“It was impossible to keep up with Helene today”

Posted on | March 27, 2011 | Category: Arena

Helene Söderlund was the fastest on the long distance and could finish with a big flag in her hand and no other competitors in eyesight.

Photo: Erik Borg

“Finally!” The Swede has been among the very best the last years, but she is still not more than 23 years old. At the previous World Championships in Japan she got a medal on every distance, but gold only in the relay. In the championships in Härjedalen in Sweden she had two silvers before the long distance. Now it was time for more.

Already on the way to the starting point Helene got a little gap to the other competitors. She pushed hard the very big uphill.

“I felt so strong today”, she smiles.

During the first of the two long loops she made some mistakes in the end and passed the map exchange control a little bit less than one minute after leading Tatiana Kozlova.

On the first control of the second loop they were together. Helene understood then that she was physically stronger. The last part of the second loop and the third little loop she felt extra confident, and knew she was on her way to her first individual gold.

Tatiana Kozlova was very satisfied with the silver. On the middle distance she didn’t have a good race at all. “So I was very nervous before the long distance, but just after the start I got a good feeling, and knew it would go well”, she said. “It was impossible to keep up with Helene today, but I am happy with the silver.”

Kozlova is in the military and a full-time sports woman.

The winner Helene Söderlund works part-time, 20 %, at the ski orienteering high school in Mora and also studies part-time. Söderlund is also a good cross-country skier and has taken part in a couple of World Cup races in the beginning of the season.

The Norwegian Marte Reenaas got bronze.

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