Finland wins both relay golds at WMTBOC

Finland had a fantastic day in the Swedish forests around Säter, winning both the women’s and men’s categories by superior margins, when the WMTBOC athletes raced their relays on Saturday.

The Finns started their stint well, as Henna Saarinen led the first leg from start to exchange, where she edged Denmark, Czech Republic and Sweden by two minutes.

Saarinen’s teammates Ruska Saarela and Marika Hara continued to extend the lead on their legs, and Hara crossed the finish line by an impressive margin of 7.32 minutes.

Behind the Finns, Denmark took the silver medals after steady performances from Cæcilie Christoffersen, Nikoline Splittorff and Camilla Søgaard, the latter taking gold and silver respectively in yesterday’s middle distance.

In the third stage, Czechoslovakia Martina Tichovska passed Sweden 2 to win the bronze medals.

Sweden 1 was in contention for a medal during the competition but was disqualified.

The men’s relay ended with a fight between the two Finnish teams and with Finland 2 (Andre Haga, Jussi Laurila and Juha Lilja) as winners and new world champions.

After a tight first leg, Finland 1 and 2 took a one-minute lead in the second leg, before Juha Lilja clinched the gold medal with 2.36 minutes to go.

Switzerland’s Simon Braendli nearly caught up with Finland 1 at the finish and took silver medals, while yesterday’s middle-distance world champion Krystof Bogar rode a great run, moving up two places for Czechia wins bronze medals.

Finland’s success even extended to the U20 junior class, where Finland won ahead of Sweden and the Czech Republic. In W20, Finland ‘only’ won silver medals behind Sweden with the Czech juniors in third place.

Watch the TV stream, results and GPS of today’s competitions on IOF LIVE.

On Sunday, the WTMBOC athletes travel to Falun for the long distance.

Follow IOF LIVE from 11:00 CEST (UTC +2). The first departure is at 9:00 am.

Best results :
Women
1. Finland 1, 119.32 (Saarinen, Saarela, Hara)
2. Denmark 1, 127.04 (Christoffersen, Splittorff, Søgaard)
3. Czechia 1, 129.27 (Paulickova, Kamarytova, Tichovska)

Men
1. Finland 2, 122.07 (Haga, Laurila, Lilja)
(2. Finland 1, 124.43 (Nurmi, Kaksonen, Pokala))
3. Switzerland 1, 125.00 (Jaeggi, Hotz, Braendli)
4. Czechia 1, 126.02 (Hasek, Ludvik, Bogar)

Photos: WMTBOC 2022 / Lars Gustafsson

Dino J. Dotson