Road to the WSOC – Lisa Larsen

It’s time to find the first World Orienteering Champions of 2022 – when the World Ski Orienteering Championships kick off on Tuesday March 15 in Finland.

Over four days of competition in the Kemi-Keminmaa region, athletes will compete in the sprint, pursuit, intermediate and sprint relays as the final event on Saturday 19.

All competitions can be followed in high-level web-tv production with English commentary. Get your ticket on the LIVE page.

Hoping for medals
One of the competitors in Finland will be reigning world champion pursuit racer Lisa Larsen of Sweden.

– I’m really looking forward to the championships and I hope to win medals – both in the individual events and in the relay. I have a few medals from last year to defend and hope to do the same this year.

In addition to the pursuit gold, Lisa finished second to win a silver medal in last year’s WSOC sprint relay in Estonia with teammate Erik Blomgren.

And the impressive results continued in 2022 with three silver medals at the European Ski Orienteering Championships in Bulgaria (middle, sprint relay, relay).

– It’s been a great season so far. I am generally satisfied with the European Championships in Bulgaria – except for the sprint [Lisa mispunched]. I will have to try to do better this time.

Favorite event: Pursuit
Since ESOC, Lisa has spent most of February in Sweden competing in numerous SkiO competitions and feels her form is at least as good as January.

And therefore, she is confidently heading into the week of the WSOC in Finland.

– I really like mass starts, so I’m looking forward to pursuit and middle distance as well. The sprint is probably the one where I have the least expectations, but of course I will fight to get the best possible starting point in the pursuit race the next day.

– I’ve seen the old maps and it looks quite hilly around the stadium and I’m fine normally. But other than that area I think it will be pretty flat and with small marshes and narrow tracks – more like Swedish terrain. So overall I think the terrain will suit me well – but all Nordic orienteering skiers will probably feel right at home I think. So I expect tight races.

More than 100 athletes in total will be ready on the WSOC starting line – with Norway, Sweden and host country Finland entering with a maximum of 16 orienteers.

In search of fellow Swedes and Kudre Schnyder
When asked who her biggest contenders will be in the fight for the medals, Lisa Larsen replies:

– Magdalena Olsson and indeed all the Swedish girls, who did well at ESOC in Bulgaria. And of course, Daisy Kudre Schnyder, who won almost everything at the WSOC last year – I think she will go to Finland very soon. And I expect Finnish skiers to do good.

The World Ski Orienteering Championships in Finland will start with the sprint distance on Tuesday at 13:00 EET (UTC+2).

In addition to seniors, next week’s championships will also serve as the Junior World Ski Orienteering Championships and the European Youth Ski Orienteering Championships.

The 2022 Ski Orienteering World Cup will also be decided, as will the Team World Cup and the new U23 World Cup. Find the ranking here.

Due to the suspension of the Russian Orienteering Federation and the Belarusian Orienteering Federation, athletes from these countries will not be allowed to participate.

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Dino J. Dotson