Finally, regarding to the Women, a prominent note goes to the victory of the Russian Alena Fedoseeva, joining this gold medal to the title in the European Championships of Idanha-a-Nova (Portugal), but there in the W17 class. An amazing victory, achieved in the time of 49:28, against one of the big favorites, the French Lou Denaix, who spent more 48 seconds and was 2nd. The third place fell to another Russian youth athlete, Daria Mikryukova, while in the fourth position stayed the Swiss Sandrine Muller, bronze medal in the Middle Distance and Long Distance in the recent Junior World Championships... of Foot Orienteering! European Champion 2015 and World Champion 2014, both in Sprint, the Czech Veronika Kubinova was disqualified, while the World Champion of Middle Distance in 2014, the Swedish Kajsa Engstrom, finished in the 8th place. Participated in the course 36 athletes.



1. Anton Foliforov (Russia) 58:16 (+ 00:00)

2. Luca Dallavalle (Italy) 58:21 (+ 00:05)

3. Marek Pospisek (Czech Republic) 59:20 (+ 1:04)

4. Valerii Glukhov (Russia) 59:34 (+ 01:18)

5. Jussi Laurila (Finland) 59:59 (+ 1:43)

6. Ruslan Gritsan (Russia) 1:00:40 (+ 02:24)


38. Davide Machado (Portugal) 1:08:08 (+ 09:52)

48. Daniel Marques (Portugal) 1:11:55 (+ 13:39)

50. Carlos Simões (Portugal) 1:11:58 (+ 13:42)

56. João Ferreira (Portugal) 1:13:02 (+ 14:46)

73. Luis Barreiro (Portugal) 1:18:44 (+ 20:28)

73. Mario Guterres (Portugal) 1:18:44 (+ 20:28)


1. Gaelle Barlet (France) 53:32 (+ 00:00)

2. Martina Tichovska (Czech Republic) 53:56 (+ 0:24)

3. Emily Benham (Great Britain) 54:06 (+ 00:34)

4. Susanna Laurila (Finland) 54:27 (+ 00:55)

5. Camilla Soegaard (Denmark) 54:50 (+ 01:18)

6. Marika Hara (Finland) 55:18 (+ 01:46)


46. Susana Pontes (Portugal) 1:16:28 (+ 22:56)

53. Ana Filipa Silva (Portugal) 1:26:19 (+ 32:47)

58. Tânia Covas Costa (Portugal) 1:44:47 (+ 51:15)


1. Oskar Sandberg (Sweden) 52:39 (+ 00:00)

2. Andrej Cully (Slovakia) 52:56 (+ 00:17)

3. Vaclav Snuparek (Czech Republic) 53:32 (+ 0:53)

4. Vyacheslav Chernykh (Russia) 53:35 (+ 00:56)

5. Florian Pinsard (France) 53:51 (+ 01:12)

6. Edwyn Oliver Evans (Great Britain) 54:03 (+ 1:24)


43. André Ramalho (Portugal) 1:11:23 (+ 18:44)

47. Duarte Lourenço (Portugal) 1:12:09 (+ 19:30)

56. Diogo Barradas (Portugal) 1:28:35 (+ 35:56)

Afonso Barreiros (Portugal) mp

Paul Roothans (Portugal) mp


1. Alena Fedoseeva (Russia) 49:28 (+ 00:00)

2. Lou Denaix (France) 50:16 (+ 00:48)

3. Darya Mikryukova (Russia) 50:27 (+ 00:59)

4. Sandrine Mueller (Switzerland) 53:11 (+ 3:43)

5. Doris Kudre (Estonia) 53:12 (+ 3:44)

6. Viktorija Michnovic (Lithuania) 54:23 (+ 04:55)

Complete results and further information at

Joaquim Margarido

Catherine Taylor: "It still feels like I can be better"

Everybody was expecting the gold but Catherine Taylor is more than pleased with the 5th place in the Middle Distance and the 6th place in the Long Distance at WOC 2015. With her, we return to Scotland for the balance of a week of strong emotions.

How anxious were you, running “at home” this year? What special motivation did it give you?

Catherine Taylor (C. T.) - I was really anxious in the months before WOC. It took a huge amount of energy to deal with others’ expectations that I was out for nothing less than gold (!!!). It was hard to stick to my own plans and aims without worrying about outside pressures. On the other hand, being somewhere where you understand the mapping style, forest vegetation, language, foods etc. gave me a lot of confidence and it was motivating to have an extra-excited British team to train with.

Did you feel well prepared? What goals did you have?

C. T. - I think the whole British team felt well prepared for WOC. It was great to have a less stressful preparation over a longer time than usual. My goal was to be on the podium for one of my own races and do a good job for the team in both relays.

Would you like to talk about your 5th place in the Middle Distance and the 6th place in the Long
Distance? Did the results leave you entirely satisfied? Which one has a special meaning for you?

C. T. - A lot of people offered commiserations that I missed a medal but I more than met my goal and I’m happy with that. I’m still surprised that my best result was in the Middle race, but the Long still feels more special – the pressure was off and I just enjoyed my run.

And in the Relay? In both races, you started from a very difficult position, but you knew how to deal with the pressure, achieving high level performances. How could you manage things, especially from a psychological point of view?

C. T. - I think it helped that our aims were based on the way we wanted to run, rather than the result. Both of the first leg runners in my teams had some real bad luck, but the job for me felt the same. It’s usually easier to take a chasing position in a relay, meaning it’s always possible to regain positions and never a good idea to “give up” on the team, and with that in mind I could have a good racing attitude.

What motivation do these results provide for the future?

C. T. - The performances in both individual races were okay but not great. It still feels like I can be better. And of course, we would like to run some great relays, and working towards that as a team will be fun.

And what about the British team and the promotion to the First Division? Overall, what results would you highlight?

C. T. - It was a great team effort and we were so happy to find out! It was great that all week, we had lots of great results in the top 10 and top 20, by a lot of different people and across all the races. We had six team members running their first WOC and all of them ran well. So it was a true team effort!

How do you rate WOC 2015 from a technical and organizational point of view?

C. T. - I thought the courses I ran were challenging and fun, and the forests offered some great terrain. The most difficult part of the week was trying not to worry about all the small problems, like with logistics on some days, because you want everyone to go away with a good impression of your country. Nothing can ever run perfectly but I think things went generally well. It was a huge effort to enable a competition so much bigger than anything we’ve seen before in the UK and I’m proud of everyone who gave so much of their time and effort to make it all happen.

If I asked you for a moment - the great achievement of the Championships - what would be your choice?

C. T. - With a little bit of a bias, I’d say Annika’s Middle distance title. It takes so much inner strength and control to produce the year’s best performance on the right day. Doing it two years in a row is remarkable, and when the spring hasn’t gone smoothly, too… nerves of steel!

The season is coming to an end. What are your goals for what remains of the season?

C. T. - Now WOC is finished, I’m more exhausted than any other time I remember. I also felt tired and overstressed at times earlier this year and knew I would need a break now. So there are no plans for the autumn until I have more energy and start training again, though I have thought a little about both championships next year, which distances I would like to run and how I can train effectively.

[Photo: Ethan Childs /]

Joaquim Margarido