Impressive gold for Switzerland – Kyburz King of the Games

Posted on | August 4, 2013 | Category: News

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Judith Wyder, Matthias Kyburz, Sara Luescher and Daniel Hubmann celebrating the victory. Photo: Anna Jacobson

As the first orienteer ever, Matthias Kyburz has won three World Games champion titles in one year. The last one he got with the help of his team mates – but he was without a doubt contributing a lot to the victory.

Daniel Hubmann ran the first leg for Switzerland. He made some small mistakes, and had a longer forking in the beginning of the race. He was never in the lead during the leg, but came to the change over fourth. Hubmann says the race was tough fighting through the green areas, “real forest orienteering”.

On the second leg, Sara Luescher had a clean race. She says it was hard physically, due to the heat and the two previous races, but she did not make any bigger mistakes. In the beginning she saw other teams when they were coming from the controls she was going to, but to the 12th she made a good route choice, and gained some time. At the spectator control she was second, after Great Britain’s Catherine Taylor. Taylor however made a big mistake on one of the last controls, and Luescher could change over to Matthias Kyburz in clear lead.

Matthias Kyburz’ tactics was the same as the day before: safe route choices, rather run around the green areas than go in them, and minimise mistakes. This worked extremely well, and Kyburz could send Judith Wyder to the last leg with a comfortable 2-minute lead.

Considering the big gap, Wyder decided to take her time and be careful with the controls. She says she lost some seconds here and there, but nothing bigger, so she felt confident: “I knew that if I orienteer OK, no one can beat me”, she says.

And no one came even close. Denmark finished second, more than four minutes after Switzerland, and a surprise country, Austria, third. Norway and Great Britain were unfortunately disqualified due mispunching at earlier leg. This was a huge disappointment especially for Great Britain, but as one team member put it: “I really don’t blame anyone, these things happen. It is just so seldom we have a chance for a medal!”

The World Games orienteering events concluded with the relay. Next in programme is the Closing Ceremony, and travel home. For results and tracking, please visit wg2013.orienteering.org. More photos will appear in the IOF Photo Gallery shortly.  

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