EOC long distance gold medals for Harju and Regborn
The European Orienteering Championships in Estonia saw a tough long distance unfold on Thursday afternoon with Venla Harju (FIN) and Martin Regborn (SWE) crowned champions.
Thursday’s competition was a return to forestry disciplines after a heavy concentration of sprints for many orienteers in the first half of 2022 – and it was at the same time the EOC’s first forestry competitions since the 2018 championships.
And the rather flat and often dense and ‘bushy’ Estonian terrain outside Rakvere seemed like a perfect match for the Finnish team.
Harju’s first gold medal
Despite losing time on the 12.9 kilometer course, Venla Harju was the fastest woman in the forest and took the biggest victory of her career by sealing gold after nearly 90 minutes of racing.
Reigning World and European Long Distance Champion Tove Alexandersson (SWE) lost time at several controls during the first half of the course and despite finishing fast she was 17 seconds slower than Harju at the end of the course. finish line and won silver.
None of the riders could claim to have a perfect race in difficult terrain with very poor visibility in some parts – Marika Teini (FIN) also made mistakes, but secured Finland’s second place on the podium with her bronze medal.
Three Swedes, Sara Hagström, Lina Strand and Johanna Öberg finished fourth, fifth and sixth.
Regborn’s best result
Like Harju, Martin Regborn achieved the best result of his career by winning the men’s long distance ahead of Eskil Kinneberg (NOR) and Elias Kuukka (FIN).
Regborn made longer route choices than most of his competitors around the river through the terrain, but avoided any bigger mistakes and were 31 seconds ahead of Kinneberg at the finish.
Elias Kuukka stayed clear of bigger time losses and raced to his first individual championship medal – making Finland the most successful nation today.
Kasper Fosser (NOR) was fourth and Emil Svensk (SWE) fifth after leading the competition until the last part of the course, where he lost vital time. Another Finn, Olli Ojanaho, took sixth position.
The illness of some Swiss riders prevented Elena Roos, Daniel Hubmann and Matthias Kyburz from starting today.
TV, GPS tracking, maps and results are available on IOF LIVE:
Kasper Fosser is the new men’s World Cup leader – 20 points ahead of current champion Martin Regborn with Tim Robertson (NZL) in third.
Tove Alexandersson increased her lead to over 100 points, with Lina Strand in second and just crowning European champion Venla Harju in third.
Current World Cup standings after three out of six races here:
After a well-deserved day of rest, 120 athletes will run the middle distance A final on Saturday afternoon.
Follow the broadcast on IOF LIVE from 13:30 EEST (UTC +3) here.
Photo: Donatas Lazauskas