Tuesday, July 04, 2017

WOC 2017: Alexandersson and Lundanes retain Long distance golds

Both Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, and Olav Lundanes, Norway won the Long distance at Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships for the second year in a row.

Tove Alexandersson, Sweden, ran a near-perfect race in the difficult Estonian terrain of the Long distance today, with only Sprint champion Maj Alm, Denmark, able to come anywhere near challenging her time.

- It was a good race and I was fighting all the way. I am very satisfied with the race and the gold, she said.

For Maja Alm, this was far and away her best result in a forest race, although she has shown on many occasions that she is a very good runner and navigator in forest terrain. Three days of sprint racing appeared not to have affected her performance. Natalia Gemperle, Russia, proved yet again that she is becoming one of the strongest and most consistent performers at world level in taking the bronze today, 5.36 down on Alexandersson.

In the men’s class, Olav Lundanes showed his determination in the way he set out from the start – almost a sprint down the run-out route. He posted fastest times throughout the course, but his run was not faultless. About making a mistake:

- I know I was close to the control, but it is difficult even if you are close to it in the green Estonian forest, he said.

This was his fifth individual WOC gold, and just like Tove Alexandersson he retains his Long distance title from last year.

- I am really really happy I managed to win two years in a row, and also get my fourth Long distance gold. They are all completely different and I am proud I have been able to win in different terrains, he said.

Silver medallist and closest contender throughout was Russian Leonid Novikov. The bronze medal went to the Swedish athlete William Lind, his first individual WOC medal. Norway’s strength in depth in this kind of race showed as they took fourth and fifth places.

For the full official results, go the WOC webpage: www.woc2017.ee.

[Press Release from the International Orientering Federation 2017-07-04; photo: Malin Fuhr]

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