ESOC Sprint Relay: first control decisive!

Posted on | February 12, 2013 | Category: Arena

Photo: Erik Borg

The fight for the gold medals in the sprint relay at the European Championships ended at the first control! The Russian Anastasia Kravchenko took away all the excitement. “Anastasia shall really have the honour. She was the only one who got it right”, smiles Kiril Veselov, the anchor in the Russian sprint team that won the relay in Gaizinkalns, 30 kilometres outside Madona, close to the highest hill in Latvia, 311 metres over sea level.

It was uphill from the start and there was a lot of snow in the air. One track was not so easy to see, and all the women lost a lot of time on the first flag – except for one. “I read the map carefully”, smiles Anastasia. The Russian set up a big gap at the first control and continued the good work thereafter, and Kiril Veselov did the same. Both of them skied three legs and on the last leg Kiril finished 91 seconds ahead of the Swedish team in second place.

Sweden and Norway both had first leg runners who made a big mistake on the first control, but after finishing all the medallists were smiling. “It’s good to start the championships with a medal”, said Josefine Engström and Peter Arnesson on the Swedish team.

The sprint relay started the Championships in Latvia, which continue until Sunday. On Wednesday the first individual competitions take place, with the European Youth Championships and Junior World Orienteering Championships under way as well as the European Championships. All are doing a middle distance race with individual start.

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