This year's world orienteering championships ended for me with an 8th position in the individual sprint race and a 5th position in the sprint relay. Ahead of the championships my goal was to be in the fight for the top 6 positions in the sprint and in the relay I wanted to deliver a technical good 1st leg and have contact with the best teams. The first goal I fulfilled, but a little bit disappointed about the last part of the finale which made me fall out of top 8. The second goal I managed until the 3rd last control, where I made a parallel mistake and therefore lost contact with the favorite teams. My feelings are therefore mixed, but going home with one diploma and a top 10 result is good, and I am satisfied with my overall stable performances on day X. (Photo: Rolf Gemperle)
Sprint Qualification Saturday 20th August
I wanted to run a safe and technically well performed sprint, and so I did. I did not pick all the best routechoices (4th, 6th, 18th), but ran with good flow and full control. Only from control 14-16 I struggled a little. First I did not see if I could pass beside the cliff and the olive green on the left route to control 15, and I decided to run right which is longer. To the 16th the purple line connecting the controls was printed over the path into the control, and I actually did not see it at all. My plan was therefore to run in the white forest above the olive green, but after I climbed the stairs I saw the path in the terrain and stopped. After careful map reading I could guess that the path was overprinted and ran it (The purple line should have been cut!). I also lost some time on my route to the last control. In the end I got a 6th position in heat B and clear qualification for the finale.
Sprint Finale Saturday 20th August
In the sprint final I felt quite calm and ready, and I got a good start. I ran a very good first loop and I was therefore only 20 sec behind at the arena passage. I continued well, but made a bad routechoice to control 9 costing me about 10 sec (without realizing). Ran well on the long route to control 10 and took the best choice climbing the fence to control 11. Until this control I am really satisfied with my race (yes I did one bad route to 9, but that happens) and at this point of the race after running in 10:07 min I was 7th of all 53 sec behind and ahead of Rahel Friedrich (SUI) who finished 5th in the end. But after that I struggled, and lost time on several controls (12, 13, 14, 17), and my top 6 goal was lost with 10s. Definitely a little disappointed, but I am satisfied with my 3rd top 10 result at WOC sprint with my 8th position. Really nice to see Ida Marie Næss Bjørgul doing her best sprint race ever (?) with her 7th position and that Marianne Andersen also ran into the top 10 with her 10th position! Strong team performance with all the girls in the top 10! Maja Alm (Denmark) won clearly as she did last year. Also impressed by my clubmate Anastasia Denisova who took a fantastic bronze medal in the sprint (as well as 8th in the middle and 6th in the long distance!).
Photo: Remy Steinegger
Sprint Relay Sunday 21th August
In the sprint relay my plan was to be patient and always be in control of my own race. I was very nervous, but I also knew that I was capable of managing this stressing situation, and that made me calm enough. Everything went according to plan the first part of the course. I started with reading the long leg carefully, and found the back of Rahel Friedrich (SUI) who ran the route I wanted to as well as Lina Strand (SWE). Towards the 2nd control the field split up, and I was careful to take my own controls. Running to the 4th control I saw that some teams was quite fare ahead of me (10-15 sec) and I understood that I had had the longer forking. I kept running well, and to the 6th control I chose to run with the others (I did consider to run around the hill) since this route seemed a little shorter and I knew that breaking out meant running alone. This was ok, but again I had the longer forking and lost again some 10 sec. At the arena passage I was therefore about 30 sec behind, but knew I had done my job well so fare. I was now more and more alone, away from the best teams, and I had to do much more of my routes alone. I kept running stable until control 11. Here I knew from the day before that the stairs on the right routechoice were slow, and at the same time I thought the left route was maybe also a bit shorter. Unfortunately, I somehow thought that I was running one row of houses higher in the slope than what I actually did, and when I realized I was in the wrong place and had to run all around some houses. This cost me almost 30 seconds (!) and I definitely lost all contact to the top teams being 1:09 min behind at the change-over. Eskil Kinneberg on the 2nd leg also had all the long forkings and had no chance to advance in the field even though he ran well. Øystein Kvaal Østerbø on the other side had the short forkings on the 3rd leg and could climb us from 15th to 9th, and Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg climbed us further up into the diploma positions and a 5th place.
Photo: Remy Steinegger.
My mistake to the 12th control. I ran the red solid line, the blue line shows the best route. At the point marked with the red circle I realized I was wrong, but did not see out of the map (here it is much more visible than on my race map) that I was actually aloud to jump the fence and run straight down to the next road (dashed red line). The gap between the dark green above and the forbidden fence below is quite small and the counterline is making it hard to read (it should have been cut). If I had realized this I might have lost some 10-15 sec less on my mistake.
Thank you to everyone who supports me, and to my great norwegian teammates! With 2x Silver on the middle distance (Olav Lundanes and Heidi Bagstevold), 1xGold and 1xBronze in the long distance (Olav Lundanes and Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg), 1xGold in the mens relay (Carl Godager Kaas, Olav Lundanes, Magne Dæhli) we had a fantastic championship! All girls in the team ran into the top 10, and only once we had one girl out of the top 10. And at the long distance we had all girls and boys in the top 10, and the boys even all of them in the top 6! What a team, and what a week!
Some more nice impressions:
Photo: from my greate clubmates in Sävedalens AIK wishing me luck ahead of the championships :)
Photo: Maria Magnusson. Great Sävedalens AIK success at the sprint. Bronze to Anastasia and 8th position for me.
Photo: Norsk Orientering. Happiness when Ida ran her best sprint race ever and all the norwegian girls were top 10. This was good team work!