2006 Junior World Championships: Sprint Report

Posted on | July 4, 2006 | Category: News

Ingunn Hultgreen Weltzien: Good the whole year

Ingunn Hultgreen Weltzien is a person of many talents. The Norwegian has, in the last few months, become World Champion in both orienteering and cross-country skiing .

She was a member of the winning relay team at the Junior World Championship in cross country skiing. One of her team mates, Betty Ann Bjerkreim Nielsen, finished 15 at the Sprint distance at JWOC in Druskininkai in Lithuania. Ingunn took the gold – 3.3 seconds in front of the Australian Hanny Allston.

– Now I have won individual gold. In winter, I was a part of a team. I really enjoy relays, but it’s something special to do it on your own, says Ingunn.

On Monday she was also selected in the Norwegian team for the World Orienteering Championships (WOC) in Denmark. There she will run in the sprint. At the World Cup and European Orienteering Championships in Estonia, earlier this year, she came fifth in the Sprint.

– Can’t it be too much with hard competitions the whole year?

– Yes, and after WOC in Denmark I will not compete in any important races until January. It takes a lot of energy to remain in good shape and do good races, she says.

Her 22 year old brother, Audun Hultgreen Weltzien, will also take part in Denmark and they are from a real sports family. Their mother, Wenche, competed at a high level in orienteering and their father, Eystein, was World Champion in Relay in Norway in 1978. He was also good in cross country skiing.

The Swede, Eva Svensson, who also has golds from Junior World Championships in Ski Orienteering was third, 38.5 seconds behind the winner.

A real Swedish day

It was a double for Sweden in the Sprint in the men’s class. Mikael Kristensson and Patrik Karlsson are both incredibly good at the shortest orienteering race.

– I am fast and it’s good for me when the orienteering is not so difficult and I can really run, says Mikael Kristensson.

– I am going hard for Sprint, says Patrik Karlsson.

Patrik won the Sprint at the Open Nordic Championship last year as a second year junior.

– That victory was an inspiration, he says.

Both the Swedes ran perfect races.

– It went as good as it can, says Mikael.

– When I finished without mistakes, I knew that it could be very good, he says.

After the Swedes, it was runners from four different nations. Ruslan Glebov from Ukraine took the bronze medal. He was 11.1 seconds after the winner. 8.7 seconds was the difference between first and second.

In fourth and fifth place were Verdeyen Jochen from Belgium and Sergei Rizhkov, Belarus. It’s really great to see runners from new nations among the best. In sixth place on the podium was Matthew Parton from Australia.

Story: Erik Borg

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