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Norway and Sweden claim first gold medals in the relay

Norway won the men’s relay

On the first leg the runners were mostly in one big group, with two attempts to break away from the rest. First the French baroudeur Matthieu Perrin managed to get a small gap, but lost it because of a wrong exit direction from the 5th control. The second try was by Finland’s Akseli Ruohola, which almost succeeded if not for Norway’s Kasper Fosser, who caught up with the Finn and together they came to the changeover with a lead of half a minute to the chasers.

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On the second leg Norway’s Elias Jonsson drew away from all rivals. Finland’s Aleksi Sorsa fell behind Jonsson and was caught by the chasing group because of an unsuccesful route choice to the the first control. After that while Norway moved slowly further away from other countries, the big group broke apart and saw some changes among the main contenders for the medals. By the changeover Norway’s lead was one and a half minutes in front of Finland’s second team (Topi Syrjäläinen) and Russia’s Kirill Komarov.

On the last leg most of the teams had their strongest runners. Norway’s Audun Heimdal kept his cool and good speed and brought Norway to finish as world champion. The battle for the second and third places was exciting. In addition to Finland’s second team (Ollipekka Heikkilä) and Russia (Mikhail Kuleshov), Norway’s second team (Einar Melsom) and Finland’s first team (Olli Ojanaho) also joined the fight. At the runthrough even Norway’s double victory seemed possible, but a big mistake to the 8th control by Melsom erased those hopes. Among the other three boys chasing Heimdal, Ojanaho was the strongest and finished second with the best leg time of the day, Kuleshov, who tried to beat Ojanaho by choosing different route choices on the last loop, was left third.

miehet viesti

Sweden’s first gold

The big group broke apart already on the first loop of the first leg with three of the big favourites – Switzerland, Sweden and Norway – being the runaways. On the second loop of the first leg the leading trio split into two: Norway’s Victoria Haestad Bjornstad ran away from Sweden’s Lisa Jonsson Nordin and Switzerland’s Valerie Aebischer and at the finish changed over with a whole 2 min lead to the Swede and the Swiss.

On the second leg Norway’s Ingrid Lundanes managed to keep the lead, although it shrank down to 1.17 at the changeover. Behind the Norwegian it was a bit more hectic. By the end of the first loop France (Florence Hanauer) and Denmark (Agnes Kracht) had caught up with Sweden (Sanna Fast) and Switzerland (Sofie Bachmann), but during the last loop Fast and Bachmann regained their positions and at the changeover the top three was again in the same order: Norway first, Sweden second (+1.17) and Switzerland third (+1.58).

On the third leg Norway’s (Marie Olaussen) lead shrank away very quickly and already at the 2nd control Sweden’s Linnea Golsater had taken the lead. By the 5th control also Switzerland’s Simona Aebersold passed the Norwegian and started to chase Golsater. On the last loop Golsater did better orienteering and Aebersold was unable to catch her. Sweden got their first gold medal of this year’s JWOC, Switzerland had to content with the silver (+1.37) and Norway, although being in the lead during most of the race, got bronze (+5.01).

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Photos from relay and prize giving ceremony

Photos (by Marjo Lalli) from relay and prize giving ceremony are here:

https://marjolalli.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Tapahtumat/JWOC%202017/PRIZE%20GIVING%20SEREMONY%2015.07.2017%20%28LONG%20FINAL%20%20AND%20RELAY%29/

https://marjolalli.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Tapahtumat/JWOC%202017/RELAY%2015.07.2017/

Start times of the relays today

Men’s relay starts at 13.30

Women’s relay starts at 14.45

Phots from long distance

Photos (by Marjo Lalli) from long distance

https://marjolalli.kuvat.fi/kuvat/Tapahtumat/JWOC%202017/LONG%20FINAL%2014.07.2017/

Medal statistics and team results

medals

team results

Start list for the relay

Click here for the start list for tomorrow’s relay race.

Long distance gold medals to the usual suspects Aebersold and Ojanaho

Olli Ojanaho’s medal hopes were hanging by a thread

Olli Ojanaho (FIN) (1:05.11) won his third consecutive gold medal at the JWOC today Friday before Simon Imark (SWE) (1:05.54, +0.43) and Simon Hector (SWE) (1:06.07, +0.56).

Ojanaho had to fight for his gold medal this time. He started with a small mistake to the first control into which he later on added another 1-minute mistake on the way to the 7th control. Result of these two mistakes he was almost 2 minutes behind the leaders at the 30-minute mark, but from there onwards he was crushing the field. Ojanaho stayed true to his tactics and ran very close to the line even on the longest leg of the course, clocking the second best time on that one. Then he went on to win the last five legs, leaving the two Swedes closely, but clearly behind himself.

Both Simons started well, but slowly got more tired than Ojanaho in the end and despite a good battle had to acknowledge the superiority of Ojanaho once again.

Simona Aebersold proved the world champion wrong

Simona Aebersold (SUI) (56.03) is a triple world champion at 2017 JWOC after the long distance race on today Friday. Vera Klemettinen (FIN) (59.17, +3.14) took the silver medal and Sofie Bachmann (SUI) (1:02.52, +6.49) the bronze medal.

Aebersold was from another planet today as she won half of the 16 legs on the girls’ course and lost only 55 seconds to the ideal time. In addition she defeated the target time by 3 minutes which was the estimated winning time by the course setter and former world champion Jani Lakanen.

Klemettinen was not far away from Aebersold in the first part of the course but made a worse route choice on the long leg and consecutively continued with more mistakes during the latter part of the race. Regardless of this, she was a clear second today. Bachmann showed how important it is to keep fighting on a long distance: she was as far as 37th at the second control and rose into a medal position during the last 10 minutes of the race.

Bus transportation schedule to the relay race on Saturday

The buses to the relay race leave from Murikanranta at 11.55. The transportation back to Murikanranta leaves from the competition center at around 5.30 PM. Please note that the buses are booked only for those teams that have signed up for the bus transportation in advance.

Start list for the long race

Click here

The start list includes a correction from the first one where two athletes were marked as starting at 13.45.